Inter held out at Parma as two goals from Alexis Sanchez helped extend their lead at the top of Serie A to six points on Thursday night in a 2-1 victory.
For a side that hasn't won a game of football since November, Parma dominated proceedings and looked most comfortable in the first half. Jasmin Kurtic headed on target after 15 minutes, but Parma didn't test Samir Handanovic enough for all their possession. Inter gradually perked up, but were a little fortunate to head into half time level.
Antonio Conte's side started the second half much better and took the lead after 54 minutes thanks to a scruffy goal from Alexis Sanchez. Parma didn't quite possess the same quality and intensity as they did early on, which played into Inter's hands as Sanchez added a second on the break after an hour.
Parma responded well, however, and another period of possession saw Hernani pull one back with a smart close-range volley after 71 minutes. The goal gave them confidence to pile on the pressure and force Inter to defend, but they couldn't add a second and left with nothing to show for their efforts.
Right then, let's get into some Inter ratings.
1. Goalkeeper & Defenders
Samir Handanovic (GK) - 6/10 - Stopped a free header from Kurtic early on which should've been enough to wake up his outfield colleagues. Never truly tested for all of Parma's spells of possession, though.
Milan Skriniar (CB) - 5/10 - Caught sleeping positionally a few times which caused Inter problems throughout the first half.
Stefan de Vrij (CB) - 6/10 - Stepped out of the defence well to intercept play and limit how often Parma could threaten the goal. Also dominated his box whenever the hosts broke inside and won three aerial duels.
Alessandro Bastoni (CB) - 7/10 - Moved forward well with the ball down the left flank. Showcased his seriously impressive range of passing and effective in defence, making five tackles. A seriously clean performance.
2. Wing Backs & Midfielders
Achraf Hakimi (RWB) - 6/10 - Hakimi made strong runs down the right flank and played a number of teasing crosses in the first half that his teammates should've done much better with.
Nicolo Barella (CM) - 6/10 - The best of a bad bunch, Barella made an important block after 33 minutes to deny Yann Karamoh on the break. Also passed with intent and supported Hakimi well in tight areas on the right.
Marcelo Brozovic (CM) - 6/10 - Unusually lethargic in the first half and was dispossessed poorly more than once, but turned it around massively after the break with some tireless recoveries.
Christian Eriksen (CM) - 5/10 - Eriksen looked a little too casual when in possession and didn't do enough to bring Inter forward. Not his brightest performance following a recent resurgence.
Ivan Perisic (LWB) - 5/10 - Lost Hernani at the back post which allowed him to score, but was unfortunate not to grab an assist for a fine pass to Sanchez shortly after. A mixed game for Perisic; not at his best.
Romelu Lukaku (ST) - 6/10 - Spurned a number of chances in the first half, but Lukaku's hold-up play was excellent as ever and came in handy as the game got older, slipping through Sanchez with a perfectly timed pass to make it 2-0. More than just a goalscorer.
Alexis Sanchez (ST) - 7/10 - Made a good run which saw him rewarded with a deflection into his path, allowing him to give Inter the lead in a tight game. Took his second goal well, holding his position and finishing with composure.
Arturo Vidal - 5/10 - Was brought on to provide the tenacity that Eriksen lacked, but failed to bring it.
Lautaro Martinez - 5/10 - Gave away a cheap free kick that could've cost his side with a little more quality.
Matteo Darmian - N/A