Inter moves into third place with victory against Atalanta


Inter Milan climbed to third in Serie A with a comfortable 2-0 victory at home to Atalanta on Wednesday. Rodrigo Palacio missed a penalty midway through the first half but Pablo Osvaldo made amends with a spectacular finish before the interval. Inter continued to dominate the contest and Anderson Hernanes finally wrapped up the victory with a superb free-kick late on. The win is Inter's second of the campaign so far and means Walter Mazzarri's side remain unbeaten after four league matches. Atalanta meanwhile drop to 11th in the table after a second-successive defeat. The hosts enjoyed the majority of possession in the early stages with Fredy Guarin striking a free-kick over bar in the seventh minute. Atalanta struggled to establish a foothold in the contest and Nemanja Vidic almost broke the deadlock when he met Jonathan Moreira's corner but the defender's header came back off the post. A minute later, Inter were in again as Mateo Kovacic fed Palacio but the Argentina international, making his first start of the season, was denied by Atalanta keeper Marco Sportiello. Palacio's evening took another turn for the worse in the 29th minute as Yohan Benalouane fouled Andrea Ranocchia and the referee awarded Inter a penalty. Palacio stepped up but again it was Sportiello who came out on top, palming the spot-kick away from the bottom right-hand corner. Atalanta's resistance finally broke, however, five minutes before half-time as Osvaldo acrobatically volleyed Guarin's free-kick into the net for his third goal since joining Inter on loan from Southampton in the summer. The second period began much as the first had ended as Palacio almost doubled his side's advantage when his left-footed shot struck the post. Guarin and Hernanes both went close with shots from distance but the all-important second goal continued to elude the home side. Instead, it was Atalanta who almost levelled in the 70th minute when Marcelo Estigarribia found space in the box but his close-range header flew narrowly wide. The chances dried up at both ends of the pitch as the clock ticked down in the latter stages. With six minutes to play, Sportiello tipped Gary Medel's smart shot over the bar but the Atalanta keeper could do nothing three minutes later, as Hernanes curled a free-kick brilliantly into the top right-hand corner to seal a well-deserved victory.