Soccer-Inter extend Serie A lead to 15 points with hard-fought win over Genoa

Soccer Football - Serie A - Inter Milan v Genoa - San Siro, Milan, Italy - March 4, 2024 Inter Milan's Federico Dimarco in action REUTERS/Daniele Mascolo

MILAN (Reuters) -Inter Milan stretched their lead atop Serie A to 15 points as first-half goals by Kristjan Asllani and Alexis Sanchez, with a penalty, secured a battling 2-1 home win over Genoa on Monday.

Inter moved further ahead in the title race on 72 points after second-placed Juventus lost 2-1 at Napoli on Sunday.

Inter's Simone Inzaghi had good reason to celebrate his 300th Serie A game as a manager, with his side winning all 12 of their matches so far this year and matching the points total they achieved in the whole of last season.

"We must continue like this, trying to work the way we have been," Inzaghi said to Sky Sports Italia. "The players know what our objectives are, there are still 11 rounds to go in Serie A and 33 points up for grabs, so we can’t let anything go.

"It is the work of everyone, my staff, the players and the club that tries to support us in every tiny detail. I'm so fortunate to have a squad that works like this...

"We must not look back over our shoulders or pat ourselves on the back, we have to look forward to the future," he added.

Genoa put up a fight from the start and came close to scoring midway through the first half with a header from Mateo Retegui that Inter goalkeeper Yann Sommer saved impressively.

But Asllani broke the deadlock on the half-hour after receiving Sanchez's through ball and firing into the roof of the net from inside the box. Eight minutes later Sanchez doubled the lead with a penalty after Morten Frendrup fouled Nicolo Barella.

Genoa got back into the match nine minutes after the break when Johan Vasquez volleyed home a clearance from Inter defender Stefan De Vrij.

The visitors then thought they had equalised when substitute Vitinha netted but there was an offside in the build-up.

The defeat leaves Genoa in 12th place with 33 points.

Inter next visit fourth-placed Bologna in Serie A on Saturday before their Champions League last 16 return leg at Atletico Madrid, who they trail 1-0, on March 13.

(Reporting by Tommy Lund in Gdansk; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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