Inter lay down title marker as Martínez secures thrilling win over Napoli

Internazionale ended Napoli’s unbeaten start to the Serie A season after coming from behind to earn a thrilling 3-2 victory at San Siro on Sunday, closing the gap to the leaders to four points.

The game was played at a ferocious pace, with Napoli storming into an early lead thanks to a powerful Piotr Zielinski strike in the 17th minute.

However, Inter did not let their heads drop, levelling through a Hakan Calhanoglu penalty eight minutes later, before Ivan Perisic completed the turnaround just before half-time.

Inter put themselves in command just after the hour, Lautaro Martínez applying the finishing touch to a swift counterattack. Dries Mertens got Napoli back into it with 12 minutes left, curling in from 25 yards, but it was not enough to prevent Luciano Spalletti’s leaders slipping to a first defeat in 13 Serie A games, as third-placed Inter laid down a marker in the title race.

“Today we had to show what we are capable of,” Martínez told DAZN. “We do things well, but sometimes the result doesn’t work in our favour. We had an intense match, and with character we got the points we need.”

Napoli were dealt a blow early in the second half when their top goalscorer Victor Osimhen was forced off with a nasty head injury. Mario Rui almost levelled in dramatic fashion in stoppage time.

In Spain Real Madrid cruised to a 4-1 victory at Granada on Sunday as Toni Kroos gave a masterclass with two assists to send them provisionally top of La Liga.

Marco Asensio, Nacho Fernández, Vinícius Jr and Ferland Mendy were on target for Madrid, who are two points ahead of second-placed Sevilla and third-placed Real Sociedad, who play Valencia later on Sunday.

Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos finds a way through Granada during his team’s 4-1 win.
Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos finds a way through Granada during his team’s 4-1 win. Photograph: Álex Cámara/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

Carlo Ancelotti’s team made a bright start and were 2-0 ahead after 25 minutes with goals from Asensio and Nacho, both from assists by Kroos. But Madrid got a scare a few minutes later, when a shot from Luis Suárez deflected off Nacho and deceived the goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who dived to the left as the ball slowly crossed the goal line to his right.

Granada’s hopes of a comeback were short lived, however, as Real got back on top after the interval and Vinícius extended their lead, finishing off a beautiful team move that also involved Karim Benzema and Casemiro.

After Granada’s Monchu was sent off for an ugly sliding tackle on Vinícius, Mendy wrapped up the scoring.

“It’s hard to get into rhythm after an international break but we are happy with our performance,” Asensio said. “We played a great game. We have an intense schedule until Christmas [eight games in 30 days] and we need extra focus.”