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Why Inter Milan have one of Europe's most dangerous strike partnerships

CONTRIBUTOR
Feature
15 Nov 2019, 19:45 IST

Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez have been on fire for Inter this season.
Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez have been on fire for Inter this season.

Champion teams have thrived in the presence of successful strike partnerships. Attacking trios and striker duos across teams are celebrated due to the sheer amount of goals they contribute to their team. One such combination this season has been Inter Milan's front two of Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez. In them, Antonio Conte has found a perfect strike partnership to deploy his favoured system.

The duo has been on fire for Inter scoring and creating goals in plenty. 10 of Inter’s last 12 goals scored have come from either the Belgian or the Argentine. Their form is a significant reason behind the Nerazzuri's flying start in the Serie A, where they've won 10 matches so far and only suffered one defeat, to league leaders Juventus. 

Despite Inter's shaky start in Europe, Lautaro Martinez has found his scoring boots in the UEFA Champions League as well netting three times in four matches. He's scored five goals in the league thus far and needs just one more goal to match last season's tally.

Lautaro Martinez celebrates after scoring against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.
Lautaro Martinez celebrates after scoring against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.

While last year which was a debut season for him was more of a learning curve, he has come of age this year and justified the trust Inter have placed in him. Mauro Icardi's departure from the club also helped him establish his place in the starting XI and showcase the goalscoring abilities he possesses.

Romelu Lukaku's start to the season shows precisely why Cone wanted him so badly and pushed Inter to sign from Manchester United. With nine goals to his name, he's second in the league's scoring charts and very much involved in most of his team's attacks. Conte has stuck to his natural formations of 3-5-2 and variations of a 3-4-1-2 with much of their progress coming through vertical passing. Inter's centre-backs and midfielders have consistently played long balls into the Belgian who lays it off to either Martinez or any of their other overlapping midfielders.

The Belgian has been among the goals ever since his big-money move from Manchester United.
The Belgian has been among the goals ever since his big-money move from Manchester United.

Lukaku's hold up play and first touches have been an essential part of his football at Inter. It's certainly been a pleasant and fruitful shift from his torrid last days at United where he was heavily criticised for his poor performances which mirrored the team as well. Inter's attacks often take place with Lukaku as a fulcrum and Martinez sticking close by to get the second ball and get past opposition defenders with ease. 

Ever since Mourinho's departure from the club, Inter have never really been the same. They are regularly touted to be the ones challenging Juventus to the title but haven't entirely done that in recent years. With a serial winner like Conte in charge and his tactics bringing the best out of his front two, it finally feels like a season where the Nerazzurri will give the Bianconeri a proper fight in the quest for the Scudetto. 

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