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Martinez's Four-Goal Heroics Lift Inter to Serie A Summit

 Martinez's Four-Goal Heroics Lift Inter to Serie A Summit

Martinez's Four-Goal Heroics Lift Inter to Serie A Summit
Martinez's Four-Goal Heroics Lift Inter to Serie A Summit(Image-Getty) 

Lautaro Martinez made a significant impact for Inter Milan as they clinched a resounding 4-0 victory against Salernitana on Saturday, catapulting them back to the summit of Serie A. Initially, the hosts successfully thwarted Inter's advances for the first hour, but the game took a dramatic turn after Martinez entered the fray nine minutes into the second half. In a remarkable 27-minute display, Martinez netted four goals, including one from the penalty spot.

Martinez's performance etched his name in Serie A history, as he became the first player to score four goals as a substitute since the introduction of the three-points-for-a-win rule in 1994. Prior to this victory, Inter had slipped three points below AC Milan in the standings, following their rivals' 2-0 triumph against Lazio earlier on the same day. However, with this win, Inter reclaimed the top spot with 18 points from seven matches, while Salernitana languished in 19th place with just three points.

Inter's captain, Martinez, has now tallied an impressive nine goals in seven Serie A matches, solidifying his position as the league's leading goal-scorer. Reflecting on his remarkable achievement, Martinez humbly stated, "I scored four goals, but the important thing is that Inter won the game." He emphasized the team's determination to bounce back after their 2-1 loss to Sassuolo on Wednesday, considering it a top priority.

Although Inter initially dominated the match, Salernitana gradually found their rhythm and controlled the tempo during a goalless first half. Martinez finally broke the deadlock in the 62nd minute, skillfully receiving Marcus Thuram's low cross and delicately chipping the ball past Salernitana's keeper, Guillermo Ochoa.

Three minutes later, Mateusz Legowski appeared to equalize for Salernitana, but the goal was disallowed due to an early offside run, resulting in displeasure from the home fans. Martinez secured his second goal in the 77th minute, confidently converting a pass from Nicolo Barella, who set him up from 12 yards out with a first-time strike. The Argentine forward completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot, capitalizing on a foul by defender Matteo Lovato, who had tugged Thuram's shirt.

Martinez capped off the memorable evening by converting Carlos Augusto's cross, firing a shot from 10 yards out, just moments before stoppage time.

Inter's manager, Simone Inzaghi, lauded Martinez's performance, highlighting his consistency and leadership. Inzaghi expressed, "He is our leader, the captain; he must continue like this."

Looking ahead, Inter is set to host a Champions League group-stage match against Benfica on Tuesday, followed by a Serie A home fixture against Bologna the following Saturday. Martinez's exceptional form will undoubtedly be crucial for the team's success in these upcoming matches.

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