Udinese 1-2 Inter: Player ratings as I Nerazzurri keep pressure on AC Milan in Serie A title race

Jack Gallagher
An important win for Inter
An important win for Inter / Alessandro Sabattini/GettyImages

Inter bounced back from their disastrous defeat to Bologna to see off Udinese at Stadio Friuli on Sunday evening.

First-half goals from Ivan Perisic and Lautaro Martinez were enough for Simone Inzaghi's men - despite a spirited second-half performance from the home side - to keep Inter within two points of AC Milan at the top of the Serie A table.

As expected the visitors dominated the opening exchanges and deservedly took the lead in the 12th minute through Ivan Perisic. The Croatian drifted into space at the near post and was able to head home a Federico Dimarco corner kick from that position.

After conceding Udinese showed some signs of life, with Walace cannoning the ball goalward from 30 yards out. The strike however, was well saved by Samir Handanovic, who Inter fans must be glad to see back in the lineup.

At the other end Marco Silvestri made an equally good stop five minutes later. Silvestri was on hand to tip a deflected effort from Dimarco wide of the post.

The visitors eventually did grab their second goal of the game... in rather odd circumstances.

It all started when a brilliant first-time through ball from Nicolo Barella played Lautaro Martinez in on goal, but his attempt to chip the ball over the onrushing Silvestri proved ill-advised as it was well saved by the Udinese shot-stopper.

Following that save however, the ball would fall kindly to Edin Dzeko who, after leaping over a sliding Pablo Mari, seemingly through himself to the floor. A lengthy VAR review ensued, and the referee (Daniele Chiffi) ruled that he had been taken down by the Udinese defender.

The resulting penalty was then cannoned off the post by Martinez, who was fortunate to see the ball rebound into his path so that he could tap in and spare his own blushes.

It was a strange few minutes.

With a two-goal lead to their name, Inter looked comfortable at the start of the second half - perfectly happy to soak up pressure and catch Udinese on the break.

Dzeko probably should've added to I Nerazzurri's tally in the 50th minute, but when through one-on-one with Silvestri, got the ball stuck under his feet and was only able to pull his resulting shot wide of the post.

Inter's levels of comfort took a bit of a knock with 20 minutes remaining, as the home side made it 2-1.

The goal came after Handanovic had brilliantly saved a Gerard Deulofeu free-kick - which looked all set to hit the top left corner of the net. Destiny Udogie was the first to react to the ball being palmed away by Handanovic though, and he was able to drill the ball across goal and into the path of Ignacio Pussetto, who coolly slotted home from four-yards out.

The visitors thought they'd reasserted their dominance eight minutes later when substitutes Joaquin Correa and Arturo Vidal combined, with the latter slipping the ball under Silvestri and into the net. The goal was then ruled out for offside, as Vidal had made his move in behind the Udinese defence slightly too early.

Despite late pressure from Udinese, Inter's were able to hold onto their slender lead and keep their title hopes alive heading into the final three games of the Serie A season.

1. Inter player ratings (3-5-2)

Lautaro Martinez
Lautaro Martinez scored the second / Alessandro Sabattini/GettyImages

GK - Samir Handanovic - 7/10 - Much, much better than Ionuț Radu. Made a few decent saves.

CB - Milan Skriniar - 6/10 - Didn't really put a foot wrong.

CB - Stefan de Vrij - 6/10 - Decent in and out of possession.

CB - Federico Dimarco - 8/10 - Bagged an assist in the first half, and defended pretty damn well when called upon too.

RWB - Matteo Darmian - 5/10 - Worked hard on the right flank, but didn't really create much in the final third.

CM - Nicolo Barella - 5/10 - Used the ball quite well at times, but not as involved as you'd perhaps want him to be. Subbed with a worrying looking injury in stoppage time.

CM - Marcelo Brozovic - 6/10 - A solid outing for the Croatian.

CM - Roberto Gagliardini - 5/10 - In for Hakan Calhanoglu, and did a decent job in the middle of the park.

LWB - Ivan Perisic - 8/10 - Scored the opener with a nice little header at the near post. Another very good performance from a very, very good player.

ST - Lautaro Martinez - 6/10 - Missed a penalty and then followed the rebound to score Inter's second of the game. He was a bit sloppier than usual in possession during the first half, but upped his game in the second.

ST - Edin Dzeko - 6/10 - Won the penalty for his side. Was it a penalty? Probably not. Does he care? Definitely not.

SUB - Joaquin Correa - N/A.

SUB - Alexis Sanchez - N/A.

SUB - Arturo Vidal - N/A.

SUB - Danilo D'Ambrosio - N/A.

SUB - Matias Vecino - N/A.