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Key Events

L. Martínez
R. Lukaku
0 - 3
N. Barella
Yellow Card
R. Lukaku
H. Çalhanoğlu
0 - 2
R. Lukaku
M. Brozović
0 - 1
F. Parisi
Yellow Card

Match Stats

39% 60%
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target 3 4
Total Passes 380 604
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Live table
Pos Team P W D L F A +/- PTS Form
1 Napoli NAP Napoli 38 28 6 4 77 28 +49 90 W D W L W
2 Lazio LAZ Lazio 38 22 8 8 60 30 +30 74 W W W D L
3 Internazionale INT Internazionale 38 23 3 12 71 42 +29 72 W W L W W
4 Milan MIL Milan 38 20 10 8 64 43 +21 70 W W W L W
5 Atalanta ATA Atalanta 38 19 7 12 66 48 +18 64 W L W L L
6 Roma ROM Roma 38 18 9 11 50 38 +12 63 W L D D L
7 Juventus JUV Juventus 38 22 6 10 56 33 +23 62 W L L W W
8 Fiorentina FIO Fiorentina 38 15 11 12 53 43 +10 56 W W D W L
9 Bologna BOL Bologna 38 14 12 12 53 49 +4 54 W D W D D
10 Torino TOR Torino 38 14 11 13 42 41 +1 53 L W D W D
11 Monza MON Monza 38 14 10 14 48 52 -4 52 L L W W D
12 Udinese UDI Udinese 38 11 13 14 47 48 -1 46 L L L L W
13 Sassuolo SAS Sassuolo 38 12 9 17 47 61 -14 45 L D L L D
14 Empoli EMP Empoli 38 10 13 15 37 49 -12 43 L D W D W
15 Salernitana SAL Salernitana 38 9 15 14 48 62 -14 42 L W D W L
16 Lecce LEC Lecce 38 8 12 18 33 46 -13 36 L W D D L
17 Spezia SPE Spezia 38 6 13 19 31 62 -31 31 L L D W L
18 Hellas Verona VER Hellas Verona 38 7 10 21 31 59 -28 31 L D L L W
19 Cremonese CRE Cremonese 38 5 12 21 36 69 -33 27 W L L L W
20 Sampdoria SAM Sampdoria 38 3 10 25 24 71 -47 19 L D L D L


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That's all from Stadio Carlo Castellani today, so thank you for joining us and goodbye!
While Inter will next resume a series of big midweek games with the second leg of their Coppa Italia semi-final tie against Juventus, Empoli's hunt for a goal continues at Sassuolo next weekend.
Aided by a burst of the old Lukaku magic, much-changed Inter rise above a tepid first-half display to see off Empoli after the break; ending a five-game winless streak in Serie A. With his first league goal from open play for many months, the Belgian striker opened up a previously close contest, then went on to rifle home a second and set up strike-partner Martinez for the third. Still not sure of safety, Empoli have now failed to score in their last three matches - the Azzurri's worst run in the top flight for six years.
90' + 4' With only one minute of stoppage time remaining, Destro heads straight at Handanovic from the left side of the box - Empoli's goalless run rolls on.
90' + 1' NO PENALTY! After another look, the VAR clears Acerbi of any wrongdoing and Empoli will not have a spot-kick!
90' + 1' EMPOLI PENALTY? Vignato's inswinging corner from the left seems to strike Acerbi on the arm, and the referee is told by his VAR colleagues to pause the action for a review. Could Empoli be given the chance to score a consolation goal from the spot?
R. Lukaku
88' Lukaku adds an assist to his two second-half strikes by playing a low throughball into Martinez's path.
L. Martínez
88' 3-0 INTER! The 'Lu-La' show is back! Now, Lukaku strides through the centre and turns provider - picking out Martinez with a pass into the box. His strike partner then drags his foot over the ball and tucks it into the bottom corner from 10 yards!
K. Asllani
H. Çalhanoğlu
87' Appearing against his former club, Asllani arrives from the bench. Calhanoglu's midfield shift is over.
85' Having had great difficulty trying to shepherd Martinez away from the ball by the touchline, Ebuehi goes down clutching his shoulder. However, the game can resume straight away as he then returns to his feet.
