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Key Events

Felipe Melo
G. Medel
E. Martins
A. Candreva
A. Gnoukouri
G. Kondogbia
G. Marilungo
R. Saponara
M. Zambelli
V. Laurini
João Mário
Yellow Card
D. Croce
Marcel Büchel
M. Maccarone
Yellow Card
João Miranda
Yellow Card
G. Medel
Yellow Card
João Mário
Assist
M. Icardi
Goal
A. Candreva
Assist
M. Icardi
Goal
J. Murillo
Yellow Card
3
1
3
4

Stats

Possession
% %
5
5
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target 3 4
Total Passes 508 447

Commentary

As for Inter, they have won back-to-back wins for the first time since April ahead of Sunday's game against Bologna, who sit just one point behind them. Empoli, meanwhile, must face Lazio in what will most likely be a tough game at the Stadio Olimpico.
The referee blows his whistle for the final time and confirms Inter's second victory in quick succession. They took their foot off the pedal slightly in the second half but never looked in danger of letting their lead slip against an Empoli side that struggled to create chances. Dimarco looked bright down the left wing whilst Pucciarelli got himself into some good positions, but, overall, it was a disappointing night for the home side, who created very few chances and barely tested Handanovic.
FULL-TIME: EMPOLI 0-2 INTER
Maccarone picks up the ball in a good position inside the Inter penalty area and spins quickly before trying to shoot, but he slips at the vital moment and is unable to do so, allowing the visitors to comfortably clear the danger and bring an end to what will surely be the final attacking move of the night.
Great strike by Pucciarelli! The striker is presented with a wonderful chance to fire in a late goal for Empoli, but he ends up thumping his shot from the edge of the penalty area just over the top of the crossbar. What a goal that would have been!
Eder picks up the ball deep down the right wing and initially tries to hold it up near to the corner flag before deciding to cut inside and head towards the penalty area, but he's out-muscled by Dimarco and is unable to get a cross away before the ball rolls harmlessly out of play.
Maccarone charges down the left wing before latching on to a stray pass forward, but as soon as he makes contact with the ball he's clattered into by Melo, who dispossesses the veteran striker with a wonderful sliding tackle that results in a throw-in for Inter.
The fourth official has indicated that there will be six minutes of added time.
Empoli pick up the ball on the halfway line and immediately break away on a quick counter-attack down the left wing. Croce gets forward well before sending a swerving cross towards Maccarone, but, not for the first time this evening, Miranda is in the right place at the right time to deal with the danger.
Unconventional defending from Miranda! Dimarco picks up the ball in a pocket of space over on the left wing and immediately curls a dangerous cross towards the near post. Miranda gets down low to meet it, which he does, but he ends up sending a strange header down into the ground and out for a corner after seemingly losing his footing.
Felipe Melo
G. Medel
Internazionale
Inter have made their final alteration of the game, with Medel making way for Melo.
Empoli are pressing high up the pitch as they desperately try to find a way back into the game, but it just hasn't been their night. They've looked second best all over the pitch and have struggled to cause Inter too many problems in front of goal, resulting in Handanovic having a very comfortable evening.
Dimarco makes his way back on to the pitch and the game resumes once again, but the full-back doesn't look at all comfortable. It's all Inter at the moment as they patiently pass the ball around deep inside the Empoli half of the pitch.
There's another break in play as Dimarco receives medical treatment for what looks like cramp. The on-loan youngster has been excellent against his parent club this evening and will be disappointed if he has to go off at this late stage.
Eder almost makes it 3-0! Perisic charges into the left-hand side of the Empoli penalty area on a wonderful run before chipping a lovely cross into the middle of the box, where it finds Eder, but the striker's close-range volley ends up hitting into the ground and over the top of the crossbar.
A dangerous cross flies in from the left wing and almost finds Eder at the far post, but he's unable to find a way past Dimarco and ends up clattering into the full-back after the youngster does well to nod the ball out for a corner.
E. Martins
A. Candreva
Internazionale
Meanwhile, Candreva has made way for Eder for the final quarter of an hour.
