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Inter’s Title Hopes Dented In Loss To Empoli


January 24, (THEWILL) – Inter Milan’s return to action in Serie A saw them suffer a marginal 1-0 defeat at the hands of Empoli at San Siro on Monday.

The Nerazzurri’s performance was completely out of sorts and they were beaten by teenager Tommaso Baldanzi’s goal following a first-half red card for Milan Skriniar. Inter had looked set for a big second half to the season after dismantling champions and rivals Milan in the Supercoppa Italiana last week.

Though this defeat may not cost Inter in the race for Champions League qualification due to Juventus’ points deduction, any remote title hopes appear to have been quickly quashed. Skriniar’s dismissal epitomised an erratic first half from Inter, who could have trailed early on as Andre Onana saved unconvincingly from Nicolo Cambiaghi.

Inter showed precious little improvement after half-time and trailed when Onana was beaten by a Baldanzi shot that was straight at him. Stefan de Vrij headed against the post from inside the six-yard box but Inter proved unimaginative in attack as they had been hapless at the back in a frustrating finale.

Empoli had only once previously won away at Inter in Serie A, with that sole victory coming back in 2006. While Inter will be away at bottom of the table side Cremonese on Saturday, Empoli will host Torino in their next Serie A fixture.