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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Inter beat Spezia to top Serie A from AC Milan-Genoa

MILAN ( Associated Press) – Defending champions Inter Milan climbed to the top of Serie A after a comfortable 3-1 win in Spezia on Friday.

Substitute Lautaro Martínez returned from suspension in the second half to seal the win after Marcelo Brozovic opened the scoring.

However, Spezia’s captain Giulio Maggiore halved the deficit in the 88th minute with a fine strike in the top left corner, but Alexis Sánchez won the result in stoppage time.

Inter made a point clear of City rivals AC Milan, who threatened to relegate Genoa late on Friday. Inter still have to play the postponed match against Bologna.

Inter hosted Milan in the second leg of the Italian Cup semi-finals on Tuesday.

The Nerazzurri struggled to go on a balmy day in Spezia and almost conceded early but Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovi caught the ball after a free interception from teammate Ivan Perisic from his line.

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Inter broke the deadlock with their first shot on the 31st goal. Brozovic started and finished the move as he passed a pass in the field to Danilo D’Ambrosio, who nodded it back for the Croatia midfielder to drive into the top left corner.

Martinez, who missed last weekend’s win over Hellas Verona due to a suspension, came off the bench at the hour mark and doubled his team’s lead 13 minutes later.

Perizic ran on a cross-field pass to the left and cut inside before whipping into a low cross, which Martinez flicked into the far corner with his back to score.

Spezia attempted to equalize after Maggiore’s goal, but Inter sealed the match with a nearly final kick of the game. The referee waved play after a foul on Sanchez and the Inter forward came back to fire a Martinez assist in the bottom left corner.

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There was a somewhat bizarre incident involving Spezia forward M’Bala Nzola. He came in the 60th but the referee noticed his big earring and ordered him to remove it. Nazzola spent several minutes with it on the touchline, assisted by Spezia’s staff, but could not remove it and had to be replaced 10 minutes after coming onto the field.

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