Luciano Spalletti Insists Inter ‘Need to Develop Further’ Despite 3-2 Over Rivals AC Milan

?After Argentine captain Mauro Icardi claimed the bragging rights for the blue side of Milan with a dominating display in the 3-2 victory against city rivals AC Milan, manager Luciano Spalletti claimed his side still need to ‘develop further’ after closing the gap on top placed Napoli.

Speaking to the club’s ?official website after the game, the former Roma coach insisted his side do not rest on the impressive start they have made at the beginning of the Serie A campaign, looking ahead to the crunch match away to Napoli on October the 21st.

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“This win gives us enthusiasm but we must be realistic and keep working in the right way,” said the Inter Milan manager.

“Like tonight, the team will take to the pitch in the knowledge that they’re up against a great opponent but aware that they have certain requirements as they wear this shirt. We’ll go there to play but Napoli are a great side and Sarri is doing a brilliant job.”

With twenty two points on the board from a possible twenty four, thanks to a last-minute penalty from hat-trick hero Icardi, Spalletti heaped praise on his captain while also saluting the efforts of his team mates in the 3-2 victory.

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“Mauro was great. He was fundamental, he helped the team as he went to recover the ball, lessening the burden on his teammates, he’s a strong player, he’s complete for his age and he takes on great responsibility,” added Spalletti.

“I see that these players are serious, they’re professionals and they know how to do what is asked of them. If everyone is pushing in the same direction, it’s easier to get results.”


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Inter Milan 3-2 AC Milan: A Mauro Icardi Hat-Trick Clinches Victory in the Derby della Madonnina

On an evening of exciting football in Serie A, late drama ensued as Inter Milan were awarded a controversial penalty in the closing stages of the game to take all three points and the bragging rights of the city, while keeping within distance of leaders Napoli.

A hat-trick from Mauro Icardi, with a last-gasp penalty in the 89th minute gave the hosts a victory, although replays show the foul on Danilo D’Ambrosio from Ricardo Rodríguez was a soft one. Goals from Suso and Giacomo Bonaventura gave the visitors hope, but it was Inter who took all three points.

?A pulsating derby that goes back a hundred and nine years began with both teams playing on the front foot, passing and probing to test the defensive set up and tactics of a match between two rivals in second place and ninth in Serie A.

As the tackles went flying in during a typical hot-blooded affair between the two sides of Milan, referee Paolo Tagliavento had to keep his wits about him to know who was play acting and which was a genuine foul, booking Nerazzurri defender Miranda and AC Milan stopper Alessio Romagnoli in the first half.

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The first real chance of the half fell to the excellent Antonio Candreva, who curled a sumptuous right-footed effort from twenty-five yards out, which crashed off the bar, as Gianluigi Donnarumma scrambled to keep it out.

Inter again tested the young Italian international with a powerful Miranda header from a Ivan Periši? cross, which was just outside the post as the home side pushed for the first goal of the game.

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With twenty eight minutes gone, the home crowd were on their feet as captain and in-form striker Mauro Icardi bagged his seventh league goal, as the Argentine swept home a deft flick, thanks to a dangerous whipped in cross from Italian midfielder Candreva, who put it on a plate for Icardi.

As the visitors struggled through the majority of the first half to create any decent chances, on the stroke of half time former Liverpool forward Fabio Borini nearly found the opener for Rossoneri, after a fantastic through ball from Franck Kessié played the striker through on goal. Struggling to set himself, Borini hit a tame shot into the path of Samir Handanovi?, who parried the ball away with ease after a low save.

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After a poor first half, the away side came out of the blocks much faster, as former Villarreal defender Mateo Musacchio looked to have scored his first goal in Italy, finishing off a rebound from a André Silva shot which hit the post, but his celebrations were cut short when the visitors realised the flag was up.

