kriniar helps Inter beat Atalanta 1-0 to go 6 points clear

Milan, Mar 9 (AP) Inter Milan moved six points clear at the top of Serie A after a 1-0 win at home against high-scoring Atalanta.

Defender Milan kriniar scored early in the second half on Monday and boosted Inter’s chances of winning its first Italian league title in more than a decade.

Inter’s seventh successive win saw it restore its healthy advantage over second-placed AC Milan. It is also 10 points clear of third-placed Juventus, which has played a match less.

“Our rivals had won and closed the gap so it was inevitable that we felt a certain pressure, which will keep on increasing,” Inter coach Antonio Conte said.

“Moreover, we were facing an Atalanta side which takes points off all the big teams. We’ve taken home a really important win against a team which could have disrupted our title bid but which is now 13 points behind us.”

It was the first time Atalanta failed to score away from home in Serie A since 2019, and Gian Piero Gasperini’s side remained fifth, a point behind Roma.

“We had a good match, we’re satisfied but angry because of the result,” Gasperini said.

“For the game that we had we feel we deserved more than a defeat.

“But we were playing against Inter, which is first in the standings and on course for the title: it’s their year. We’ll come out of this match stronger, with more belief.”

Atalanta scored 11 goals in its past three matches and came closest to taking the lead at the end of a tense first half as first Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic pulled off a fantastic save to deny Duv n Zapata then Marcelo Brozovic had to clear from practically on the line from the ensuing corner.

Inter broke the deadlock nine minutes after the break when Atalanta failed to properly clear a corner and kriniar fired the loose ball into the bottom left corner.

Inter held on for its seventh clean sheet in its past nine league matches. It has conceded only two goals in that run.