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Internazionale v Spezia Live Commentary, 12/1/21

FT
2 - 0
INT
SPE
R. Gagliardini (36)
L. Martínez (58 pen)
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza

Commentary

Thanks for joining us for live coverage of Inter's 2-0 victory over Spezia in Serie A.
That three points for the hosts moves them up to second place, two points above rivals Milan and just a point behind leaders Napoli. For the visitors meanwhile, they remain just one place above the relegation zone and only a point is keeping them above it.
And so the game finishes as a comfortable 2-0 victory for Inzaghi's men. They dominated the first half and finally took the lead on 36 minutes after some clever link-up play between Martinez and Gagliardini allowed the Italian midfielder to finish past Provedel. The visitors didn't really threaten until Handanovic made a crucial save from an Amian header in first half injury time. Inter came out of the blocks for the second half on fire though and should've been further in front before they finally were when Kiwior handled in the box from a Martinez shot, before the Argentinian striker stepped up to smash home to double his side's advantage. They could've added to their tally late on but seemed happy enough to cruise to a 2-0 victory.
90' + 4' FULL-TIME: INTER 2-0 SPEZIA
90' + 2' Provedel makes another decent save to deny Vidal with his feet after he was played in by Sanchez down the right.
90' There will be three minutes of additional time at the end of this match.
M. Vecino
M. Brozović
Internazionale
87' Vecino is on for Brozovic.
A. Vidal
R. Gagliardini
Internazionale
87' First-half goalscorer Gagliardini comes off for the experienced midfielder Vidal.
87' Dzeko blazes an effort high and wide despite having other options to his left. His teammates don't look too pleased with him.
86' Gyasi sends a header at goal after a cross came over from the right but Handanovic is able to get down and easily gather it.
84' Manaj fires a volley at goal from 25 yards out but Handanovic is able to get across and palm it away. That was a decent effort from the front man.
82' Gyasi spearheads Spezia's first attack in a while, until he spoons his cross well over the crossbar. There has been very little attacking threat from the visitors in this second half.
80' D'Ambrosio crosses for the back post, however it nearly ends up sneaking in without anyone getting on the end of it.
78' The visitors have lost their last four away games, conceding 14 goals in these matches.
76' Gagliardini sends a header wide from a cross from the left.
A. Sánchez
J. Correa
Internazionale
73' Sanchez also comes on in place of Correa.
E. Džeko
L. Martínez
Internazionale
73' The lively Martinez is brought off for Dzeko.
72' Perisic wins the header from the corner that he won but just can't get it to go downwards and it ends up flying over.
71' The Inter wing-backs have caused all sorts of issues this evening. This time it's Perisic who sends a cross in that Hristov is forced to deal with.
D. Verde
E. Salcedo
Spezia
69' Verde comes on for Salcedo.
S. Sensi
H. Çalhanoğlu
Internazionale
69' That was the Turkish midfielder's last action of the game, as Inzaghi takes him off for Sensi.
68' Calhanoglu sends a poor free-kick off the wall.
66' Since the beginning of the 2020/21 season, no team has won more home games in the five major European leagues than Inter.
G. Maggiore
V. Kovalenko
Spezia
64' Kovalenko is replaced by Maggiore.
M. Bourabia
J. Sala
Spezia
64' Bourabia comes on for Sala.
62' This could get embarrassing quickly for the visitors if they don't tighten up at the back.
60' It should be 3-0! Provedel makes a big save to keep his side in the game after Martinez and Calhanoglu link up well in the box. The Turkish midfielder shoots but Spezia's keeper is able to punch it away.
L. Martínez
Penalty Goal
Internazionale
58' Martinez makes it 2-0! He steps up and smashes his penalty into the bottom left corner, sending Provedel the wrong way. It's going to be a long way back for the visitors now.
J. Kiwior
Yellow Card
Spezia
56' Kiwior goes in the book for his handball that led to the penalty.
56' The hosts have a penalty! Martinez shows some clever skill to dink the ball back over his own head before firing at goal. Kiwior is deemed to handle the ball and the referee points straight to the spot.