A. Gnoukouri
G. Kondogbia
Internazionale
Inter have made their first change of the night, with Gnoukouri coming on to take the place of Kondogbia.
Empoli come back once again and work the ball around nicely before a deep cross is sent towards the far post, but it's slightly overhit and fails to find Croce, who had made a good run towards goal. Can the home side find a way back into the game at this late stage?
Big chance for Maccarone! A bouncing cross from the right wing is left by Pucciarelli and finds the veteran striker on the left-hand side of the Inter penalty area, but he completely scuffs his volleyed strike and sends it flying well wide of the goal. He really should have done better with that!
Barba tangles with Icardi and sends the Inter striker falling to the floor, resulting in a free-kick for the visitors in a dangerous position 35 yards away from the Empoli goal. Candreva steps up and sends a chipped cross towards the far post, but it fails to find either Perisic or Kondogbia and is easily dealt with by the home side.
Candreva and Mario link up wonderfully once again, this time slightly further up the right wing, before the former Lazio man charges towards the penalty area. He's quickly closed down by a group of blue shirts, however, and dispossessed before he can set up Icardi.
G. Marilungo
R. Saponara
Empoli
Meanwhile, Marilungo has come on to replace Saponara.
M. Zambelli
V. Laurini
Empoli
Laurini will play no further part in the game and will be replaced by Zambelli after failing to make a quick recovery.
It's all Inter at the moment as they desperately look for their third goal of the game. Candreva and Mario link up well deep down the right wing before the latter tries to swing a cross into the Empoli box, but he's unable to beat his marker and has to settle for a throw-in.
Laurini seems to have picked up an injury after being caught whilst charging down the left wing on a marauding run, so there's a brief break in play whilst he receives medical treatment over on the sideline. It looks as if his night is over.
Vital interception by Miranda! Pucciarelli does well to keep the ball in play deep down the right wing before scooping a cross towards Saponara and Maccarone, but both of the Empoli men are beaten to the ball by Miranda, who does wonderfully well to throw his body in the way of the cross.
A long ball is launched up to the edge of the Empoli penalty area, where it finds Icardi. The striker brings it down easily before teeing up Candreva, but the winger's thumping low shot fails to beat Skorupski and instead flies straight into the hands of the goalkeeper in the middle of the goal.
Pucciarelli goes down inside the Inter penalty area, but nothing is given! The Empoli striker weaves into the box at the end of a good move from the home side before going down under a challenge from D'Ambrosio. He claims that he was caught in the face by the full-back, but the referee doesn't agree and allows play to go on.
Inter haven't been at their best since the break, but they're comfortably managing to hold on to their two-goal lead without giving away many chances to Empoli. The hosts have really struggled when pushing forward and, bar a few runs from Maccarone, have done very little.
João Mário
Yellow Card
Internazionale
The corner is comfortably dealt with by Empoli, who then break forward quickly before Croce is brought down by a hefty challenge from Mario, who receives a yellow card as a result.
Icardi breaks towards the edge of the Empoli penalty area and holds the ball up well before spinning and sending a lovely cross over to Candreva. The winger is in a great position at the far post but is put off by a vital touch from Dimarco that sends the ball bouncing out for a corner.
D. Croce
Marcel Büchel
Empoli
Empoli have decided to make their first substitution of the evening, with Buchel, who has had a tough evening, making way for Croce.
Great opportunity for Icardi! Kondogbia charges into the right-hand side of the Empoli penalty area before cutting a smart pass back to Icardi, but the captain is unable to wrap up his hat-trick and instead sends his close-range effort bobbling into the hands of Skorupski at the near post.
Another good run from Maccarone sees the striker muscle his way towards the byline before thumping a cross into the middle of the Inter box. It almost finds Pucciarelli, who had made a good run towards goal, but the bouncing ball ends up missing the number 20 by the narrowest of margins before being dealt with by Kondogbia.
Maccarone patiently makes his way down the left wing before being pushed to the ground by Miranda, resulting in a free-kick for Empoli in an advantageous position. It's whipped towards the near post by the veteran striker and almost finds Bellusci, but Santon is there to cut out the danger with a vital header away.
