NAPLES, Italy (Reuters) – Romelu Lukaku, the Inter Milan striker, scored two goals and led his side to an entertaining 3-1 win at Napoli on Monday, keeping them Serie A leaders.
Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku celebrates his second goal. REUTERS / Alberto Lingria
Lautaro Martinez also scored when Inter celebrated their first away win against Napoli since 1997.
Inter led the league table with 45 points against Juventus, who defeated Cagliari 4-0 on Monday. The head-to-head record is used once the two sides have met twice.
Napoli, on the other hand, suffered their second loss in three games after Gennaro replaced Gattuso Carlo Ancelotti as coach and remained in eighth place with 24 points, despite flashing in the old manner.
"This win is worth a lot," said inter-coach Antonio Conte. "It is not easy for anyone to win in Napoli. We played the match with a great personality, which will give us more confidence and belief. We have to keep going."
Napoli also had chances before Lukaku gave Inter the lead after 13 minutes. The Belgian, who scored 14 league goals this season, intercepted a pass in their own half, went forward and scored a shot that fell off the post.
His second goal in the 33rd minute came with a helping hand from Napoli's goalkeeper Alex Meret, who seemed to use Lukaku's shot but let him shoot through the legs through the legs.
It was hard luck for Meret, who had previously scored two good saves to limit Inter to one goal.
Napoli stopped and Arkadiusz Milik tapped Jose Callejon's low flank to score in the 39th minute. The Pole would then have had to equalize when he had a free header just before half-time, but directed his effort far past the goal.
After the break, Napoli continued to press, but despite some smooth movements, they failed to find the last pass, and shortly after the hour, Inter continued to advance.
Matias Vecino hovered over a flank from the right that Napoli defender Kostas Manolas was able to intercept. He thus cleared the ball for Martinez, who scored his ninth goal of the season.
"We made decisive mistakes in all three goals conceded," said Gattuso. “However, we have shown that we can play football and we must continue to do so. We have to improve in different areas of the field. "
Written by Brian Homewood; Edited by Ken Ferris