ROME — A parachutist landing on the centre of the field briefly disrupted Inter Milan’s 4-3 win over Sassuolo in Serie A on Sunday.
The intrusion came just before Romelu Lukaku was to take a penalty for the visitors.
Security agents quickly escorted the parachutist away and Lukaku was unperturbed as he converted the spot kick for his second goal of the match.
Lautaro Martinez also had a brace for second-place Inter, which moved back within a point of eight-time defending champion Juventus, which beat Bologna 2-1 a day earlier.
It was an emotional day for Sassuolo, which was playing for the first time since the death of club owner Giorgio Squinzi.
There was a minute of silence observed in Squinzi’s memory before kickoff and Domenico Berardi dedicated Sassuolo’s opening goal to the team patron by pointing his hands to the sky.
Lukaku, Inter’s prized off-season signing from Manchester United, now has five goals in eight Italian league matches and four in the Nerazzurri’s four away matches. Before Lukaku, the last Inter player to score four or more in his first four away Serie A games was Diego Milito in November 2009 — the season in which Milito led Inter to the Champions League title.
Filip Djuricic and Jeremie Boga scored late for Sassuolo after Inter had gone ahead 4-1.
"It’s never easy to resume after the break for international duty," said Inter assistant coach Cristian Stellini, who stood in for a sick Antonio Conte in the post-match news conference. "We simply ran out of energy toward the end and Sassuolo stepped up the tempo.
"We’ve got to learn how to finish off these matches where we’ve dominated," Stellini added.
Claudio Ranieri debuted as Sampdoria coach in a 0-0 draw with Roma, his former club.
Roma lost both Bryan Cristante and Nikola Kalinic to injury; while Roma forward Justin Kluivert was sent off for a second yellow four minutes from the end.
Cagliari moved above Roma into fifth place with a 2-0 win over Spal. Radja Nainggolan put the Sardinian club ahead with an absolute missile and Paolo FaragÃ² also scored.
Udinese beat Torino 1-0 with a header from Stefano Okaka.