Chance for Pucciarelli! A lofted pass forward isn't dealt with by the Inter back line and falls into the lap of the Empoli striker just inside the penalty area, but he scuffs his attempted volley and ends up sending the ball bouncing high over the top of the crossbar. He really should have done better with that!
M. Maccarone
Yellow Card
Empoli
Maccarone charges into Murillo and brings the Colombian crashing to the ground with a hefty, high-footed challenge on the halfway line, resulting in him becoming the first Empoli player to receive a yellow card.
It's Empoli who push forward on the first attack of the second half as they move the ball around nicely inside the Inter half of the pitch. However, a promising attacking move eventually comes to an end before Kondogbia fires the ball up towards Candreva and out for a throw-in.
And we're underway once again!
The two teams are making their way back out on to the pitch ahead of the start of the second half. Neither side have made any substitutions during the half-time break.
Bar a late push by Empoli, it's been a relatively easy opening 45 minutes for Inter, who are on course to pick up back-to-back victories for the first time since April. Sloppy defending from the home side gifted Icardi with two opportunities to score, and they were both taken with aplomb by the captain. In truth, the Nerazzurri could have scored two or three more, but Empoli just about managed to hold on to give themselves a slither of hope in the second half.
HALF-TIME: EMPOLI 0-2 INTER
Inter patiently pass the ball around midway inside the Empoli half of the pitch as they try to find a way through the sea of blue shirts in front of them. They're unable to do so and Mario eventually decides to unleash a long-range effort, but it's well blocked by the wall of players on the edge of the penalty area.
Empoli really struggled at the start of the game, but they're coming back into it now and are starting to cause plenty of problems for the Inter defence, who are desperately trying to hold on to their two-goal lead before the half-time break. Dimarco, who has arguably been their best player, twists and turns down the left flank as he tries to take on Candreva, but the winger doesn't allow him a way through before shepherding the ball out for a throw-in.
Saponara picks up the ball just outside of the Inter penalty area and is immediately stamped on by Kondogbia, resulting in a free-kick for Empoli in an incredibly dangerous position. Maccarone spends what feels like an age eyeing up his target, but his thumping strike ends up flying straight into the wall of white shirts camped on the edge of the box.
After a few nervy minutes, Inter regain possession and push forward on another dangerous attacking move down the right wing, but Candreva's curling cross into the middle of the box fails to find Icardi and is instead easily cleared by the head of Bellusci.
Another wonderful strike by Dimarco! The left-back is thoroughly enjoying himself down the left flank and unleashes another dangerous strike, this time from 25 yards out, but his thumping effort is once again pushed wide of the far post by an acrobatic save from Handanovic.
Excellent save by Handanovic! Dimarco breaks forward down the right wing and plays a lovely one-two with Saponara before testing Handanovic with a great shot over to the far post, but the goalkeeper sticks out a long arm and tips the effort out for a corner.
Kondogbia goes close! Again, far too much space is left available in the middle of the pitch, allowing Kondogbia to charge forward on an excellent run. He powers his way past three Empoli players before unleashing a 25-yard strike, but there's slightly too much power behind the shot and it ends up sailing a few yards over the top of the crossbar.
Saponara charges into the left-hand side of the Inter box as he tries to latch on to a chipped pass forward, but he's immediately put under pressure by D'Ambrosio and is unable to do so before running out of pitch. It just hasn't worked for Empoli thus far.
Chance for D'Ambrosio! Candreva flies down the right wing on an excellent run before cutting the ball back to D'Ambrosio, who is in acres of space on the edge of the Empoli penalty area. He immediately fires a side-footed shot towards goal, but Skorupski gets down well to stop the ball from finding the back of the net.
D'Ambrosio cuts inside from the left wing and heads towards the penalty area before being tripped over by Buchel, resulting in a free-kick for Inter in a dangerous position. A lovely cross is chipped into the middle of the penalty area, where it finds Murillo, but the centre-back's header ends up bouncing the wrong side of the near post.
