A bumpy pitch and hot weather took the shine off Inter Milan’s 1-0 victory over Lyon on Monday in a pre-season friendly held in China.
The match at Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre – home of Chinese Super League’s Jiangsu Suning – saw both sides struggle with the poor surface and humidity.
The city’s weather bureau issued a red heatwave alert earlier in the day, ordering all outdoor work in the city to be stopped as temperatures hit 39 degrees Celsius, although the mercury dropped by the start of the match.
There was little action until the 19th minute, when Lyon’s Bertrand Traore let fly from around 20 metres out only for the ball to narrowly sail over the bar.
There were also missed opportunities for the French side’s Mariano and Ferland Mendy.
Inter pulled ahead in the 75th minute when Joao Mario broke down the right flank. The Portuguese midfielder squared the ball to an unmarked Stevan Jovetic, who scored the only goal of the match.
After the final whistle, the Inter players held up a banner in Chinese that read: “All of the world is one family – thank you for your support” in front of a delighted crowd.
China retailing giant Suning bankrolls Inter, having snapped up a majority stake in the celebrated Italian club last year.
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