Mauro Icardi scored twice as Inter Milan moved to the top of Serie A with a hard-fought 3-1 victory against Cagliari on Saturday.
The visitors were comfortably second best for most of the first half and were lucky to be on level terms when Samir Handanovic somehow clawed a volley from the unmarked Leonardo Pavoletti away from the goal line.
A change in formation from Inter boss Luciano Spalletti, instructing his team to switch from 4-2-3-1 to 3-5-1-1, changed the complexity of the matchand brought the opening goal against the run of play after 29 minutes. Antonio Candreva’s cross was knocked back across goal by Ivan Perisic for Icardi to tap in.
Inter started the second half with much more attacking intent and thought they had put the game to bed in the 55th minute when Brozovic met Candreva’s pull back to lash home from just inside the penalty area for his third league goal of the season.
However Cgliari gave themselves a lifeline with 20 minutes remaining as Pavoletti made up for his first-half miss with a superbly taken volley from Paolo Farago’s cross that left Handanovic with no chance.
An 11th win out of 14 league games was sealed with seven minutes remaining, though, when Icardi took full advantage of some poor goalkeeping from Rafael to score his 15th goal of the season to restore the two-goal cushion and seal victory.