Substitutes put Inter Milan on brink of Serie A title

·1 min read

ROME — Inter Milan won at last-placed Crotone 2-0 on Saturday to give it a chance to clinch the Serie A before the weekend ends.

Inter moved 14 points clear of Atalanta with four games to play. If Atalanta doesn’t win at Sassuolo on Sunday, Inter will clinch its first title since 2010.

Crotone was relegated.

Christian Eriksen scored midway through the second half on a play begun with a backheel flick from fellow substitute Alexis Sanchez. Four minutes after the subs went on, Romelu Lukaku took Sanchez’s creative pass and left it for Eriksen to score with a drive that deflected in off a defender.

Achraf Hakimi sealed it for Inter by finishing off a counterattack in stoppage time.

It took another piece of Conte’s well-connected puzzle, the new defensive trio of Milan Škriniar, Stefan de Vrij and Alessandro Bastoni, to produce another clean sheet.

The “LuLa” strike tandem of Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez accounted for two shots off the post.

Stefano Sensi, another usual bench member, got a rare start and was involved in several first half chances.

Earlier, a late equalizer from Riccardo Saponara earned Serie A debutant Spezia a much-needed point at Hellas Verona in a 1-1 draw. Spezia, based in Liguria, moved three points clear of the relegation zone.

Later, AC Milan hosted Benevento.

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Andrew Dampf is at https://twitter.com/AndrewDampf

Andrew Dampf, The Associated Press