Inter Milan moved to the top of Serie A standings after thrashing bottom placed Salernitana 5-0 with Lautaro Martinez scoring a hat-trick and Edin Dzeko adding a brace to wrap up the win at the San Siro on Friday.
Victory gave Simone Inzaghi’s Inter Milan a slim one-point lead over Napoli in the second place and third-placed derby rivals AC Milan, who meet on Sunday in Naples. Salernitana remain rooted to the bottom still 10 points from the safety zone.
It was a case of deja-vu for The Garnets as Inter won by the same scoreline at Salernitana in December. It is the first time in 63 years that a team has scored 10 times against one opposition in Serie A without conceding a goal.
Inter took the lead in the 22nd minute when Nicolo Barella played a perfect through-ball for Martinez, who beat the offside trap and found the bottom corner to score his first goal in 10 outings.
Barella was bossing the midfield and the pair combined again before half-time when Martinez found space between two defenders and delayed his shot to make room for himself before sliding the ball past a hapless Luigi Sepe in Salernitana’s goal.
The Argentinian completed his hat trick 11 minutes after the break when Dzeko laid the ball into the box for the 24-year-old striker to smash it into the net.
Dzeko had created numerous opportunities and the striker was duly rewarded when he scored twice in five minutes, first finishing at the near post from Robin Gosens’ cut back before putting away Denzel Dumfries’ cross on a counter-attack.
This dominating performance should boost their hopes of securing back-to-back Serie A titles after a string of underwhelming performances.
Inter will now shift their focus to the Champions League last-16, second leg when they will attempt to overturn a 2-0 deficit against Liverpool at Anfield on Tuesday.