Inter cruised to a 4-0 win against Udinese on Sunday afternoon, as a first half trio of goals saw Luciano Spalletti’s side storm past their woeful opposition at the Stadio Friuli.
Inter took the lead early in the first half, with last minute addition to the side Andrea Ranocchia scoring a header. The visitors overcame a brief threat from their opponents, before a quick fire double from Rafinha and Mauro Icardi gave them a formidable half time lead. Udinese then saw Seko Fofana sent off early in the second half. Borja Valero put the game beyond Udinese’s reach in the second half, with a smartly finished close range effort.
Inter looked to take the game to their opponents early on, with Antonio Candreva causing the hosts defence all manager of problems with his fast, direct running approach. The visitors came close to opening the scoring within the first five minutes, as Ivan Perišić launched a powerful header from a set-piece was headed back off the line by Udinese captain Danilo.
Luciano Spalletti’s side looked red hot, and Perišić came close to scoring again soon after, as his delicately placed shot was scrambled away by Zebrette stopper Albano Bizzarri. Icardi then drew another save from the Udinese keeper, after bustling into the penalty area and driving a low shot straight at the 40-year-old veteran.
In the 11th minute Inter got their deserved opening goal. Marcelo Brozović whipped a corner into the area, before Ranocchia leapt above two opposing defenders to glance a deft header into the back of the net. The away side continued to pour forward, completely dominating the match as their opposition struggled to retain any of the possession.
As first half reached the midway point, Udinese started to show more fight – stringing passes together and disrupting Inter’s flowing attacking moves. João Cancelo came close for Inter soon after, after skewing a shot wide at the back post following a defensive error from the home side. Candreva spurned another opportunity moments later, blazing over five yards out on a tight angle.
Silvan Widmer the caused Inter some problems down the right wing, with his cross finding Valon Behrami unmarked in the penalty area, but the former West Ham man drifted a poor header over the bar. Kevin Lasagna then drew a solid stop from Samir Handanović with a close range effort, after finding himself through on goal following a fine pass from Rodrigo De Paul.
Inter doubled their lead in the 43rd minute. Rafinha burst up the field, playing a neat one-two with Antonio Candreva, before surging in from the right wing and beating Bizzarri on his near post with a clinical low drive. Spalletti’s side were running rampant, and Icardi bagged his side’s third of the afternoon in the 46th minute – powering into the penalty area and drilling an effort inside the near post.
Udinese started the second half on the front foot, and Lasagna saw an effort slide agonisingly wide of Handanović’s far post. The home side’s impressive start was short lived however, as Fofana was sent off for stamping on Perišić’s leg in a clumsy challenge. The referee went to VAR to make the decision, which saw the hosts subsequently reduced to ten men.
Inter looked completely in control as the game approached the final third, with Udinese’s leisurely play indicative of a side having accepted their fate. The home fans began to become frustrated, as a series of overhit passes and poorly timed runs saw any attacking endeavours. The visitors scored their fourth in the 70th minute, as Valero tapped home on the back post.
Udinese, with nothing to lose, battled on in vain, but continued to struggle against the San Siro side. Inter changed their approach, and allowed their opponents to dominate possession while they looked to counter attack. Perišić skewed a shot wide, much to the chagrin of Valero – who was unmarked in the middle of the area with the goal gaping ahead of him.
Inter powered home to victory, evading any attempts from the hosts to pull back a consolation goal. The win saw I Nerazzurri rise to fifth in the table, with the race for Champions League football still alive. Udinese’s loss saw them continue their horrific run of not winning a single home match in 2018 – with the threat of relegation increasing as the campaign approaches its conclusion.