83' After a couple of brief Empoli flurries, Inter are in total control now; stroking the ball about with authority in midfield. Lukaku's second-half brace has totally changed the mood.
N. Barella
Yellow Card
81' Only minutes after his arrival from the bench, Barella is booked for dissent towards the referee. That was totally needless.
M. Destro
F. Caputo
80' One well-travelled striker replaces another for Empoli, as Destro comes on for Caputo up front.
79' Some industrious endeavour by the left corner flag by Satriano earns Empoli a free-kick in a dangerous area. Can they now make it count and set up a frantic finale?
N. Barella
M. Brozović
77' Barella is also offered a late cameo; Brozovic comes off.
F. Dimarco
R. Gosens
77' With the points all but secure now, Inzaghi makes two more changes. First, Gosens is replaced by Dimarco on the left flank.
H. Çalhanoğlu
76' Calhanoglu played the ball in to Lukaku, but the Belgian striker did all the hard work himself to score Inter's second goal.
R. Lukaku
76' LUKAKU AT THE DOUBLE! Surely that seals it for Inter: it's 2-0 to the Nerazzurri! Invited to run at an exposed Empoli defence, Lukaku drives Ismajli back into his box and then blasts the ball emphatically into the bottom-right corner!
74' At one end Baldanzi has a goalbound drive blocked, then at the other, Lukaku drags a low shot wide from the edge of Empoli's box.
E. Vignato
F. Bandinelli
72' Vignato is introduced too, as Bandinelli makes way.
L. Tonelli
S. Luperto
71' More changes from Empoli: Luperto comes off and veteran Tonelli is on.
L. Martínez
J. Correa
69' Correa makes way for his compatriot Martinez up front, as the latter resumes his once-prosperous 'Lu-La' partnership with Lukaku.
D. Dumfries
R. Bellanova
69' It's now Inzaghi's turn to make a double switch. First, a straight swap on the right flank sees Bellanova replaced by Dumfries.
68' OFF THE BAR! An inviting cross from the left by Gagliardini picks out De Vrij's head in the box, but the Dutch defender is denied by the woodwork! His effort clips the top of the crossbar - so close!
67' SAVE! The latest in a succession of Empoli corners results in a spot of head tennis inside Inter's box, but the Nerazzurri eventually get the ball clear. Then, on the break, Calhanoglu fires a shot at Perisan, who has to tip the ball over at full stretch!
M. Satriano
N. Cambiaghi
65' Cambiaghi is also withdrawn. Intriguingly, Inter loanee Satriano will be his replacement up front.
A. Grassi
N. Haas
65' Zanetti decides to make a double substitution in order to aid Empoli's pursuit of a goal. First, Haas makes way for Grassi in midfield.
63' Completing an important clearance deep inside his own area, D'Ambrosio swipes the ball behind for a corner. Following the set-piece, it ultimately falls to Bandinelli, who scuds a rising shot over the crossbar from around 20 yards out.
60' A perfectly-timed tackle by Bellanova denies Baldanzi access to the Inter area, as Empoli start to build some momentum behind their push for an equaliser.
58' Marin makes a mess of his attempt at goal from near the penalty spot, after more good work from Empoli's chief creator Baldanzi.
56' With a typically explosive strike, Calhanoglu plants a shot from just outside the box no more than a foot over the top of the goal - well struck, but not quite enough dip.
55' After Baldanzi's pass picks out Cambiaghi on the left side of the box, the latter sends a wild shot spiralling well over the crossbar. He should have done better from there, having found himself some precious space.
54' A brilliant surging run by Bellanova sees the wing-back all the way into the box, but his cutback from near the byline is played just behind his attacking colleagues and rolls away from the danger area.
52' Parisi makes a vital interception as Correa and Bellanova try to combine on the right side of Empoli's area. Inter are more confident now and look like they could go on to score a second goal.
50' Empoli have a record of W0, D2, L11 when conceding the opening goal in Serie A this season, so they will have to break new ground under Zanetti if they are to bounce back from Lukaku's goal and claim three points today.
M. Brozović
48' A quick return pass to Lukaku just outside the area sees Brozovic tee up his team-mate to score.
