Spalletti battling for survival as Inter try to save face against Milan

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“The derby is always the derby, it makes you feel strong emotions even if I was even more motivated for games against Juventus. All of the wins against Milan were good, even the 4-0 which I spent on the bench. The Rossoneri have toughened up because Gattuso snarls on the bench and makes it look like they’re playing with 12. Piątek fights for every ball but he scores as part of the team thanks to everyone. Our guys will know what to do.” Those were the words of former Nerazzurri defender Marco Materazzi, who spoke to Inter TV about what it meant for him to feature in the Derby Milano during his playing career. Continue reading

Spalletti in defiant mood ahead of Derby Milano

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Luciano Spalletti held his traditional pre-match press conference ahead of tonight’s Derby della Madonnina between AC Milan and Inter. Here is what the Nerazzurri coach said to the journalists who gathered at the Suning Training Centre yesterday afternoon: Continue reading

Juventus Finally Turn To Youth Ahead Of Crucial Stage

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It took a 16 point lead over second-place Napoli for it to happen, but Juventus have finally started giving their homegrown players a chance, and what an impact they’ve had so far. Following a narrow victory over Napoli, the bianconeri essentially wrapped up their eighth consecutive Scudetto, and could definitively pour all their efforts into the Champions League; especially now with Ajax in their way of a semi-final berth.

Prior to their clash against Atletico Madrid, Juventus hosted a relegation threatened Udinese. With their lead at the top secure, Allegri made the most of the opportunity and fielded Moise Kean and Leonardo Spinazzola from the start; two homegrown players. Until now, both players had played a bit-part role since returning to Juventus, and were rumoured to go out on loan to mid-table Serie A sides in the January transfer window to gain experience. In the end, both vetoed any proposed loan moves and opted to fight for their place.

It wouldn’t take long for Kean to make his impact felt in his first start in Serie A action this season, and notched a brace inside forty minutes with two smart finishes. The Italian international would even win the bianconeri a penalty, however, Kean, on a hat-trick, allowed Emre Can to take it. Safe to say, the 19-year-old proved he’s worthy of more minutes moving forward, especially considering the bianconeri’s 18-point cushion at the top. Thus far, the Italian international is averaging a goal every 35 minutes for Juventus, highlighting his instinctive nature in front of goal.

Spinazzola, by contrast, had a very strong outing against the Zebrette playing as a right-wingback. Despite playing on the opposite wing, the former Atalanta man was still able to demonstrate his turn of pace, successfully completing two dribbles in the process. Much like Kean, Spinazzola showed Allegri he’s ready to compete for a starting position, especially considering Alex Sandro’s decline over the last two seasons.

With the Brazilian suspended for the crucial second leg against Atletico Madrid, Allegri rewarded Spinazzola with a starting berth in the biggest game of the season. The Italian international did not let the pressure of the moment get to him, and made the most of his opportunity, tormenting Atletico’s Santiago Arias at will.

Before being subbed off for Dybala in the 67th minute, as Juventus looked for a winner, the 25-year-old was one of the bianconeri’s most impressive players on the night, and showed that Alex Sandro’s place in the starting eleven isn’t as secured as the Brazilian would like to think. After seven loan spells spanning from 2012 to 2018, it’s finally Spinazzola’s time to establish himself as a Juventus regular.

Kean, on the other hand, was given just over ten minutes to make an impact against Atletico, and he did exactly that. Against one of Europe’s elite defences, Kean looked extremely dangerous, pressing their defenders at neck-breaking pace as they tired. After an impressive run behind the Spaniards’ defence, the Italian international almost found the winner but fired his effort just wide with his weak foot. Nonetheless, much like his compatriot, Kean showed Allegri that he can compete at the highest level despite his inexperience and is ready to challenge Mario Mandzukic for more minutes.

Had Kean and Spinazzola not believed in themselves and stayed with the club in January, we could have been looking at a much different Juventus side today. After being forced by the circumstances to play them, Allegri has found further depth in these two homegrown talents. With a crucial stage in the season approaching and Champions League glory in their sights, it’s clear Kean and Spinazzola will only get more minutes to prove their worth, and rightly so. After all, they’ve earned it.

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Spalletti demanding great Inter performance versus Frankfurt

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Luciano Spalletti held his traditional pre-match press conference ahead of Inter’s UEFA Europa League last 16 match against Eintracht Frankfurt tomorrow night. Here is what the 60-year-old tactician had to say: “We must focus on this game in front of us rather than the league. It’s a knockout tie, therefore, I expect something great, with that added bit extra on an individual level. The players are aware that this is a crucial moment.” Continue reading

Marotta non-committal on Icardi’s Inter future

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Beppe Marotta was interviewed by Sky Sport prior to Inter’s 2-0 victory over SPAL this afternoon. Inevitably, the Nerazzurri’s CEO sport was asked about Mauro Icardi’s future at the club, with the Argentine refusing to train despite being given the all-clear by medical staff at Appiano Gentile. Here is what the former Sampdoria and Juventus transfer guru had to say on the matter: Continue reading

Professional Inter display should set tone for Frankfurt and Milan

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“There aren’t many games left and every result is vital as we pursue our goals. Could this week be a turning point? I expect the team to adapt to every situation. As we’ve said before, a number of players allow us to always put out the best Inter team and that’s how it will be in the upcoming games. We need to understand what we have to do and where we need to go. At some points this season, we could have done better but we did very well at other points and the team has always shown that it has the desire to move forward.” Continue reading

Spalletti delighted by Inter’s second half performance against SPAL

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Luciano Spalletti spoke to the media in the aftermath of Inter’s comfortable 2-0 victory over SPAL this afternoon. Here is what he had to say: “Despite our absences, 11 players worthy of Inter headed out onto the pitch today. We struggled a bit with the emotions at the start and this must not happen. We knew we had to win and once our fire started to burn inside then we broke the deadlock and went on to win. We were a bit timid and insecure during the first half. The lads had a different conviction after our second goal and we were back in possession of our characteristics. In the second half, I could see what we were really about. Continue reading

Spalletti more than satisfied by Inter’s performance in Frankfurt

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Luciano Spalletti spoke to Sky Sport in the aftermath of Inter’s goalless draw against Eintracht Frankfurt in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League last 16 tie. Here is what he had to say: “I must praise the guys because they played with authority and personality, making an impact on the game. It wasn’t easy here. In these types of matches, qualification is fought for over 180 minutes. Only the second leg result will determine if this 0-0 is a positive result. Continue reading

Cédric insists Inter are aiming for Europa League glory

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Inter full-back Cédric Soares spoke to the media in anticipation of tomorrow night’s UEFA Europa League last 16 match against Eintracht Frankfurt. Here is what he had to say: “It’s been a good two months for me. When given the chance to play, I always look to give my all and help the team. As for my future at the end of the season, I’ve not thought about it. Inter signed me because they had faith in me and I also have faith in myself. I always give my all, whether that be playing one minute, 20 or 90. What happens is beyond my control, but obviously, I’d be very happy if I were to stay. Continue reading

Spalletti expects Inter to stand up and be counted in Frankfurt

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Luciano Spalletti held his traditional pre-match press conference ahead of Inter’s UEFA Europa League last 16 match against Eintracht Frankfurt tomorrow night. Here is what the Tuscan tactician had to say as he previewed the first leg: “Our opponents are enjoying a great season, they play good football. They have a lot of quality but we’ll look to be strong tomorrow. We’ll look to give our all to get the best result possible. We must learn from recent experiences so that we have the right intentions on the pitch and so that we can display all of our ability.” Continue reading