Inter beat Verona to close the gap at top of Serie A to one point


Inter Milan closed the gap on Serie A leaders AC Milan to one point after cruising to a 2-0 victory over Hellas Verona on Saturday.

With Milan not in action until Sunday, Inter built on their crucial 1-0 win over Juventus last weekend with a comfortable success at San Siro.

Two goals in the first half put them beyond the visitors, with Nicolo Barella’s fine, half-volleyed finish and a tap in from striker Edin Dzeko on the half-hour mark doing the damage for the hosts.

Danilo D’Ambrosio had a great chance to score another for Inter late on but fired too close to Verona goalkeeper Lorenzo Montipo, who tipped the ball on to the post.

Inter climbed above Napoli, who face Fiorentina on Sunday, into second on 66 points from 31 matches. Verona stay ninth on 45 points.

“I know how hard we work, I know how much the boys care, I know that we have brought home a [Italian] Super Cup,” coach Simone Inzaghi told DAZN.

“But I know that by coaching Inter there may be criticisms at times, which is right that they should be made, yet I have always had confidence. I know the path we are pursuing.

“There are seven to go, we are all there, we will have to fight in every game because the pitfalls in this Serie A are always around the corner.”

Before last weekend’s hard-fought win over Juve, Inter had won one of their previous seven league games, allowing Milan to pull clear at the top of the table.

However, after the leaders were held to a 0-0 draw by Bologna on Monday, Inter knew victory over Verona would put them within touching distance of their city rivals.

Barella picked the perfect moment to score his first since January on the end of an Ivan Perisic cross, who also turned provider for Dzeko to net his 13th Serie A goal of the season.

Verona did rally in the second half, with Kevin Lasagna arrowing a fierce strike just over the top, but Inter remained in control until the final whistle.

Vlahovic pounces to earn Juventus a comeback win at Cagliari

Serbia striker Dusan Vlahovic pounced 15 minutes from time to earn Juventus a 2-1 comeback victory at Cagliari in Serie A on Saturday.

Juve made a slow start in Sardinia and fell behind when Italy striker Joao Pedro stroked the hosts into a 10th-minute lead.

The visitors dominated the remainder of the opening period and got themselves back on level terms on the stroke of half-time when Netherlands defender Matthijs de Ligt headed home.

There was only going to be one winner as Juve remained well on top in the second half, with the pressure finally telling as January signing Vlahovic scored his fifth league goal since arriving in Turin to seal victory for his new side.

The win helped fourth-placed Juve close to within four points of Napoli in third, ahead of the Neapolitans’ clash with Fiorentina on Sunday.

At the other end of the standings, Cagliari’s fifth successive league loss left them three points above the relegation zone, having played two more games than Venezia in 18th.

An unbeaten league run stretching back to November before last weekend’s clash with Inter had dragged Juve back into the title race, but the defeat by the champions, coach Massimiliano Allegri has insisted, meant the Scudetto was out of reach.

The title would have felt even further away after Joao Pedro’s fine finish from the edge of the penalty area – his 12th league goal of the season.

Juve thought they had come up with an immediate response after Luca Pellegrini’s shot found the net, via a deflection off Adrien Rabiot, but it was ruled out following a VAR review with Rabiot adjudged to have used his arm to divert the ball home.

Further chances came and went as it looked Juve would be frustrated going into the break before De Ligt guided Juan Cuadrado’s cross into the net.

Argentine striker Paulo Dybala, who is leaving the club at the end of the season, wasted a golden chance to complete the comeback early in the second half, firing over from a good position.

Cuadrado drilled wide as that game-killing second continued to elude Juventus before Vlahovic poked home from close range to break Cagliari’s resistance and get Juve back to winning ways.


Courtesy: Reuters

Facebook Comments