Inter just about did enough at Empoli on Saturday, as Keita Balde Diao’s 72nd-minute goal secured a 1-0 Serie A win
Keita Balde Diao scored late in the game to give Inter a 1-0 win away to struggling Empoli in the absence of their travelling fans following racist abuse aimed at Kalidou Koulibaly last time out.
On top of a two-match home ban for Inter fans, Empoli refused to sell tickets to away supporters following the abuse of Napoli’s Koulibaly, but Luciano Spalletti’s men did not let it impact them and went on to claim the points.
Neither side offered much of an attacking threat in a generally dull first half, with creative ingenuity sorely lacking, particularly from the away side.
Keita had an effort chalked off early in the second half, and, although that hardly ushered in a period of great drama, the talented winger did make the difference with the decisive goal 18 minutes from time, moving Inter to within two points of second-placed Napoli, who host Bologna later on Saturday.
After a tepid start, the first chance presented itself in the 29th minute and Inter survived, as Miha Zajc headed Manuel Pasqual’s cross over from close range.
Inter responded by going straight up the other end and testing Ivan Provedel – Matteo Politano cutting in from the right and seeing his stinging drive palmed away.
— Inter (@Inter_en) December 29, 2018