Icardi is finding far too much joy deep inside the Empoli half of the pitch, where he's continually causing the hosts problems. Another poor mistake from the home side's defence gifts the ball straight to Icardi, but the striker's first touch is slightly too heavy and Skorupski is able to cut out the danger before the goalscorer unleashes a shot.
Candreva tries to charge down the right flank after dispossessing Dimarco, but the full-back rushes back to dispossess the Inter winger. The former Lazio man isn't at all happy with the tackle, however, and he rolls around on the floor before berating the referee for what he thought was an obvious free-kick.
João Miranda
Yellow Card
Internazionale
Inter aren't taking any prisoners with their tackles. Miranda becomes the latest Nerazzurri player to enter the referee's book after he brings Maccarone crashing to the ground with a clumsy challenge in the middle of the pitch.
Empoli are all over the place! A series of sloppy passes almost gifts Icardi with an opportunity to charge towards goal once again, but the final one takes a slight touch off an Inter player and results in the captain being offside just as he makes contact with the ball.
G. Medel
Yellow Card
Internazionale
A deep cross from Perisic is cut out on the right-hand side of the Empoli penalty area, and the hosts immediately break away on a counter-attack. Saponara charges through the middle of the pitch before taking on Medel on the halfway line, but he's dragged back by the Chilean, who receives a yellow card as a result.
A high and looping cross from Candreva finds Perisic over on the left-hand side of the box, but his thumping volley is blocked by Laurini and fails to trouble Skorupski before bouncing out of play for a throw-in. Inter are all over Empoli at the moment and are making life a misery for the hosts.
Perisic storms down the left wing on a great run before swinging a low, bouncing cross into the heart of the Empoli penalty area. It almost finds Icardi on the edge of the six-yard box, but the striker is muscled out of the way at the vital moment to stop him from completing his hat-trick at this early stage of the game.
João Mário
Assist
Internazionale
Mario did wonderfully well to weight his pass perfectly, but, once again, Empoli were all over the place defensively and were far too timid in possession.
M. Icardi
Goal
Internazionale
GOAL! It's 2-0 to Inter! Buchel is muscled off the ball far too easily in the middle of the pitch, allowing Mario to pick up possession before slotting a lovely through-ball into the path of Icardi. The captain charges into the Empoli box and goes one-on-one with Skorupski before calmly beating the goalkeeper with a lovely side-footed shot.
Inter initially look to have carved the Empoli back line in two with another quick counter-attack down the right flank, but this time Candreva's run is slightly mistimed and the linesman's flag is raised just as he meets the ball inside the hosts' half of the pitch.
Almost a costly mistake by Skorupski! A curling cross from Candreva flies into the middle of the Empoli penalty area, but Skorupski ends up flapping at the ball and sends it bouncing over to Perisic. The Croatian quickly tries to catch out the goalkeeper with a thumping volley, but there isn't enough power behind it to beat Bellusci on the edge of the six-yard box.
Saponara drifts out to the left wing and picks up the ball in a dangerous position just outside of the Inter penalty area. He then spots a run forward from Pucciarelli and tries to pick out the striker with a deft through-ball, but Handanovic does well to cut out the danger at the vital moment.
A. Candreva
Assist
Internazionale
That was a lovely little chip from Candreva to pick out Icardi, but questions have to be asked of the Empoli defence. They stepped off the Inter winger and gave him far too much space in which to operate.
M. Icardi
Goal
Internazionale
GOAL! Inter have taken the lead! Candreva is left in far too much space on the right-hand side of the Empoli penalty area, allowing him to take a quick touch before chipping a lovely cross over to the far post. Icardi reads the flight of the ball brilliantly and flies through the middle of Laurini and Bellusci before beating Skorupski with an excellent diving header.
After starting brightly, Empoli are starting to struggle when Inter break away on quick counter-attacks. The hosts are leaving far too much space available down both wings, with Candreva taking particular advantage with some great runs down the right channel.
