Cagliari 1-2 Inter: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Romelu Lukaku Penalty Proves Decisive

Antonio Conte made it two wins from two at Inter with a solid, but not entirely satisfactory win away at Cagliari.

?Besides Lautaro Martinez’s goal in the 27th minute, it was a relatively quiet first half from both teams. Cagliari equalised five minutes into the second half thanks to a Joao Pedro header, before Romelu Lukaku grabbed the winner for Inter with a cool-as-you-like penalty in the 72nd minute – despite what appeared to be racist abuse from the fans behind the goal. 

Check out our breakdown of the game below.


CAGLIARI

Key Talking Point

Joao Pedro

Cagliari would have felt a little hard done by not to get anything from this match. Rolando Maran’s side worked their socks off throughout the match and thoroughly deserved the equaliser they got early in the second half.

It was a good team performance from the Sardinians, but Radja Nainggolan, Joao Pedro and Nahitan Nandez played particularly well and their overall performance should keep the Cagliari fans optimistic.

On a contrasting note, the racist chanting directed towards ?Romelu Lukaku is the latest incident in a pattern of behaviour from Cagliari fans. One can only hope that the Italian FA gives them an appropriate punishment this time.

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Olsen (6); Pisacane (6), Ceppitelli (7), Klavan (6); Nandez (7), Rog (6), Nainggolan (7), Ionita (7); Pellegrini (6); Cerri (5), Joao Pedro (7). 

Substitutes: Simeone (6), Castro (N/A), Cigarini (N/A)


STAR MAN: Nahitan Nandez appears to have adapted well to Italian football since his €18m record move to the Sardegna Arena from Boca Juniors this summer. He put in an excellent performance on the wing both in terms of defence and attack, while also assisting Joao Pedro’s equaliser. 


INTERNAZIONALE

?

Key Talking Point

It wasn’t a brilliant performance from the ?Nerazzurri, but they’ll be happy with the victory all the same. An unbeaten start to the season will put a smile on the faces of Inter fans going into the international break. 

Lukaku and Stefano Sensi have proven to be astute acquisitions so far given their good performances in their first two appearances for Inter. They don’t work quite as well as a unit, but this is to be expected this early in the season. 

Lautaro Martinez

If they improve their team cohesion by the time they face Udinese in two weeks time, Inter could be in for a very good season. 

Player Ratings

Starting XIHandanovic (6); D’Ambrosio (6), Ranocchia (6), Skriniar (6); Candreva (6), Vecino (6), Brozovic (6), Sensi (7), Asamoah (7); Martinez (7), Lukaku (7).

Substitutes: Barella (6), Politano (N/A), Godin (N/A)


STAR MAN: What a start he’s had to his Inter career. Two goals from two games will surely silence the last of his critics. His penalty, which proved decisive, was taken in a cool fashion amid disgraceful abuse from the Cagliari fans. 

If Lukaku keeps this up, he may soon become a fan favourite at San Siro. 


Looking Ahead

Antonio Conte will be pleased with two wins from two and should give his Inter side a great amount of confidence ahead of the international break. Their schedule gets significantly more packed after the break, and they’ll be hoping to continue this form as the fixtures begin to pile up. 

Cagliari, on the other hand, can take pride from their performance but will be conscious that they must begin to get points on the board if they are to have a successful campaign. 

More importantly, they and the Italian authorities must investigate the sections of fans involved in the abuse of Lukaku.

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