R. Lukaku
48' INTER LEAD! Lukaku strikes - his first open-play goal in Serie A since August! The striker's swift one-two with Brozovic on the edge of the box opens up a slither of space, and he arrows the ball into the bottom-left corner to open the scoring: 1-0 to Inter!
46' Empoli kick off, and we are back under way at the Castellani!
Empoli have now failed to score a first-half goal in 22 of their 31 Serie A fixtures this season, only rock-bottom Sampdoria (23) have done so more often. They are also 45 minutes away from going three top-flight fixtures without scoring for the first time since 2017.
A disjointed display from Inter has showed few signs of stopping the rot in Serie A, as a number of fringe players have failed to gel during the first half. Allied with Empoli's compact shape and determination, the Nerazzurri's lack of sharpness means they are yet to land a single shot on target, while their hosts have had the two best chances - Cambiaghi and Baldanzi both came quite close to opening the scoring. Can the Tuscan side now go on to secure victory, completing the league double over Inter for the very first time?
45' The half draws towards its conclusion with Inter pushing more intently for an opener, but Bellanova's wayward cross is safely pouched by Perisan and their sudden burst of momentum is lost.
43' At the second attempt, Perisan smothers the ball down low when Brozovic attempts to latch onto Correa's pass into the Empoli area.
41' After Gosens wastes a good chance to deliver the ball into a dangerous area from the left, Empoli break rapidly down the other end and earn themselves a corner.
39' Despite making a smart run, Correa can't connect properly with a whipped cross from the right and bundles the ball wide of the near post.
38' For the second time today, the game must be halted for the referee to have his communications equipment adjusted by a colleague. That allows some players to take on drinks.
37' While Inter have had 66 per cent of the ball so far, they have rarely threatened to open the scoring at the Castellani. Empoli have been happy enough without much possession and defending resolutely.
35' Baldanzi drops deep to get on the ball and relieve a little of the pressure on his defensive colleagues. He then cleverly earns a free-kick when Calhanoglu charges in and bundles him over.
33' Apparently in agony, D'Ambrosio stays down for over a minute and then finally hobbles back into position; the action then resumes with Perisan completing a simple catch from Inter's wayward free-kick into the box.
F. Parisi
Yellow Card
32' Following some theatrical rolling around on the turf by D'Ambrosio after a clash of boots between the pair, Parisi is the first player to see yellow today.
30' JUST OVER! After Lukaku can't gather the ball inside the box and Marin makes a hash of his clearance, Gagliardini runs onto another shot from outside the box. This time, he sends it scudding just over Perisan's crossbar!
28' Ebuehi concedes a corner on the right, but Calhanoglu's subsequent delivery is uncharacteristically inaccurate - he sends the ball over everyone packed inside the box and straight out of play.
26' A rather reckless challenge from behind by Gagliardini brings down Cambiaghi in midfield. The referee opts for a stern chat with the Inter midfielder rather than issuing the game's first booking.
24' An inswinging free-kick from the right touchline meets Lukaku's head by the near post, but the Belgian striker can only divert the ball tamely into Perisan's side-netting.
23' Before today's game, Inter have not won any of their last five top-flight fixtures - the club's worst such streak in Serie A since the 2017-2018 season. That's why their hold on a top-four finish has slipped in recent weeks.
21' After another scare at the other end, Inter move forward again, but Gagliardini thumps the ball well over the crossbar from long range.
19' SAVE! Two of Empoli's young guns team up in the Inter area, as a winding run from Parisi opens up some space before he cuts the ball back for Baldanzi. The latter then aims an effort at the bottom-left corner, but Handanovic is equal to it, palming it away to safety!
17' Empoli are now enjoying a little more possession, having soaked up some pressure for most of opening stages.
15' Haas drops deep to clear away Bellanova's outswinging delivery from the right, then a second cross whips across the area and out of play for an Empoli goal-kick.
13' SAVE! A hopeful long ball forward drops nicely for Cambiaghi on the edge of Inter's area, but Handanovic uses his vast experience to read the danger and rushes out to block the striker's low shot. That's good goalkeeping from the Nerazzurri's skipper.
