Inter’s winning start to the new season came to an end on Sunday afternoon, after they were held to a 2-2 draw by a stubborn Sampdoria at the Marassi.
Federico Dimarco’s stunning free-kick into the top corner gave the Nerazzurri the lead, after Lautaro Martinez had hit the ground extremely easily under minimal contact just outside the area.
Inter’s advantage lasted 15 minutes though, when Maya Yoshida’s scuffed shot took a huge deflection off the inside of Edin Dzeko’s leg, wrong-footing Samir Handanovic and trickling into the corner of the net.
But the Nerazzurri hit back just before half-time after Martinez volleyed home a brilliant whipped cross from Nicolo Barella, restoring their lead going into the the break. Samp flew out of the blocks in the second half, however, and were on level terms within two minutes of the whistle.
Bartosz Bereszynski dipped inside on his left foot to produce a floated cross to the back post, and Tommaso Augello waited for the ball to drop before hammering a sweet volley beyond a stranded Handanovic.
Simone Inzaghi’s men pushed to retake the lead for a third time, and Joaquin Correa went close, but his deflected effort was tipped over the bar. Inter couldn’t break through a resolute Samp side, and had to settle for a single point for the first time this season.
Let’s check out the player ratings.
Samir Handanovic (GK) – 5/10 – Bamboozled by Yoshida’s deflected effort and could only watch the ball crawl over the line to his right-hand side. A statue as Augello’s thunderbolt fizzed past him.
Milan Skriniar (CB) – 6/10 – Blocked Caputo’s path to goal very intelligently to stop the forward making connection with a dangerous cross from the right. Headed a good chance over the bar.
Stefan de Vrij (CB) – 6/10 – Had a tough afternoon against the canny movement of Fabio Quagliarella and the constant runs into the box from Morten Thorsby. A proper battle.
Federico Dimarco (CB) – 7/10 – Broke the deadlock with a wonderful free-kick, whipping it into the top corner of the net. No stopping that one.
Matteo Darmian (RWB) – 5/10 – Nowhere to be seen when Augello rifled in a volley from the flank he should have been defending.
Nicolo Barella (CM) – 8/10 – Skipped beyond a couple of challenges and whipped a stunning ball onto the foot of Martinez – couldn’t have placed it better with his hands. Produced another moment of magic to almost assist Martinez for his second.
Marcelo Brozovic (CM) – 6/10 – Hacked Antonio Candreva to the ground with a rash challenge to earn a yellow card. Badly timed, but necessary.
Hakan Calhanoglu (CM) – 6/10 – Won the ball back with a physical challenge to set Inter on the move for the second goal. Dragged a shot wide of goal from the edge of the box. Should be scoring from there.
Ivan Perisic (LWB) – 5/10 – Cut inside in possession to allow Dimarco to overlap on the left-hand side. Had the chance to either score or cut the ball across for Dzeko, but did neither. A wasted opportunity.
Edin Dzeko (ST) – 6/10 – Dropped in deep to drive forward with the ball at his feet. Slow, but hard to knock out of possession. Inadvertently turned the ball into his own net – a moment to forget.
Lautaro Martinez (ST) – 7/10 – ‘Earned’ the free-kick which resulted in Inter taking the lead, although Samp supporters will be annoyed at how easily the Argentine went to ground. A bit embarrassing, really. Brilliant first-time finish to regain the lead.
Arturo Vidal (CM) – 6/10
Danilo D’Ambrosio (CB) – 7/10
Joaquin Correa (ST) – 7/10
Denzel Dumfries (RWB) – 6/10
Stefano Sensi (CM) – 6/10