Martínez Nets Hat Trick As Inter Beats Crotone 6-2 To Go Top
Lautaro Martnez netted a hat trick to help Inter Milan beat relegation-threatened Crotone 6-2 and move top of Serie A for a few hours at least on Sunday.
Martnez could have had four if his second attempt had not gone down as an own goal by Crotone defender Luca Marrone.
Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi also scored in a strong second-half performance from the Nerazzurri.
Inter moved two points above city rival AC Milan, which visits Benevento later where it will face former star player and coach Filippo Inzaghi.
All 20 Serie A teams are in action on Sunday as the Italian league resumes after the winter break.
Inter had ended last year on a streak of seven successive league victories but was surprised when Niccol Zanellato headed Crotone into the lead in the 12th minute.
Martnez equalized in the 20th and thought he had another 11 minutes later but Marrone got the last touch on Nicol Barellas ball across the box.
Vladimir Golemi leveled shortly after from the spot after Arturo Vidal had fouled Arkadiusz Reca.
Vidal had also been at fault for Crotones opener and he was taken off at halftime.
Inter often performs better in the second half and so it proved again as Martnez restored his sides lead in the 57th with a powerful shot into the top left corner.
Lukaku had played a part in the buildup and the former Manchester United forward marked his 50th Serie A appearance with a goal of his own seven minutes later, turning and holding off Sebastiano Luperto to fire in Alessandro Bastonis long ball over the top.
Martnez completed his hat trick in the 78th, heading in the rebound from close range after Crotone goalkeeper Alex Cordaz had saved Ivan Periis strike. Hakimi capped a fine day for Inter three minutes from time.
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