Shock defeat at Spezia for Inter stunned

MILAN: Inter Milan missed a chance to slash Napoli’s massive lead at the top of Serie A on Friday after a surprise 2-1 defeat by relegation-threatened Spezia.

Goals from Daniel Maldini and M’Bala Nzola on either side of a Romelu Lukaku penalty gave fourth-bottom Spezia a crucial victory in their bid to avoid relegation.

But the defeat was another heavy blow to Inter’s faint hopes of overtaking Napoli at the top of the table.

Napoli are now 15 points clear of second-placed Inter at the top of the table and have played a game in hand.

Inter paid the price for not taking the opportunities that presented themselves. Argentina striker Lautaro Martinez saved a penalty from Spezia goalkeeper Bartlomiej Dragowski after 15 minutes.

Martinez found the net early in the second half but Lukaku was ruled offside.

Spezia took the lead after 55 minutes when Maldini – the son of AC Milan legend Paolo Maldini – swept home a low shot after good work from Nzola down the right.

Inter equalized again with seven minutes remaining after Denzel Dumfries won a penalty and converted Lukaku.

Inter’s joy was short-lived, however, as Dumfries brought down Viktor Kovalenko at the other end four minutes later to concede a penalty.

Nzola converted cool to give Spezia their first Serie A win against Inter on the sixth attempt.

Inter’s second consecutive away defeat means Napoli can go 18 points clear with a win over sixth-placed Atalanta on Saturday.

Spezia stayed a place above the relegation places but extended their lead to six points over Verona just below them. -AFP Shock defeat at Spezia for Inter stunned

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