MILAN: Alexis Snchez set up two goals and scored a penalty as Inter Milan thrashed relegation-threatened Brescia 6-0 to consolidate third place in Serie A on Wednesday.
Inter were already 3-0 up at halftime thanks to the penalty and goals from Ashley Young and Danilo DAmbrosio. Roberto Gagliardini, Christian Eriksen and Antonio Candreva netted after the break.
Inter moved seven points above fourth-place Atalanta, which were hosting Napoli on Thursday. They are eight points behind league leaders Juventus.
Brescia remained eight points from safety.
Inter Milan needed to win to hold off hard-charging Atalanta in the race for third and took the lead in the fifth minute when Young was left unmarked to volley in Snchezs cross.
Snchez got on the scoresheet himself 15 minutes later, striking a penalty into the bottom left corner after Victor Moses was tripped by Ale Matj.
Inter confirmed earlier in the day that the Manchester United forward will remain on loan until the end of the Serie A season.
Inter had struggled since the season resumed after it was halted because of the coronavirus pandemic but it all but wrapped the match up on the stroke of halftime when DAmbrosio headed in Youngs cross.
And Snchez set up another seven minutes after the break with a free kick which was headed in by Gagliardini.
Inter coach Antonio Conte brought on Candreva, Eriksen and Romelu Lukaku midway through the second half and the latter two combined for Inters fifth in the 83rd minute, with Eriksen tapping in after Lukakus effort was parried.
Candreva, who had earlier hit the crossbar, finished off the scoring five minutes later.
AC Milan were gifted an equaliser as 10-man Spal threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 and give up precious points in its bid to escape relegation.
Spal defender Francesco Vicari diverted a cross into his own net in stoppage time.
Spal had played the entire second half with 10 men after Marco DAlessandro was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Theo Hernndez.
Milan struggled to create anything before Zlatan Ibrahimovi made his comeback from injury as a 65th-minute substitute. The Rossoneri immediately appeared more dangerous and Rafael Leo got his side back into the match 11 minutes from time.
Spal had scored both its goals in the first half hour. The first was a scrappy goal from Mattia Valoti but the second was a magnificent lob from 30 yards by Sergio Floccari.
Spal moved off the bottom of the table but is still seven points from safety.
Hellas Verona beat Parma 3-2 to climb above their opponents in the race for Europa League spots. They moved a point below Milan and three behind sixth-placed Napoli.
Lecce remained a point from safety after losing 2-1 against Sampdoria, with all goals coming from penalties.
Samp moved four points clear of the relegation zone.
Fiorentina lost 3-1 at home to Sassuolo and Bologna drew 1-1 against Cagliari.
Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2020