Hellas Verona 0-6 Inter: Dzeko and Martinez at the double in rampant Nerazzurri win
Edin Dzeko and Lautaro Martinez headlined a spectacular Inter performance as they dismantled relegation-threatened Hellas Verona in a 6-0 victory in Serie A, scoring two goals apiece.
The Nerazzurri ran riot against their hosts at Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi to boost their Champions League qualification prospects on Wednesday.
A long-range strike from Hakan Calhanoglu and an Adolfo Gaich own goal piled further misery on Verona, helping Simone Inzaghi's visitors move back above Atalanta into Serie A's top four.
The victory also proved an emphatic warm-up for their upcoming Champions League semi-final tie against rivals Milan, though for Marco Zaffaroni, it leaves his side grasping at straws in their battle for safety.
Inter laid siege to the Verona box from the first whistle, though they had to wait half an hour for their opener, Gaich turning Federico Dimarco's cross into his own net following a string of great Lorenzo Montipo saves.
The attacker's calamitous intervention unlocked the floodgates for the Nerazzurri, who doubled their lead six minutes later when Calhanoglu lofted a spectacular 30-yard effort into the top-left corner after he was left unmarked.
A prompt error from the restart by Verona allowed Martinez to capitalise, sending Dzeko away on the break for a smooth finish, and the visitors had effectively sealed the game before half-time had even come into view.
There was more punishment to come for the hosts however, with Martinez offering just 10 minutes of respite after the interval before he chipped Montipo for the fourth to keep the onslaught going.
Dzeko nabbed his double shortly past the hour mark after sweeping home a low finish from a counter-attack, and Martinez joined him with a two-goal haul in the final seconds after a scrappy close-range effort.
What does it mean? Inter ruthless in victory
It took them a while to unlock their hosts, but once they did, the Nerazzurri never looked back during a brilliant hour of football.
Their six-goal demolition job helpfully pads their goal difference and reinforces their place in the top four – with draws for Milan and Roma elsewhere on Wednesday also aiding their cause.
Dzeko back to his best
With another two goals to add to his tally this season, the Bosnia and Herzegovina international has now picked up a third brace of the Serie A campaign.
It is the most multi-goal hauls he has had in a season since 2017-18, when he managed four for Roma.
Verona slip to worst-ever home loss
The writing was on the wall when the hosts put the ball in their own net to concede the opener, and a litany of defensive errors left them reeling afterwards.
It is the first time they have conceded more than five goals in a home match in Serie A, making unwanted history.
Key Opta facts
- Inter have scored least six goals in an away game in Serie A for the first time since September 2013, in a 7-0 win against Sassuolo.
- Goalkeeper Montipo made more touches during this game than any other Verona player, with just 39).
- Marcelo Brozovic has provided an assist in two consecutive away matches in Serie A for the first time since January 2021.
- Inter have scored three goals during the first half of an away match in Serie A for the first time since December 2021, against Roma.
- Prior to Verona (W20 D4), the last time Inter had remained unbeaten in 24 consecutive games against a single opponent in Serie A was across 1959 and 1991, against Genoa (24 games).
Inter face Roma in a crucial encounter for their top-four hopes on Saturday, while Verona continue to fight for their survival against Lecce on Sunday.