Further efforts from substitute Patrick Cutrone and Suso, who fizzed a speculative effort from 30 yards out, forcing a difficult save from Handanovi?, giving the hosts a cause for concern. Cutrone again showed why he was introduced from the bench, whiskers away from getting his side off the mark with a flicked shot, similar to Icardi’s goal, which hit the side netting.

Finally making their early second half pressure pay, AC Milan got back on level terms with ex-Liverpool midfielder Suso equalising in the Derby della Madonnina. Using the overlapping run of Musacchio to create some space outside the box, the Spaniard opened up his body and bent a wonderful left footed strike past Handanovi?, who had no chance.

Following ten minutes of intense pressure, Inter Milan finally woke up in the second half with the hosts nearly taking the lead once again, as Matías Vecino should have finished a relatively easy chance from ten yards out, sending an effort wide of the post under no pressure.

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As AC Milan looked the more likely to score a second with Bonaventura testing the safe hands of Handanovi? once more , their city rivals made the Rossoneri pay as Icardi showed why he is one of the deadliest strikers in Italian football right now.

Winning the ball on the half way line before running at the AC Milan defence, the Argentine forward waited for Periši? to support him, playing the Croatian winger down the line who in turn lifted in a delicate pass, which Icardi dispatched on the volley magnificently.

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With both sides pushing to put the game beyond doubt, to their credit, the Rossoneri came back once again to bring another enthralling game to 2-2, as Bonaventura at the second time of asking found the back of the net, with goal-line replays showing the ball had clearly crossed the line. Showing the desire needed as many Inter defenders watched on, the midfielder had to just help the ball in after a whipped in Borini cross.

Subsitite Eder came close with a shot which was blocked by Miranda, but it was Icardi who stepped up to the plate in the final stages of the game, taking his side ten points clear of their rivals with a cool penalty in the 89th minute, after Rodriguez was adjudged to have brought down D’Ambrosio in the box.

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Former Man Utd Star Explains Why Retiring Andrea Pirlo Was ‘the Best Midfielder in the World’

?Former Manchester United man Park Ji-sung has insisted that Andrea Pirlo was ‘the best midfielder in the world.’

The South Korean was full of admiration for the Italian maestro, who is to hang up his boots at the end of the current MLS season with New York City FC.

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Park remembers clearly coming up against Pirlo when they represented United and AC Milan respectively, and he doesn’t believe there was better than him around that time.

Speaking to ?Goal, he said: “He was not a big player physically, but his ability in passing, taking free-kicks, shooting from distance, play-making was the best in the world at that time.

“I believe he was a great player who could dictate the game. He was the biggest threat to any team who played against his team.”

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Park was the man tasked with trying to neutralise chief orchestrator Pirlo in the 2010 Champions League last 16 tie, and he was relatively successful in his duty as United surged into the quarter-finals after winning 7-2 on aggregate.

Speaking of the role Sir Alex Ferguson specifically assigned him, Park added: “I tried to block him so that he cannot be in possession of the ball. When he had the ball, I tried to prevent him passing the ball in front of him.

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“To mark Pirlo was not easy. It was hard mentally, physically but consequently Milan had a difficult game against us.”

There has been an outpouring of adulation for Pirlo since he announced his decision to retire, with many labelling him as one of the finest playmakers ever to have played the game.


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Mauro Icardi Reveals That He Wants to Reach the 100-Goal Mark Playing for Inter Milan

?Mauro Icardi has been Inter Milan’s talisman as captain and striker in the last couple of seasons.

Ahead of of the Milan Derby on Sunday evening, Icardi revealed to the Chinese press at Inter’s Suning training centre of his desire to reach 100 goals and more while playing for the Nerazzurri. 

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“I want to reach 100 goals in an Inter jersey, even if becoming the club’s all-time top scorer would be frankly difficult to achieve,” the Argentine forward told the press, as quoted in ?Football Italia. 

Icardi has score 84 goals in 153 games for Inter with six goals in seven appearance so far in this year’s Serie A campaign. 

