Game 13: Inter Milan 7.1 Atalanta (Serie A) 12.03.17
A trip to Milan meant an opportunity to visit one of Europe’s iconic grounds, the San Siro. Booking tickets was straightforward online and we took the Metro out to the ground. After a quick ticket and ID check we were into the ground and walking up several flights of steps to our seats to soak in the atmosphere.
Atalanta were 4th in the table, Inter 6th going into the game so I expected a close encounter. Atalanta started brightly and Gomez put a shot just wide before Inter took control. They won a free kick near the edge of the box and when the shot hit the defence it fell nicely for Icardi to slot past the keeper. Several minutes passed when Icardi was felled in the penalty area by the Atalanta keeper. The crowd were happy to get a penalty but less enamoured with the referee when the keeper just received a yellow card. Icardi took the penalty, a perfectly struck chip down the centre as the keeper dived to the right. Icardi then added a third with my favourite goal of the game, a great run to get into space and flick a header past the keeper. A perfect hat trick scored in just over 9 minutes after 26 minutes of the game, the quickest Inter league hat trick since 1948!
Inter added two more before half time, Candreva twice cutting the ball in from the right side of the box to set up Banega. Atalanta managed to pull a goal back just before half time, Freuler receiving the ball in space on the edge of the area and hitting a great shot past Handanovic. This was the first time Inter had scored 5 goals in the first half of a Serie A game since 1964 and the first time ever that Atalanta had conceded 5 goals in the first half of a Serie A match.
After the excitement of the first half, the second half was a closer affair with Inter remaining in control. We didn’t have a great view of the sixth goal as a drinks vendor was stood in the aisle, Gagliardini striking Banega’s cross into the top of the net. The final goal of the game saw Banega score the second hat trick of the game. He hit a freekick around the wall with the keeper motionless, the first time two Inter players have scored a hat trick in the same game since 1933.
After the game we walked around the stadium and took a tram back into central Milan. A truly remarkable game to celebrate Inter’s 109th anniversary and a result few in the 59,359 crowd would have predicted.
Inter – Handanovic,D’Ambrosio,Medel,Miranda,Gagliardini,Kondogbia,Candreva,Banega (Mario 70),Perisic (Eder 82),Icardi (Palacio 77)
Atalanta – Wolfli,Toloi,Caldara,Zubas,Conti,Kessie (Bastoni 61),Freuler,Marques (D’Allesandro 69),Kurtic,Gomez (Mounier 61),Petagna