ROME (AP) — Three days after they met in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals and three days before they meet again, Inter Milan is still in better form than AC Milan.
Romelu Lukaku celebrated his 30th birthday with two goals as Inter beat Sassuolo 4-2 in Serie A on Saturday, shortly after AC Milan lost at relegation-threatened Spezia 2-0.
Inter also beat Milan 2-0 in the opening leg of the semifinal — and has won seven straight across all competitions.
Lukaku put Inter ahead before the break with a demonstration of his strength; taking a pass with his back to the goal, turning around his defender and smashing a shot into the top corner.
Lukaku closed out the scoring by finishing off a counterattack from a difficult angle.
An own goal from Ruan Tressoldi doubled Inter’s advantage by deflecting in a shot from Raoul Bellanova and Lautaro Martinez scored with another shot deflected in by Tressoldi.
Matheus Henrique and Davide Frattesi scored late for Sassuolo.
In Spezia, Przemysław Wisniewski and Salvatore Esposito scored their first Serie A goals late in the second half for the hosts.
Wisniewski knocked in a rebound of a shot from Kelvin Amian that had hit the post following a corner, then Esposito curled in a free kick over Milan’s wall.
Inter moved level on points with second-placed Juventus, while Milan remained fifth, four points behind fourth-placed Lazio.
Earlier, Salernitana beat Atalanta 1-0 with a stoppage-time winner from substitute Antonio Candreva.
Atalanta was in seventh place and seven points below the Champions League places. Victory virtually sealed another season in the top-flight for Salernitana, which moved eight points above the drop zone with three matches to play.
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