11' Parisi attempts to stand up a cross from the left side of the box, but it's blocked. Despite the left-back's vociferous claims, Bellanova is not penalised for handball - it bounced up off the Inter man's boot and then brushed his dangling arm.
10' Following a brief foray into the Inter half, Empoli are pushed back inside their defensive third. Zanetti will want his team to stay compact and then try to catch their visitors on the break.
8' A long run from the back Acerbi drives Empoli's defensive line back towards their box, then Calhanoglu drags a low attempt well wide of the left-hand post from 20 yards.
6' Correa has weak penalty claims turned down instantly by the referee. Nonetheless, Inter have made a bright start, despite having made seven changes to their lineup today.
4' After Calhanoglu's corner bobbles out to the edge of the box, Brozovic takes aim with a powerful low shot, but it strikes a wall of Azzurri-shirted defenders.
2' Lukaku beats Luperto to the ball on the edge of the Empoli area, then clips a dangerous ball across, which Correa can just keep in play on the byline but can't control well enough to strike at goal.
1' Inter kick off, and we are under way in Empoli!
The players are out on the pitch at a sunny Stadio Castellani, and kick-off is now just moments away!
Inter make several changes to their lineup today, following the exertions of Wednesday night and looking ahead to next week's Coppa Italia semi-final second leg. Barella, Martinez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are among those rested, while Lukaku, Correa and Gosens are three of the men drafted in; Handanovic replaces Onana in goal and also takes the captain's armband. Meanwhile, Milan Skriniar remains absent due to a back injury.
After Koni De Winter suffered a knee injury last week, Empoli bring Ismajli back into their defence upon his recovery from a muscular problem, while Cambiaghi comes in up front. First-choice goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario remains unavailable, so Perisan is again called upon to deputise between the posts. Inter loanee Satriano starts on the bench.
SUBS: Andre Onana, Alex Cordaz, Federico Dimarco, Nicolo Barella, Denzel Dumfries, Lautaro Martinez, Matteo Darmian, Alessandro Bastoni, Edin Dzeko, Kristjan Asllani, Mattia Zanotti, Valentin Carboni.
INTER (3-5-2): Samir Handanovic; Danilo D'Ambrosio, Stefan de Vrij, Francesco Acerbi; Raoul Bellanova, Roberto Gagliardini, Marcelo Brozovic, Hakan Calhanoglu, Robin Gosens; Joaquin Correa, Romelu Lukaku.
SUBS: Samir Ujkani, Lovro Stubljar, Liberato Cacace, Emanuel Vignato, Martin Satriano, Alberto Grassi, Marko Pjaca, Roberto Piccoli, Petar Stojanovic, Lorenzo Tonelli, Mattia Destro, Duccio Degl'Innocenti, Liam Henderson.
EMPOLI (4-3-1-2): Samuele Perisan; Tyronne Ebuehi, Ardian Ismajli, Sebastiano Luperto, Fabiano Parisi; Nicolas Haas, Filippo Bandinelli, Razvan Marin; Tommaso Baldanzi; Nicolo Cambiaghi, Francesco Caputo.
Having secured a place in the Champions League semi-finals, Inter return to domestic duty today, and there is plenty of work required to secure a top-four finish in Serie A. The Nerazzurri's aggregate victory over Benfica sets up a derby double against city rivals Milan next month, but they sit sixth in the standings following some sluggish form and the recent restoration of 15 points to Juventus. Last week, Simone Inzaghi's side suffered an 11th league defeat of the season as Lombardy neighbours Monza won 1-0 at San Siro. While they have now lost five of their last seven in Serie A, Inter have not conceded a single goal throughout their last seven visits to Empoli, winning each of the last four.
Following last week's loss at lowly Cremonese, Empoli remain under threat of relegation - Verona's win on Friday sees today's hosts sitting just six points above the Serie A drop zone. Paolo Zanetti's men have also failed to find the net in their last two matches, after a goalless draw with Milan previously. In January's reverse fixture, though, the Tuscan club stunned San Siro by beating 10-man Inter 1-0 - one of only two league wins in their last 12 matches - and will now aim to do the double over their second-city counterparts.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of today's Serie A clash between Empoli and Inter at Stadio Carlo Castellani!