Inter put three past Napoli to clinch convincing away victory

 

Hakan Calhanoglu of FC Internazionale celebrates after scoring his team's first goal with team mates during the Serie A TIM match between SSC Napoli and FC Internazionale at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on December 3, 2023 in Naples, Italy. 

It was not a good evening for Napoli on Sunday as they were comprehensively defeated by Inter in their Serie A clash. A fourth league defeat at the Stadio Diego Maradona, and a fifth consecutive game in all competitions without a win, leaves them 11 points off the title pace in only the first week of December. For Inter, it was a night to remember with three goals and a fine display.

A clinical, confident Inter went to town in Naples, scoring three goals worthy of champions against the defending Serie A title holders.

Napoli will wish they could replicate their away form on home turf. A fourth Serie A defeat at the Stadio Diego Maradona, and a fifth consecutive game in all competitions without a win, leaves them 11 points off the title pace in only the first week of December.

Inter, in contrast, even without producing devastating performances are on a real roll of form that could prove a platform for a true, long-term title challenge.

And all it took was a late first half wonderstrike from playmaker Hakan Calhanoglu, a goal worthy of winning any game, to start the chain reaction that would ultimately restore the Nerazzurri to the league summit in the race for the Scudetto.

Before going a goal down, Napoli arguably had the better of the first half, making chances, registering eight shots and putting the away side under plenty of pressure. They came within inches of taking the lead in the 36th minute, when Politano cut inside to his left foot and let rip with a shot that beat the keeper but not the bar.

Into the second half the Napoli fans might have expected their team to come out fighting, but instead they were presented with eleven players all but conceding defeat. Inter had the run of the next 45. Their second goal, a tidy sweep home from Nicolo Barella at the end of an elegant but easy ball in by Lautaro, came as less of a surprise than their first.

Inter’s third and final goal was the easiest of all, as Marcus Thuram, so often the provider, waltzed into the Napoli box. Colombian Juan Cuadrado easily picked him out and all the Frenchman had to do was guide the ball home.

Napoli will be wondering how they can come back from this. Inter can almost consider themselves champions-in-waiting.


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