Samir Handanovic made a potentially decisive contribution to Inter’s Scudetto charge yesterday, according to a report in the Italian media.
Antonio Conte’s side crushed AC Milan in the Derby della Madonnina with goals from Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku securing a 3-0 win.
Tuttosport’s print edition pointed out, however, that things could have ended very differently without Handanovic’s magnificent triple save at the start of the second half.
“There’s no doubt Inter dominated AC Milan, but many years of football have taught us that there are always a few key moments which determine the outcome of a match,” the Turin-based publication stated.
“Those 52 seconds were with all probability key to this season’s title race.”
Handanovic denied Zlatan Ibrahimovic twice from close range as Stefano Pioli’s side were pushing for an equaliser at 1-0.
The Slovenian then tipped over a long-range effort from Sandro Tonali as the Rossoneri kept the pressure on, before Inter regained control of the match.
Lautaro added his second goal of the day shortly afterwards before Lukaku sealed the points with a devastating solo effort.
Analysing the match more generally, the report claimed Inter showcased their superior quality and class compared to their city rivals, who now have a four-point gap to make up at the top of Serie A.