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AFP
September 28, 2020

Late Lukaku, D’Ambrosio goals lift Inter in seven-goal Fiorentina show

Sports

AFP
September 28, 2020

MILAN: Danilo D’Ambrosio and Romelu Lukaku scored two late goals as Inter Milan grabbed a thrilling season-opening 4-3 win over a Franck Ribery-inspired Fiorentina on Saturday.

Title rivals Atalanta and Lazio also got their campaigns off to winning starts.

Antonio Conte’s Inter had been trailing Fiorentina with three minutes to go in the San Siro but broke through after Ribery was substituted.

Lukaku equalised on 87 minutes with defender D’Amrosio nodding in two minutes later as Inter began their campaign to deny Juventus a 10th consecutive Serie A title this season.

But it was a far from confident display from Inter who were a goal down after three minutes to Ivorian Christian Kouame.

Lautaro Martinez levelled just before the break and Inter went ahead when Fiorentina defender Federico Ceccherini turned into his own net seven minutes after the break.

But Ribery was omnipresent for Fiorentina setting up their next two goals for Gaetano Castrovilli on 57 minutes and a Federico Chiesa lob in six minutes later.

The 37-year-old French midfielder was substituted with the game seemingly in hand after 83 minutes, but the Tuscany side were to be denied a first win over Inter in over three years.

- Immobile on target -

Ciro Immobile picked up where he left off as Lazio won 2-0 at Cagliari while Atalanta earned a 4-2 comeback against Torino.

Italy forward Immobile — top Serie A scorer last season with 36 goals — grabbed Lazio’s second goal in the last quarter of an hour in Sardinia.

Lazio return to Champions League football this season after finishing fourth in Serie A just behind Atalanta.

Both Lazio and Atalanta’s scheduled season opener last week was pushed backed because of the Bergamo side’s Champions League last eight appearance in Portugal.

The two teams will go head-to-head in Rome next Wednesday.

“Today we have shown that we are still that tight group that can do well,” said Immobile.

“Players have arrived who will give us a lift on the pitch and in the changing room, but the group is the same and there is no lack of motivation.”

Lazio had Adam Marusic to thank for their two goals. After setting up Manuel Lazzari for the opener after four minutes, the Montenegrin again broke down the left flank to serve up the pass for Immobile after 74 minutes.

In Turin, Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta proved they had lost none of their attacking style from last season with the most goals scored in the Italian top flight including 7-0 against Torino last January in Turin.

“We are stronger than last year,” warned Gasperini.

“You learn a lot from playing in Europe, and despite the difficulties we have suffered, we haven’t given up.

“This year some valuable players have arrived and if we are lucky enough to recover (Josip) Ilicic we will be even stronger.