Lautaro Martinez scored a second-half brace as Inter Milan moved top of Serie A after easing to a 4-0 victory over Fiorentina to extend their 100 per cent start to the season at San Siro.
The hosts began to press from the off and Denzel Dumfries half-tested returning Fiorentina goalkeeper Oliver Christensen – who missed Thursday’s Europa Conference League qualifying play-off with Rapid Vienna – with an easy shot.
Marcus Thuram headed Dumfries’ cross straight at Christensen after 11 minutes as Inter looked for an opener.
— Inter (@Inter_en) September 3, 2023
Eight minutes later, the home side came close with their first real chance of note as Thuram continued to cause Fiorentina problems but he fired over the crossbar after a nice run.
The summer signing from Borussia Monchengladbach did finally break the deadlock with his first goal for Inter midway through the first half.
Federico Dimarco whipped in a well-timed cross to pick out Thuram, whose powerful header from the centre of the box beat Christensen.
The hosts came close to doubling their lead on the half-hour mark and Thuram was again well placed to claim his brace but he could not turn Alessandro Bastoni’s cross home as he fired over.
— Lega Serie A (@SerieA_EN) September 3, 2023
The Viola were pushing hard for an equaliser as the half started to draw to a close but were yet to really test Inter goalkeeper Yann Sommer.
While – at the other end – a brilliant Inter free-kick from Turkey midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu was well kept out by the diving Christensen and Thuram fired another wasted chance over on the stroke of half-time.
Fiorentina looked like they might try their luck early in the second half but were easily thwarted by the Nerazzurri, who proved too strong for their opponents and found their rhythm soon afterwards.
The hosts doubled their lead – following a chance where Dumfries struck the post – after 53 minutes as Martinez went on a run from outside the box and slotted home Thuram’s cross with a great strike straight down the middle.
Inter were given the chance to extend their lead further before the half-hour mark as they were awarded a penalty for a foul by Christensen on Thuram.
Calhanoglu made no mistake to score his first goal of the season as he sent his powerful spot-kick to the keeper’s bottom-left, leaving Christensen diving down to his right.
Inter continued to dominate and put the result beyond doubt with 17 minutes remaining as Martinez tapped the ball home after beating his opponent to substitute Juan Cuadrado’s inch-perfect cross into the box.
Fiorentina could find no reply as the hosts kept their clean-sheet record intact for the season while moving above rivals AC Milan at the top of the table.