Inter Milan provided plenty of late drama as Marcelo Brozovic’s last-gasp goal earned them a 1-0 Serie A victory at Sampdoria in a game featuring a number of VAR controversies.
Inter struck two goals in the last five minutes to beat Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League on Tuesday and again left it late on Saturday as Croatian midfielder Brozovic struck the winner deep into stoppage time. The win left Inter in seventh place with seven points from five games, five points adrift of leaders Juventus who are in action on Sunday at Frosinone. Sixth-placed Sampdoria are also on seven points.
Inter coach Luciano Spalletti was under growing pressure after picking up just one win in four league games and it looked like they would suffer another disappointing day when they were twice denied the lead by video reviews. The Milan club were left furious in the wake of their 1-0 defeat by Parma last weekend after the video assistant referee (VAR) was not consulted for a potential handball inside the box.
VAR thwarted them again when Radja Nainggolan’s first-half strike was judged to be offside in the build-up before Kwadwo Asamoah also had a goal disallowed following a review, this time because the ball went out of play. Sampdoria then looked to have snatched the win when Gregiore Defrel found the net late on, but he too was found to be offside by VAR.
Brozovic’s late strike then prompted huge celebrations from the Inter bench and Spalletti was sent off in the melee. "Winning this way shows the character of this team, which stays in the game fighting for every ball," Spalletti told reporters. "It might mean taking some risks, but we are Inter and we must always live on the edge to get the win. Seeing this passion gives me greater strength to go forward and I’m glad that element is here rather than the tactics, as those will come with time."
Earlier, Fiorentina moved into second place with an impressive 3-0 win over in-form SPAL in Florence. The visitors started the season brightly with three wins from their opening four games, but Stefano Pioli’s young side enjoyed a surprisingly comfortable evening as they strolled to victory. Marko Pjaca opened the scoring after 18 minutes with his first goal for La Viola, before Nikola Milenkovic and Federico Chiesa added strikes either side of the break.
In the first game of the day, a sensational solo goal from Gervinho was the highlight of Parma’s 2-0 victory against Cagliari. The former Arsenal winger brushed off three defenders as he ran the length of the pitch to double his side’s advantage following Roberto Inglese’s first-half strike.
Parma coach Roberto D’Aversa was stunned by the individual effort. "I hadn’t seen a goal like that for years,” he said, while Cagliari manager Rolando Maran described the Ivorian as “unstoppable”.