Denzel Dumfries’ winner against Torino makes it SEVEN wins a row to keep Inter four points clear of AC Milan after their victory at Empoli, while Napoli slip up and Jose Mourinho’s problems deepen as Roma can only draw with Sampdoria
- Denzel Dumfries scored as Inter Milan went seven points clear at top of Serie A
- Dutchman struck only goal of the game on counterattack after half an hour
- Inter the second team in last 50 years to score 49 goals in their first 19 games
- Elsewhere in Italy, Jose Mourinho’s Roma were held 1-1 by Sampdoria
Denzel Dumfries scored his second goal in two games as Inter Milan stayed well in charge of the Serie A title race with a 1-0 win over Torino on Wednesday, stretching the champions’ winning league run to seven matches.
Simone Inzaghi’s side were already guaranteed to go into the mid-season break as ‘winter champions’, the name given to the league leaders at the halfway stage of the season, and moved up to 46 points.
AC Milan are second on 42 after Franck Kessie struck twice in a 4-2 win over Empoli, while Napoli suffered a shock 1-0 home defeat to relegation-fighting Spezia to slip three points behind the Rossoneri.
Denzel Dumfries struck the only goal as Inter Milan beat Torino 1-0 in Serie A on Thursday
Frenk Kessie scored twice in a 4-2 win for AC Milan, who moved four points behind Inter
Napoli lost ground in the title race as they fell to a shock 1-0 home defeat to struggling Spezia
Roma, meanwhile, were left frustrated by a 1-1 draw against Sampdoria, as Eldor Shomurodov fired the hosts in front in the second half only for Manolo Gabbiadini to equalise eight minutes later.
Dumfries goal gave Inter a 32nd league win of 2021, a total only eclipsed once before in a calendar year in Serie A, by Juventus in 2016 with 33.
‘It was an important win, we knew that Torino are a difficult team to face. We did well with our preparation over the last few days, we knew about their ferocious pressing and that they would try to disrupt our game,’ Inzaghi told DAZN.
‘We played a great match and barely risked anything. We are very satisfied with how we have ended the year.’
Netherlands international Dumfries struck after 30 minutes, coolly finishing off a counter-attack that started on the edge of the Inter box.
Torino put up a strong challenge but could not find a way through against an Inter side that kept a sixth consecutive league clean sheet.
The visitors’ four-match unbeaten run came to an end, leaving them 11th with 25 points.
Inter have been in dominant form this season and are on track to defend the Serie A title
It was a seventh consecutive league win for Simone Inzaghi’s dominant side
Inter hit a formidable run of league form after the November international break, winning all seven of their matches by an aggregate score of 20-2.
They were not at their swashbuckling best against Ivan Juricâs well-drilled side, but Dumfries slotted a low finish into the bottom corner to complete a quick counter after half an hour.
The goal made Inter the second team in the last 50 years to score at least 49 goals in their first 19 games of a Serie A season, after Atalanta in 2019-20.
Inter captain Samir Handanovic made a sharp save to stop a Sasa Lukic free kick, but it was substitute Alexis Sanchez who came closest to the second goal with a shot that clipped the outside of the post.
Milan midfielder Kessie played a starring role in his side’s victory.
The Ivory Coast international was deployed in a more advanced attacking midfield position, and excelled in the role by striking twice before halftime, either side of Nedim Bajrami’s goal for Empoli.
Jose Mourinho’s testing first season with Roma continued with a 1-1 draw with Sampdoria
An Alessandro Florenzi free kick and a Theo Hernandez goal extended the visitors’ lead, before Andrea Pinamonti pulled one back for the hosts from the penalty spot.
A shock 1-0 defeat for Napoli at home to relegation battling Spezia means the third-placed Neapolitans are now three points behind the Rossoneri.
Roma were left frustrated by a 1-1 draw against Sampdoria, as Eldor Shomurodov fired the hosts in front in the second half only for Manolo Gabbiadini to equalise eight minutes later.
Jose Mourinho’s side remain sixth, level on 32 points with Fiorentina, who drew 1-1 with midtable Hellas Verona after Gaetano Castrovilli’s late header cancelled out a Kevin Lasagna opener.
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