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Inter continue Scudetto march at battling Bologna

Inter forward Marcus Thuram (left) fights for the ball with Bologna's Jhon Lucumi. Photo: Gabriel Bouys/AFP

Inter took another step towards a 20th Serie A title on Saturday with a 1-0 win at in-form Bologna which extended their massive league lead to 18 points.

Yann Bisseck headed home the only goal of a tight contest in the 37th minute at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara as Inter geared up for Wednesday’s Champions League decider with Atletico Madrid in positive fashion.

Germany defender Bisseck’s second goal of the season extended Inter’s all-competitions winning streak since the turn of the year to 13 matches and emphasised how the league crown is more a matter of when rather than if.

“This is one of the most difficult places to play… beating Bologna is not easy. We gave everything,” said Nicolo Barella to DAZN.

“Who knows how soon we can win it (the league), it depends on the other teams. It’s difficult for those chasing us, let’s hope it stays difficult for them.”

Second-placed Juventus can cut the yawning gap between themselves and Inter when they host Atalanta on Sunday.

However, with the title race effectively done and dusted it will be Atalanta with more to play for as they battle Bologna, in fourth, for a spot in next season’s revamped Champions League.

Defeat for Bologna snapped a six-match winning streak and left an opening for the other teams aiming for the top four.

Atalanta are five points off Bologna in sixth while Roma will move to within one point of Thiago Motta’s team with a win at Fiorentina on Sunday.

Bologna have been the season’s surprise package and were unbeaten in two league and cup matches against Inter before Saturday’s fixture.

Unstoppable Inter

Under a downpour in northern Italy, where rain has been falling for weeks, Bologna dominated for long stretches but couldn’t find a way past Yann Sommer.

“You can’t concede in the way we did because once you’re behind against a team like Inter they know how to manage the game,” said Motta to DAZN.

“You can only congratulate Inter because they deserve everything they’re getting at the moment.”

Bologna are bidding to qualify for the Champions League for the first time, although the seven-time Italian champions played one round in the old European Cup in 1964, the same year that they most recently won the Scudetto.

Last season’s ninth place was the highest Bologna had finished in Serie A for over a decade and they are still on course for their best placing in years.

Inter now turn their attentions to Atletico, who lost to lowly Cadiz in La Liga on Saturday, as they defend a 1-0 lead from last month’s first leg at the San Siro.

“It will be a great match, the Champions League is possibly the best competition and we need to stay in it as long as we can,” said Barella.

Earlier, Cagliari moved out of the relegation zone with a thrilling 4-2 win over rock-bottom Salernitana, who continued to slide towards the drop.

Claudio Ranieri’s side climbed all the way up to 13th with their second straight win while Salernitana’s winless run extended to 11 matches.

Sassuolo won their first match under new coach Davide Ballardini 1-0 against Frosinone, but they stay 19th and one point behind their opponents who are just outside the bottom three.

Standings provided by Sofascore

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