Inter stays unbeaten with narrow win at Verona in Serie A

VERONA, Italy — Inter overcame relegation-threatened Hellas Verona by a hard-fought 2-1 on Monday that extended its unbeaten start to Serie A.

Ivan Perisic scored the winner midway through the second half less than 10 minutes after Giampaolo Pazzini equalized with a penalty.

Borja Valero opened the scoring for Inter in the first half.

Inter moved back into second place, two points behind Napoli and one ahead of six-time defending champion Juventus and Lazio.

Verona dropped to next to last with only one win in 11 matches.

Showing continuity under new coach Luciano Spalletti, Inter became the first side in the Italian league to use the same starting 11 in five different matches this season.

Borja Valero, a crafty Spanish playmaker signed from Fiorentina, broke the deadlock in the 36th, redirecting a cross from Antonio Candreva as two defenders drifted toward Mauro Icardi and left him unmarked.

Pazzini’s equalizer came with the help of the video assistant referee.

The referee ruled to play on after contact between Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic and Alessio Cerci but once he checked video he saw that Handanovic fouled the Verona winger.

Pazzini was brought on for the penalty and scored with his first touch, a precise and low shot to the left corner.

Inter midfielder Matias Vecino hit the crossbar a few minutes before Perisic’s winner came following a corner that was cleared toward the Croatia international. Perisic’s shot was so powerful that Verona goalkeeper Nicolas had no time to react.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.