He expressed his gratitude in being apart of Inter’s top 10 record goal scorers, but believes he can achieve more with the Italian side.

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“I am very happy to be in the top 10 scorers for this club, but it’s a long way off the top. In any case, my aim is to score many more goals for Inter.”

He believes his development as a striker comes from training every day and receiving help from the Inter staff.

“I work every day to improve and the staff here really help me. I try to get better every day and never stop. Every player can always improve, no matter his age or experience.

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“I am strongest inside the penalty area, but I do want to improve my overall game. My work has only just begun.”

Icardi is on-track for another double figures in goals this season, hopefully breaking his 100-goal record with the form his side are in. 


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3 Key Battles Which Could Decide Sunday’s Key Milan Derby at San Siro

As red prepares to do battle with blue at San Siro on Sunday evening, we look ahead to ahead to three key areas where the game will be won or lost. 

Inter have made the more impressive start, sitting third in the table and still undefeated, while Milan have stuttered in their rebuild and lie in seventh. However, as we all know, form goes out of the window come derby day. 

3. Leonardo Bonucci v Mauro Icardi

In a window where AC Milan acquired 11 new faces, it was the capture of Leonardo Bonucci which was most noteworthy. One of the most sought after defenders in Europe, accrued for a bargain price, seemed like the perfect piece of business to propel the Milanese sleeping giants back where they belong.

Fastforward two months into the season, and Milan fans are scratching their heads. Bonucci has looked a diminutive figure so far, compared to his all conquering days at Juventus. However, the Rossoneri faithful will be hoping that Sunday’s clash will reignite Bonucci’s flame. 

His task is not an easy one; Inter represents Milan’s sternest test to date, boasting a formidable frontline spearheaded by the prolific Mauro Icardi. The Argentine will be looking to inflict yet more pain upon Bonucci, after scoring an impressive seven times in nine games against Bonucci’s Juventus (his second best tally against sides in the Serie A). 

In essence, whoever comes out on top out of these two will go a long way in deciding the fate of the match as a whole.

2. Borja Valero v Franck Kessié

To summon in the new age of the Derby della Madonnina, fittingly the struggle in midfield will be between to new signings. However, that is essentially where the similarities end, apart from their shared ability to completely take over a game.

Borja Valero is the archetypal Spanish passing maestro. He purveys supreme distribution to his teammates with excellent technical skill, and can control the entire tempo of a game if he is permitted. He is also ageing, and has never possessed any kind of real pace.

Franck Kessié is a raw, dynamic and daring footballer. He is indeed a powerhouse in midfield, but also possesses an extraodinarily low centre of gravity, and thus an exceptional ability to weather challenges flying in before skipping past and launching an attack. 

A large factor in who controls the game on Sunday will be determined by how each team deals with the threats posed by these two almighty players. 

1. Vincenzo Montella v Luciano Spalletti

It’s fair to say these two managers know quite a lot about each other. Indeed, Milan coach Montella played under Spalletti for four years at AS Roma, during Spalletti’s first spell at the club between 2005 and 2009. 

Montella’s first real job in management was as interim manager for Roma at the end of the 2011 season, succeeding the man who had previously replaced the sacked Spalletti in 2009, Claudio Ranieri. 

Spalletti has faced his former player and one time predecessor three times in a managerial capacity, and has a 100% win record against him. What’s more, it is his Inter that go into this weekend as derby favourites, after picking up 19 points from a possible 21 in a competent start.

Certainly, it is still a work in progress, and he is still trying to imprint himself on the team and find his best XI, but he has been able to get results in spite of this. Compare this with Montella’s hesitant start to this campaign, not helped by a deluge of new faces to integrate and an owner anticipating success, and Spalletti looks to well and truly have the managerial edge. 

However, with rumours rife that Montella is running out of time to save himself, don’t rule out  the importance of this game for Montella’s camp as a factor in how his team well set up. Failure here may put him down an unsalvageable path, and there is no finer motivation than that. 

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