Inter Milan beat rivals AC Milan 3-0 to extend their lead in Serie A on Sunday as Lautaro Martinez scored a brace, with Romelu Lukaku also on target. Inter opened up a four-point lead over their second-place opponents as Antonio Conte’s side aim for a first league title since their unprecedented treble under Jose Mourinho in 2010.
Lukaku was in top form, with the Belgian playing a role in Martinez’s two goals five and 57 minutes away before scoring his 17th league goal this season to climb to the top of the Serie A scorers table.
Milan, chasing a first Scudetto since 2011, suffered back-to-back Serie A defeats for the first time this season, with their title push taking another heavy blow with a fourth loss in eight league appearances.
The game was played behind closed doors at the San Siro due to the coronavirus pandemic, but that didn’t stop thousands of fans from gathering outside the stadium for the last Milan derby of the season.
It was the third derby of the season, with Milan winning the league’s first 2-1.
Inter won a spirited Italian Cup quarter-final with the same score, a game overshadowed by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Lukaku facing off and exchanging insults, with the Swede subsequently sent off.
Fans waited for the team buses to arrive, waving flags and singing, dispersing once the teams entered the stadium.
The game was also preceded by a minute of silence and applause for former Inter defender Mauro Bellugi who died at the age of 71 on Saturday, months after having both legs amputated because of ‘a coronavirus.
Inter were fresher after being knocked out early from European action, with Milan coming out of a 2-2 Europa League midweek draw at Red Star Belgrade.
And Conte’s side came out firing with Lukaku feeding the right flank.
Milan defender Simon Kjaer blocked his initial cross, but the ball came back to the Belgian for a perfect delivery for Martinez to nod.
Ibrahimovic threatened with a kick with his back heel after a quarter of an hour following a scramble in the box but Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic kept him.
Milan Skriniar took the lead before the break on a Christian Eriksen free kick.
Gianluigi Donnarumma got his hands on the ball to deny Ivan Perisic, Handanovic making a double save from Ibrahimovic after the break.
But Martinez broke through again, completing a Perisic strikeout from the sideline in a move started by Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi.
Donnarumma turned Lukaku down minutes later, but the former Manchester United striker then barged in to score the third, becoming the first player to score in four straight Milan derbies since Benito Lorenzi in 1950.
Milan will travel to Roma next weekend, with the capital third before playing Benevento later on Sunday.
Juventus, defending champions, fifth, 11 points behind Inter, will catch up at home against the humble Crotone on Monday.
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