54' Close again for the hosts! A Perisic corner from the left is headed away but only to Calhanoglu on the edge of the box, who rifles one straight at Provedel.
52' Martinez hits the crossbar! The ball sits up for him in the box and he absolutely rattles past a helpless Provedel and off the crossbar.
50' Martinez shoots from outside the box. It dips just in front of the keeper but he is equal to it, although it looked as if it was going wide anyway.
48' Inter have picked up where they left off, dominating the ball and trying to create chances.
46' The visitors get us back underway for the second period.
Salvador Ferrer
K. Amian
Spezia
46' Ferrer also comes on at half-time, replacing Amian.
S. Bastoni
A. Reca
Spezia
46' Bastoni is on for Reca at the break.
That Amian header was a big let-off for the hosts, who will look to put this game to bed early in the second half to stop any ideas Spezia have of making a surprising comeback. The hosts certainly have the firepower on the bench, but who will Inzaghi choose to bring on?
So we go to the break with the scoreline 1-0 to the hosts. It's a deserved lead for them too, as they could have gone in front on numerous occasions before they actually did. Correa and Martinez went closest, but it was Gagliardini who did finally put his side in front on 36 minutes after a clever flick created the space for Gagliardini to finish past Provedel from just inside the area. For all of the Inter dominance though, Spezia could well have gone into the break level as Amian rose highest to meet a Kovalenko cross. His header seemed destined for the back of the net until Handanovic got a strong hand on it to push it wide. As it is though, Inzaghi's men go into half-time a goal to the good.
45' + 2' HALF-TIME: INTER 1-0 SPEZIA
45' + 1' So close for the visitors! Completely against the run of play, the visitors send a corner from the left that Amian is able to get on the end of. He sends a hard header low and into the corner, but somehow Handanovic is able to get down and push it wide. Martinez then goes down the other end and sends a decent effort straight at Provedel.
L. Martínez
Yellow Card
Internazionale
44' The referee decides to only book Martinez. The striker is perhaps lucky there.
44' Martinez could be in big trouble here. Erlic clatters into the striker as the ball comes into his feet. The referee waves play on as his side have the advantage. Martinez then gets up and sets his eyes on Erlic. He charges into the centre-back and knocks him over.
42' Skriniar sends a header well over from a corner. The hosts are certainly piling the pressure on before half-time.
40' What a block! Correa shows some more clever footwork to create space in the box, and his effort looks headed for the bottom corner until Kiwior gets a leg to it.
38' Spezia have lost all four of their Serie A away matches played in Lombardy, losing both against Milan and Inter at the San Siro while also losing twice against Atalanta.
L. Martínez
Assist
Internazionale
36' Martinez's clever flick gave the ball to Gagliardini who finished with aplomb.
R. Gagliardini
Goal
Internazionale
36' The hosts have their goal! Gagliardini has got the opening goal after some really clever interplay. D'Ambrosio played it into Martinez, who flicked it between his own legs to Gagliardini who couldn't miss. He places the ball into the bottom left corner of the net, giving Provedel no chance to make it 1-0.
35' Perisic sends a brilliant delivery low across the face of goal, but somehow nobody is there to turn it in. D'Ambrosio then goes to smash a loose ball in the box but instead takes out Sala with a big swing of his leg.
33' Dumfries is down momentarily after that foul by Manaj, but he is up and okay to continue.
R. Manaj
Yellow Card
Spezia
31' After being tackled with a hard but fair challenge from Calhanoglu, Manaj then gets up and sticks a poor foul on Dumfries. It's enough to warrant a free-kick and a yellow card for the striker, who can't really have any complaints.
30' Inzaghi's men have just turned up the heat in the last couple of minutes as they look for an opening goal. There seems to be a bit more urgency in their attacking play.
28' Dumfries rifles a decent left-footed effort at goal from outside the box that Provedel was able to punch away.
26' Martinez fires wide from outside the box after Dumfries found him. That certainly had Provdel scampering to his right, although it looked as if he would have had it covered.
25' Gagliardini sends a superb cross in between Provedel and the defence but Kiwior is able to turn it behind for a corner, which comes to nothing.
