Inter makes 1st misstep in title defense with draw at Sampdoria

AP , Sunday 12 Sep 2021

Inter's Lautaro Martinez celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the Italian Serie A soccer match between Sampdoria and Inter Milan at the Luigi Ferraris stadium in Genoa, Italy, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021. AP

Inter Milan made the first misstep of its Serie A title defense with a 2-2 draw at Sampdoria on Sunday.

The result left the Nerazzurri two points behind Napoli, which extended its perfect start with a 2-1 win over Juventus on Saturday.

With nine goals in its opening three matches, Inter has not had trouble scoring after Romelu Lukaku's departure to Chelsea. But the team missed reliable center back Alessandro Bastoni, who was out with a left thigh injury that he picked up on international duty with Italy.

It remains unclear if Bastoni will return in time for Inter's Champions League opener against Real Madrid on Wednesday at the San Siro.

``It's regretful, because we should have and could have won a game like that,'' said Inter coach Simone Inzaghi, who replaced the departed Antonio Conte. ``We took the lead twice and we should have closed it out.''

Inter played the final minutes with 10 men due to an injury to midfielder Stefano Sensi, who appears doubtful for the Madrid game.

Homegrown talent Federico Dimarco opened the scoring for Inter by curling a free kick around Sampdoria's wall and into the top left corner for a memorable first goal with the senior club.

Maya Yoshida equalized for Sampdoria after the half-hour mark with a shot that was deflected in off Inter striker Edin Dzeko.

Lautaro Martinez restored Inter's advantage with an expert volley to conclude a counterattack started by Nicolo Barella, who provided a laser-like cross.

Barella, a key member of the Italy squad that won the European Championship, has provided assists in all three of Inter's matches this season.

In a match full of spectacular goals, Sampdoria's Tommaso Augello made it 2-2 with a volley similar to Lautaro's.

Later, AC Milan was playing Lazio and Roma was hosting Sassuolo.

Conflict of interest

Promoted Salernitana was routed 4-0 at Torino and has now conceded 11 goals and scored only two in three consecutive losses on its return to Serie A for the first time in nearly a quarter century.

Originally owned by Lazio president Claudio Lotito, the Italian Soccer Federation ordered a change in ownership for Salernitana due to conflict of interest rules that prevent multiple teams in the top division from having the same owner.

In June, control of Salernitana was handed over to a trust that must find a new owner by the end of the year.

Elsewhere, an 89th-minute goal from Lazar Samardzic earned Udinese a 1-0 win at Spezia to extend the Friuli club's unbeaten start; and Genoa came back from two goals down for a 3-2 win at Cagliari.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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