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Inter Milan Beat Empoli To Close In On Serie A Title | Football News

by Alexander
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Inter Milan Beat Empoli To Close In On Serie A Title | Football News

Inter Milan took another step towards the Serie A title on Monday with an emphatic 2-0 win over struggling Empoli, which maintained their 14-point lead at the top of the league. Federico Dimarco put Inter ahead after five minutes at the San Siro, before substitute Alexis Sanchez sealed the points in front of delighted home fans with nine minutes to go. With Monday’s comfortable victory, Inter needed only eleven points from eight games to guide second-placed AC Milan to twentieth place in the Italian league.

Inter have a huge lead over their local rivals, thanks in large part to youth star Dimarco, whose first goal from Alessandro Bastoni’s neat pass separated the hosts from their feisty opponents for most of the match.

It was Bastoni’s third assist in as many league matches and the Italian defender joked: “It was the worst of them all, Dimarco’s finish made it look much better!”

“We are very happy with the victory because we just came out of the international break and it is never easy to win after traveling around the world,” Bastoni added.

Simone Inzaghi’s side were a far cry from the scintillating form they showed before being knocked out of the Champions League by Atletico Madrid last month.

But Inter have dropped just two points since the turn of the year and Monday’s win was a good way to end a difficult few weeks.

Francesco Acerbi was acquitted late last month of racially abusing Napoli defender Juan Jesus, an ugly episode that dragged on during the international breakthrough as the Italian defender and Inter denied the accusation.

Acerbi started the match having avoided a possible 10-match ban after the Italian Football Federation’s disciplinary board decided there was not enough evidence to punish him.

A fourth consecutive defeat without scoring a goal saw Empoli slip back into the relegation zone after goals scored, swapping places with 17th-placed Frosinone, who drew 1-1 with Genoa on Saturday.

“If that run had damaged our confidence you would have seen it with a poor performance tonight, but it didn’t,” Empoli coach Davide Nicola said.

Bologna continues

Bologna edged past Serie A bottom side Salernitana 3-0 to continue their journey to a first-ever appearance in the Champions League.

Stunning first-half goals from Riccardo Orsolini and Alexis Saelemaekers and Charalampos Lykogiannis’ fine stoppage-time finish left Bologna in fourth place, five points above Roma, who were held to a goalless draw in Lecce.

Thiago Motta’s side have won eight of their last nine matches and not only look to have a good chance of reaching Europe’s top club competition, but also have Juventus in their sights.

Juve are just two points ahead of Bologna in third place after their latest defeat to Lazio on Saturday and have been dragged back into contention for the Champions League.

Bologna are currently in last place, but Serie A is firmly in the race for an extra place in next year’s revamped tournament, meaning fifth place might be good enough.

Both Bologna and Roma host Juve before the end of the season.

“We are doing very well at the moment, with the way we are playing and the results we are getting,” Motta told Sky Sport.

Although the seven-time Italian champions played one round in the old European Cup in 1964, the same year they last won the Scudetto, they have never competed in the modern Champions League.

Last season’s ninth-place finish was Bologna’s highest finish in Serie A for over a decade and they are well on course for their best finish in years.

“It is clear that we look at the table, but that is not what matters to us. What is important is the work done in training and the performance on the field,” said Saelemaekers.

Stefano Colantuono could not turn around Salernitana’s fortunes in his first game in charge, with his team suffering a third straight defeat as they slipped towards Serie B.

Salernitana has not won a single match since the turn of the year and is 12 points away from safety.

(This story has not been edited by WhatsNew2Day staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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