Brisbane, Dec 13:Inter Milan gave an emphatic sign of intent as the defending Serie A champion moved to the top of Serie A with a crushing 4-0 victory over relegation-threatened Cagliari on Sunday.
LautaroMartínez scored and missed a penalty in the first half, and Inter ran riot after the break with goals from Alexis Sánchez, HakanÇalhanoglu and another from Martínez.
Inter moved a point above AC Milan after its city rival drew 1-1 at Udinese on Saturday. Napoli could have moved level with Milan but lost 1-0 at home to Empoli.
“It’s always important to win, regardless of how other teams have done,” Inter captain and goalkeeper Samir Handanovic said.
“We wanted to send out a message today, to both ourselves and our opponents.
“We’re on good form, we’re feeling good, and we’re reaping the rewards for what we’ve done.”
The top four are separated by four points. Atalanta moved above Napoli and into third with a 2-1 win at Hellas Verona.
Cagliari remained two points from safety. Inter broke the deadlock at San Siro in the 29th minute when Martínez headed in Çalhanoglu’scorner.
Martínez had a chance to double Inter’s lead moments before halftime after AlessioCragno brought down Sánchez but the Cagliari goalkeeper atoned for his error by saving the penalty and Çalhanoglu sent the rebound over the bar.
Inter did get its second goal five minutes after the break as a throw-in from the right was controlled by NicolòBarella and then crossed in for Sánchez to volley into the bottom left corner