MILAN – 56 days on from the last time they took to the pitch at San Siro, Inter played their third pre-season fixture today, with the Nerazzurri players managing to get more minutes in their legs. It was a successful outing too, with the team scoring a glut of goals and showing many positive signs ahead of their league opener next Saturday.
It finished Inter 7-0 Pisa (a Lautaro hat-trick, an Eriksen brace and goals from Lukaku and Gagliardini) at San Siro in front of 1000 spectators, who returned to the stadium after spending seven months away (the last time the Nerazzurri played in front of a crowd was against Napoli in the Coppa Italia in February).
Those present were able to enjoy a fantastic display from Conte’s side, who, in the first half in particular, put the Tuscans to the sword with some wonderful interplay that led to some great goals. Inter lined up in a 3-4-1-2 formation, with D’Ambrosio and Kolarov playing either side of Bastoni in defence. Hakimi and Perisic were selected as the two widemen, while Gagliardini and Barella took to the pitch behind Eriksen, who, in turn, lined up behind Lukaku and Lautaro.
The Nerazzurri got to work, moving the ball quickly along the ground and switching play, aiming to find space out on the wings, where Hakimi and Perisic were lurking. Inter opened the scoring in the fifth minute, with Perisic picking out Lukaku from the left and the Belgian tapping home from close range.
Pisa were struggling to keep up with Inter, who doubled their advantage on the eleven-minute mark. Gagliardini was the goalscorer, with the Italian finding the net with a great right-footed strike following Lukaku’s lay-off. Lautaro, who had also been involved in the move that led to the Nerazzurri’s second, then bagged the team’s third, entering the six-yard box and heading home Gagliardini’s cross. Five minutes later, Inter scored another, with the Nerazzurri once again using the full width of the pitch. It came through Eriksen, who controlled Hakimi’s ball from the right and fired home from the edge of the box. 4-0 up, Inter went on the hunt for more goals. After Kolarov had gone close with a free kick, Lautaro took centre stage once more: the Argentine flew down the left wing, skipped past an opponent, came inside and then scored with a low strike at the near post in the 35th minute. Three minutes later, it was 6-0. Once again, Inter’s midfielders were able to find Hakimi in space, and the Moroccan was able to set up Lautaro for his hat-trick.
During the half-time break, Conte decided against making a host of changes, preferring to wait until the 65th minute instead. In the second half, the game was played at a much lower tempo. Inter remained in control, with Pisa very rarely threatening Radu’s goal. Despite the fact that they never reached the heights of the opening period, the Nerazzurri did manage to add a seventh through Eriksen after the restart: a cross from D’Ambrosio, who, like Kolarov, was very much involved in Inter’s attacking play, was headed in by the Dane to seal a 7-0 victory.
A seven-goal haul and the return of some of Inter’s fans: the best way to get up to speed ahead of a new league season, which, for the Nerazzurri, will get underway at home to Fiorentina at 20:45 CEST on Saturday 26 September.
INTER 7-0 PISA 7-0
Goalscorers: 5' Lukaku; 11' Gagliardini; 15', 35' and 37' Lautaro; 20' and 74' Eriksen.
INTER (3-4-1-2): 1 Handanovic (46' Radu 97); 33 D'Ambrosio, 95 Bastoni (65' Pirola 31), 11 Kolarov; 98 Hakimi (65' Dalbert 29), 23 Barella (65' Agoumé 32), 5 Gagliardini, 14 Perisic; 24 Eriksen; 9 Lukaku (65' Salcedo 19), 10 Lautaro (20' st Sanchez 7).
Substitutes: 27 Padelli, 6 de Vrij, 12 Sensi, 13 Ranocchia, 15 Young, 37 Skriniar, 44 Nainggolan, 77 Brozovic.
Coach: Antonio Conte.
PISA: 1 Perilli (46' Loria 22); 2 Birindelli (46' Pisano 3), 8 Caracciolo (46' Belli 4), 14 Marin (75' Pompetti 5), 19 Vido (46' Masucci 26), 23 Lisi (75' Sibilli 17), 24 Varnier, 27 Gucher (46' Siega 7), 30 De Vitis (46' Soddimo 10), 31 Marconi (75' Minesso 11), 33 Benedetti.
Substitutes: 12 Kucich, 15 Zammarini, 25 Masetti, 36 Fischer.
Coach: Luca D'Angelo.
Assistants: Consonni, Bernasso.