Having taken one point from their opening two games, Inter struggled again for more than one hour against a dogged but uninspiring Bologna before the heavily-tattooed Belgian, who missed their first two games through injury, came to the rescue.
Politano’s through ball found Nainggolan, who controlled with his left foot and then blasted in with the inside of his right from 12 yards into the far bottom corner. It was the ideal debut for the ex-Roma man in a more advanced role than he was accustomed to under Eusebio Di Francesco.
Federico Santander was so close to an equaliser for Bologna, his glancing header on a Federico Mattiello cross from the right skimming the far post with Handanovic beaten.
At the other end, Keita prodded over from eight yards after poor defending on a Perisic pull-back, but substitute Antonio Candreva secured the points when he ran through the middle to meet a smart Perisic assist at the end of a good Inter passing move. Incredibly, it was the Italy international’s first Serie A goal since April 15 2017 against Milan, a gap of 504 days.
Moments later, Perisic made it 3-0 himself, cutting inside to dummy Mattiello and curling into the far top corner instead.
Heading into the international break this was the perfect result for Inter. It calms the nerves after a poor start to the season, albeit against two historical tough opponents, and means we don’t have to hear about whether Spalletti’s job is in jeopardy from the media.
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