Inter Milan 6-2 Crotone: Lautaro Martinez blasts a hat-trick and Romelu Lukaku also finds the net as Antonio Conte’s side climb top of Serie A (for a few hours at least)
- Inter Milan went top of Serie A for a brief time at least with thrashing of Crotone
- Lautaro Martinez scored a hat-trick at the San Siro as they leapfrogged AC Milan
- Their city rivals have the chance to respond when they play at Benevento
- Crotone actually took the lead and equalised at 2-2 but Inter roared forwards
- Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi also scored in eighth straight league win
Inter Milan climbed top of Serie A for a few hours at least with a 6-2 thrashing of Crotone as Lautaro Martinez plundered a hat-trick.
Antonio Conte’s side fell behind early on and Crotone levelled at 2-2 but Inter blew them away in the second-half with Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi also on target.
The emphatic result at San Siro was an eighth straight win in the league and carries them above AC Milan before their city rivals’ trip to Benevento later on Sunday.
Lautaro Martinez netted a hat-trick as Inter Milan thrashed Crotone 6-2 to go top of Serie A
Romelu Lukaku also scored at the San Siro as Inter racked up the goals on Sunday afternoon
Martinez beats Crotone goalkeeper Alex Cordaz to score Inter’s third goal at the San Siro
Crotone are in the bottom three of the division but took a shock 12th-minute lead through Niccolo Zanellato.
However, Lukaku sent strike partner Martinez through on goal to equalise with an unstoppable drive from the edge of the area eight minutes later before an own goal from Luca Marrone put Inter in front.
But Crotone rallied and Arkadiusz Reca was fouled in the box for a penalty, confirmed by referee Gianluca Aureliano after a VAR check, that Vladimir Golemic sent past Samir Handanovic.
Crotone took a surprise lead early on through Niccolo Zanellato (right) in the 12th minute
Martinez celebrates after drawing Inter level eight minutes later in the Serie A encounter
Argentine striker Martinez took his goal tally for the season to 10 with a treble on Sunday
Crotone’s resistance had been strong but it was a matter of time after the break until Inter cut through them.
In the 57th minute Marcelo Brozovic showed good vision to find Martinez inside the box and his composed finish picked out the top corner for 3-2.
Lukaku produced a clinical finish of his own to extend the lead seven minutes later and kill off any chance of a Crotone fightback.
Crotone held their own in the first-half and levelled at 2-2 with a Vladimir Golemic penalty
Crotone are in the Serie A relegation zone but they held hope of a surprise result for a time
Martinez completed his first Inter hat-trick 12 minutes from time, nodding home from close range after the ball rebounded in his direction.
And Hakimi put the icing on the cake with a late sixth to take Inter to 36 points, two ahead of Milan. Crotone have still won just twice this season.
Martinez celebrates his goal to restore Inter’s advantage 12 minutes into the second half
The forward kisses the ball after restoring Inter’s lead and it was one-way traffic from then on
Inter’s Nicolo Barella curls a shot towards goal during a comfortable afternoon for Inter
This was the first time in over eight years that all 10 Serie A matches will be played on the same Sunday and so Inter had an excellent opportunity to steal a march on their title rivals.
But they made heavy weather of it in the first half and could have conceded more than the two they did.
But the link up play between Lukaku and Martinez proved too strong for the Crotone defence, with the Belgian scoring his 50th goal for Inter in all competitions since his move from Manchester United.
Barella helps referee Gianluca Aureliano back to his feet after he took a tumble
Inter coach Antonio Conte is animated on the sidelines but was satisfied with the display