Inter Milan stretched their lead at the top of Serie A to 10 points on Friday after cruising past sorry Salernitana 4-0 ahead of their Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid.
Simone Inzaghi looks increasingly likely to claim the first league title of his coaching career with a rampant Inter team who made short work of rock-bottom Salernitana.
Star strike partnership Marcus Thuram and Lautaro Martinez set Inter on their way with two goals in the space of two first-half minutes, before Denzel Dumfries tapped home the third five minutes before the break and Marko Arnautovic completed the scoring late on.
It was yet another show of force from Inter who started with a line-up close to Inzaghi’s favoured starting XI and want to beat local rivals AC Milan to 20 league crowns.
“It’s a great feeling because the team is playing at a really high level… I’m really pleased with that,” said Inter captain Martinez to DAZN.
Juventus can cut the deficit back to seven with a game more played if they win at struggling Verona on Saturday.
But Inter have won all eight matches since the turn of the year and look a cut above their rivals as they warmed up for Atleti’s visit for the first leg of their last 16 tie on Tuesday night.
“It’s definitely a different team from last year, we’ve had a lot of changes but we have to keep trying to improve and look ahead to the next match,” added Martinez.
“Tuesday is very important for us… so we need to have the same approach, rest a bit and play with the serious intensity.”
Salernitana were blown away in their first match under Inzaghi’s former Lazio teammate Fabio Liverani who replaced the elder Inzaghi brother Filippo earlier this week.
Liverani has a massive job on his hands as Salernitana are six points behind Sassuolo, who sit just outside the relegation zone and are at Champions League chasers Atalanta on Saturday night.
“It’s wasn’t really a playable match tonight, even though we did everything we could to make it easier for them,” said Liverani to DAZN.
“I was aware that we have serious problems in terms of tactics and technique but not regarding their hunger and desire to get out of the situation they find themselves in.”
By the time Thuram swept Inter ahead from Carlos Augusto’s cross in the 17th minute the France forward and Nicolo Barella had both hit the woodwork.
And when Martinez took his Serie A tally for the season to 20 shortly afterwards, evading Jerome Boateng before curling home a lovely finish, the match was as good as done with less than 20 minutes gone.
Salernitana didn’t have single shot on target as Inter hemmed them in from the first whistle, the manner of victory so comprehensive that Inzaghi had the luxury of substituting his star players with half an hour remaining.
And the night was complete when Arnautovic, who has struggled since signing for Inter in the summer, tapped in Dumfries’ deflected low cross in the final minute.
Inter now turn their attentions to Tuesday’s clash at the San Siro as they try to repeat last season’s run to the Champions League final.