It was a game dominated by the Video Assistant Referee at the Stade Luigi Ferraris, when Sampdoria hosted Inter Milan on Saturday night. Inter’s start to the Serie A season hadn’t been one to set the pulses racing, four points from four games for Luciano Spalletti’s side, and their seemingly promising summer started to seem a long way away.
The Nerazzurri had managed a comeback win over Tottenham in the Champions League in midweek, though, and the hope was that it would help kick-start their league campaign, as they took the pitch away at Sampdoria. Inter looked like they had taken the lead just before halftime, Radja Nainggolan belting a shot into Emil Audero’s bottom corner, but the referee, via VAR intervention, ruled for offside in the build-up to Nainggolan’s effort. So, both sides went into halftime level.
A tight game was barely any different after the interval, Mauro Icardi heading wide for Inter, while at the other end Fabio Quagliarela came close with a long range attempt. But with less than five minutes to play, the drama began. First Kwadwo Asamoah rifled a shot into the back of the Sampdoria net, but Inter’s jubilations would be cut short, as again VAR intervened, rightly pointing out that the ball had gone out of play before it fell Asamoah’s way.
Then Sampdoria looked to have snatched the win minutes later, Gregoire Defrel sliding home a shot past Samir Handanovic, but again VAR was on hand to chalk it off, cutting Defrel’s elaborate celebrations short. The game seemed destined to be goalless, but deep into stoppage time, an Inter cross towards Sampdoria’s back post fell the way of Marcelo Brozovic, whose shot rifled past Audero and into the net. No VAR to deny Spalletti this time, as the manager roared into the cameras. Inter may well have kick-started their season at last.
There was no such luck for AC Milan, who could draw at home against Atalanta. They did get off to the perfect start, Suso playing in Gonzalo Higuain to score after just two minutes at the San Siro, and even when Papu Gomez equalised 10 minutes after the break, Milan restored their lead, Suso again the provider, this time Giacomo Bonaventura was the man to finish off the Spaniard’s assist. But just as victory was starting to look certain, Emiliano Rigoni emerged in stoppage time to grab a point for Gianpiero Gasperini’s side, and leave the Rossoneri in the bottom half.
Meanwhile, it’s now three in two league games for Cristiano Ronaldo, who gave Juventus a late lead at Frosinone, a lead which was doubled in stoppage time by Federico Bernadeschi, to make it five wins from five for the champions.
Elsewhere, Parma grabbed a second successive win at home to Cagliari, Ciro Immobile scored twice as Lazio romped Genoa in Rome, while Sassuolo lie in the top four after a win over Empoli.
Lorenzo Insigne’s double helped Napoli remain in second place after a win at Torino, while Roma’s bad start to the season continued, a defeat at Bologna means the Giallorossi have just one win from five league games.
Frosinone 0-2 Juventus
Sampdoria 0-1 Inter
Bologna 2-0 Roma
Sassuolo 3-1 Empoli
Fiorentina 3-0 SPAL
Parma 3-0 Cagliari
Milan 2-2 Atalanta
Lazio 4-1 Genoa
Chievo 0-2 Udinese
Torino 1-3 Napoli
Image Credit: Telegrafi