24' Inter were unbeaten in the two games these sides played last season, winning the home fixture whilst drawing 1-1 in the reverse match.
22' Brozovic gives it away in midfield and for a moment it looks as if the visitors are going to be in on goal. However Salcedo is forced to pass backwards and then Sala opts to shoot from 25 yards out. His effort doesn't have the power or direction to threaten Handanovic and Brozovic breathes a big sigh of relief.
20' Gyasi and Manaj have Spezia's first two shots of the contest from outside the box, however both are blocked and never really posed any danger to Handanovic in the Inter goal.
18' Correa cheekily tries to block off Amian as Perisic ran past the full-back, however referee Davide Ghersini spots it and awards the free-kick.
16' Dimarco drives forward from defence and links up well with Correa, however his low cross deflects off the foot of Hristov and nestles in Provedel's arms.
14' Brozovic sends a cross in with his left foot that pings around in the area, causing chaos. Nobody is able to get a proper shot at goal though and the visitors survive.
12' Reca is forced to be alert to turn a cross behind as Dumfries lurked looking to pounce on any mistake. Calhanoglu whips the resulting corner in, but Gyasi is there at the near post to nod it clear.
10' Close for Correa! The ball is fed to him on the edge of the box and he shifts onto his right foot, creating a yard of space to shoot. He can't get enough bend on it though, and it flies wide left of Provedel's goal.
8' Martinez tries a speculative volley at goal from 25 yards out as the ball comes down from the sky. He slices it badly though and it's nowhere near the goal.
6' The visitors are choosing to leave Manaj and either Salcedo or Gyasi upfield when defending. Will they be able to catch the hosts on the counter at some point?
4' Correa wins a corner as Hristov blocks his cross behind. The ball is whipped in but it's well defended and then cleared upfield.
3' The hosts are having the majority of the early possession here as they look to create an early chance. Spezia look quite happy to sit back and let Inter have the ball.
1' The home side get us underway at the San Siro.
The two teams make their way out onto the pitch.
Visiting boss Thiago Motta opts to go with six changes as he starts a completely different front three to the 1-0 defeat against Bologna. Gyasi, Manaj and Salcedo start up front while Hristov replaces Nikolaou in the back line.
Home manager Simone Inzaghi makes four changes as Martinez starts ahead of Dzeko up front while Dumfries comes in for Darmian. Gagliardini is in for Barella while D’Ambrosio comes in for the injured Bastoni.
SUBS: Simone Bastoni, Jeroen Zoet, Daniele Verde, Giulio Maggiore, Salvador Ferrer, Dimitris Nikolaou, Mehdi Bourabia, M’Bala Nzola, Petar Zovko, David Strelec, Janis Antiste, Ebrima Colley.
SPEZIA (4-3-3): Ivan Provedel; Kelvin Amian, Martin Erlic, Petko Hristov, Jakub Kiwior; Viktor Kovalenko, Jacopo Sala, Arkadiusz Reca; Emmanuel Quartsin Gyasi, Rey Manaj, Eddie Salcedo.
SUBS: Alex Cordaz, Ionut Radu, Alexis Sanchez, Matias Vecino, Edin Dzeko, Stefano Sensi, Arturo Vidal, Nicolo Barella, Fabio Cortinovis, Mattia Zanotti, Franco Ezequiel Carboni, Martin Satriano, Mattia Ronald Sangalli.
INTER (3-5-2): Samir Handanovic; Danilo D’Ambrosio, Milan Skriniar, Federico Dimarco; Denzel Dumfries, Roberto Gagliardini, Marcelo Brozovic, Hakan Calhanoglu, Ivan Perisic; Joaquin Correa, Lautaro Martinez.
The visitors meanwhile are currently sat in 17th place, just a point above the relegation zone. They have lost three out of their last four and will look to pick up some form with a good result here.
The hosts come into this game in third and are unbeaten in six league games, winning four of those. They are just four points off leaders Napoli and a point behind second-placed rivals Milan.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the Serie A match between Inter and Spezia.