Vital interception by Bellusci! A half-hearted Empoli attack breaks down, allowing Inter to hit the hosts on a quick counter. Candreva flies down the right wing before slotting a low cross into the penalty area and towards Icardi, but this time the strike is beaten to the ball by Bellusci before he can get a shot away from close range.
Tackles are flying in all over the place, and this time it's Medel who is penalised for a foul over on the right wing. Dimarco steps up and whips a dangerous cross into the heart of the Inter penalty area, but it's well dealt with by the visitors.
J. Murillo
Yellow Card
Internazionale
Early yellow card for Murillo! After dealing with the danger, Maccarone charges forward on a quick counter-attack. He flies through the middle of the pitch on a marauding run but is upended by Murillo, who brings the veteran crashing to the ground with a hefty sliding challenge.
Inter embark on a good start to the game before a dangerous cross is whipped in from the right wing. It looks set to find Icardi in front of goal, but Barba does well to throw his body in the way to stop him from doing so.
And we're off! Inter get us underway, attacking from right to left.
The two sides are making their way out onto the pitch, with just a few minutes to go until kick-off.
Meanwhile, Inter boss Frank de Boer has made just two alterations to the team that featured against Juventus in their last outing, with Eder and Ever Banega, the latter of whom is suspended, making way for Geoffrey Kondogbia and Ivan Perisic.
Giovanni Martusciello has decided to make five changes to the Empoli side that started the draw against Torino on the weekend, with Federico Barba, Federico Dimarco, Assane Diousse, Marcel Buchel and Massimo Maccarone coming into the starting line-up to replace Andrea Costa, Manuel Pasqual, Jose Mauri, Daniele Croce and Alberto Gilardino, respectively.
Inter substitutes: Melo, Palacio, Jovetic, Ranocchia, Ansaldi, Martins, Gnoukouri, Carrizo, Nagatomo, Yao, Miangue, Gabriel.
Inter XI (4-2-3-1): Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, Miranda, Murillo, Santon; Medel, Kondogbia; Candreva, Mario, Perisic; Icardi.
Empoli substitutes: Zambelli, Mauri, Mchedlidze, Croce, Maiello, Gilardino, Pasqual, Pelagotti, Cosic, Pereira, Krunic, Marilungo.
Empoli XI (4-3-2-1): Skorupski; Laurini, Bellusci, Barba, Dimarco; Tello, Diousse, Buchel; Saponara; Pucciarelli, Maccarone.
There’s just over 15 minutes left to go until kick-off, so let’s have a look at how the two teams will be lining up this evening…
Inter have dominated this fixture in recent years, with nine of the last 10 meetings between the two sides ending in victories for the Nerazzurri. It's now over a decade since Empoli last won, with that victory coming on this very ground thanks to a last-minute Marco Materazzi own-goal. Inter captain Mauro Icardi has enjoyed playing against Empoli in recent seasons, and he heads into tonight's clash with four goals in his last three appearances against the Azzurri.
As for Empoli, they started the new Serie A season with back-to-back defeats against Sampdoria and Udinese but are now unbeaten in their last two games. A 2-1 win at home to Crotone just over a week ago handed them their first points of the campaign before they went on to hold Torino to a goaless draw in Turin on Sunday. As a result, they will no doubt make life tough for an Inter side that still look relatively shaky.
Instead, Inter bounced back in emphatic fashion to pick up a memorable 2-1 win, their first against Juventus in almost four years. It will no doubt have done wonders for new boss Frank de Boer, who, despite being in the job little over a month, already finds himself under an incredible amount of pressure. That has not subsided entirely, so another positive showing is needed here this evening.
When Sunday's game between Inter and Juventus kicked off at San Siro, many were expecting the struggling Nerazzurri to find themselves on the end of a painful thumping from the previously unbeaten league champions. Up until then, Inter had looked clueless in all areas of the pitch, resulting in them picking up just one league win before being embarrassed in a 2-0 defeat against Hapoel Be'er Sheva in the Europa League last week.
Good evening and welcome to our live text commentary of today's Serie A game between Empoli and Inter at the Stadio Carlo Castellani.
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