Serie A | Cremonese 1-2 Inter: Lautaro to the rescue

A stunning Davide Okereke strike had given Cremonese the shock lead, but Lautaro Martinez struck twice to turn it around and secure a morale-boosting victory.

The Nerazzurri went from lifting the Supercoppa Italiana to losing at home to Empoli with Milan Skriniar sent off, so he was suspended for this game along with Nicolò Barella, plus injured Marcelo Brozovic. Cremonese were still looking for their first Serie A win, but since new coach Davide Ballardini took over had knocked Napoli out of the Coppa Italia. Charles Pickel sat out a ban with Luka Lochosvili and Giacomo Quagliata on the treatment table.

Inter dominated the opening minutes with six corners, but Cremonese took the lead with their first foray forward, an extraordinary Okereke strike from distance that looped and dipped right into the far top corner.

Edin Dzeko scuffed a chest and volley wide from a promising position and Inter equalised at their eighth corner of the game, as Marco Carnesecchi made the great save on Dzeko, but could do nothing on the Lautaro Martinez follow-up. It was a fine way for Lautaro to mark his first Serie A start as captain.

Dzeko scuffed a finish straight at the goalkeeper and Andre Onana made a desperate reaction save on Marco Benassi’s back-heel flick from a Leonardo Sernicola low cross.

Francesco Acerbi risked a straight red card after 29 minutes when he missed the sliding tackle and swung his leg to catch Okereke instead. It was only a yellow because Alessandro Bastoni was nearby and above all it was still in midfield, so a long way from goal.

Daniel Ciofani volleyed over after getting in front of Matteo Darmian, but on the stroke of half-time Carnesecchi made a sensational double save on Federico Dimarco’s scorcher and the Lautaro Martinez follow-up.

After the restart, Carnesecchi was again called into action on an in-swinging Dimarco corner and Acerbi’s shot was deflected by Vlad Chiriches with arms clamped behind his back.

Dzeko had stronger penalty appeals for a Chiriches tackle, but the referee waved play on and considered it too light a contact to penalise with a spot-kick.

Inter turned the game around when Dzeko threaded through for Lautaro Martinez, whose shot from a tight angle took a deflection off Johan Vasquez to loop over Carnesecchi into the far top corner.

Alessandro Buonaiuto couldn’t get enough power on a Cyriel Dessers pullback to beat Onana from close range and then Dessers only hit the side-netting under pressure from Alessandro Bastoni.

Denzel Dumfries saw his powerful angled drive sting Carnesecchi’s gloves in stoppages, it bounced off Chiriches and onto the roof of the net.

Cremonese 1-2 Inter

Okereke 11 (C), Lautaro Martinez 21, 65 (I)