Inter seven points clear after Lukaku inspiration

Inter seven points clear after Lukaku inspiration

Inter Milan moved seven points clear at the top of Serie A on Sunday as Romelu Lukaku scored after 32 seconds and got an assist in a 3-0 win over mid-table Genoa.

The Belgian striker drove through the heart of the visiting defence and fired in his 18th league goal of the season to register his club’s second-fastest Serie A strike since Opta started taking records in 2004.

Lukaku teed up Matteo Darmian for Inter’s second after 69 minutes and was again involved for their third, when his shot was saved but headed in on the rebound by substitute Alexis Sanchez.

The result leaves league leaders Inter seven points ahead of second-placed AC Milan, who play Roma later on Sunday, and 10 points clear of Juventus in third. They were held by Hellas Verona on Saturday.

Lukaku powered through to score inside the opening minute and the hosts never looked like relinquishing their lead.

Nicolo Barella’s curling strike hit the bar and Lukaku had a powerful effort saved by Mattia Perin, before Darmian broke Genoa’s resistance with a drilled effort.

Sanchez’s header wrapped up the points moments after the Chilean came on, but he had to wait for VAR to overturn an incorrect offside call.

Romelu Lukaku set Matteo Darmian up for his goal later in the game

Romelu Lukaku set Matteo Darmian up for his goal later in the game

Perin was to thank for keeping the score down as he denied Danilo D’Ambrosio and Sanchez with superb diving saves late on.

Earlier, Atalanta moved into fourth place and drew level with Juve on 46 points after a 2-0 win at Sampdoria, thanks to goals from Ruslan Malinovskyi and Robin Gosens.

New Cagliari coach Leonardo Semplici enjoyed a debut to remember as he oversaw a 2-0 win away to bottom side Crotone to end a 16-match winless league run stretching back to November 7. A Leonardo Pavoletti header and Joao Pedro penalty earned the victory, leaving the Sardinian side 18th with 18 points, two adrift of safety.

A late Ilija Nestorovski header also gave Udinese a 1-0 win over Fiorentina.

Ligue 1 – Monaco stretch unbeaten run

Stefan Jovetic and Kevin Volland hit late goals as fourth-place Monaco beat Brest 2-0 to stretch their unbeaten league run to 12 games and stay in the title chase.

Brest goalkeeper Gautier Larsonneur justified his recall by saving Wissam Ben Yedder’s first-half penalty – Monaco’s first miss this season – and making a great save to stop defender Guillermo Maripan’s powerful header from a corner in the 74th minute.

But he was beaten one minute later when Jovetic advanced to the edge of the penalty area and let fly with a powerful shot into the bottom right corner.

Volland showed good timing to clip midfielder Aleksandr Golovin’s low freekick over Larsonneur and inside the right post in the 89th minute.

Elsewhere, Lorient were 2-1 winners at St Etienne, while Angers drew 2-2 at home to Lens. Nimes and Nantes drew 1-1 while Reims and Montpellier played out a goalless draw.

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