Lukaku strikes again as Inter swamp Torino in torrential rain

ROME (Reuters) - Inter Milan kept up the pressure on Serie A leaders Juventus with a comfortable 3-0 win at Torino in torrential weather conditions on Saturday.

Goals from Lautaro Martinez and Stefan de Vrij gave Antonio Conte’s side the halftime lead and Romelu Lukaku’s 10th strike of the season put the result beyond doubt in the second half.

Kick-off was delayed at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino so water could be swept off the pitch amid heavy rainfall, and the players had to work hard throughout the game on a sodden surface that deteriorated as the downpour continued.

Inter are second with 34 points, one behind Juve who beat Atalanta 3-1 earlier on Saturday, while Torino are 12th on 14.

“The thing that makes me happiest is the clean sheet,” Inter coach Conte told DAZN.

“It was a good defensive performance and that is very important, because we know that we score sooner or later. If we can be more watertight at the back, then we will be in good shape."

Torino have historically provided a tough challenge for Inter and went into the game unbeaten in their last five Serie A meetings with the Milanese giants, including winning their last two home games.

But Walter Mazzari’s side rarely threatened to continue that run of form, finding themselves behind after just 12 minutes when Martinez was sent clean through on goal and rifled a finish into the bottom corner.

Torino goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu did well to parry a Lukaku header, but from the resulting corner the home defence fell apart as De Vrij stole in unmarked at the back post to tuck home a cross.

Samir Handanovic had to be alert to stop Lorenzo De Silvestri’s point-blank effort with a one-handed save on the brink of half-time.

But Lukaku put the result beyond doubt 10 minutes into the second half when he drilled a low shot past Sirigu.

(Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie; editing by Tony Lawrence)