Inter Defender Hails ‘Insane’ Comeback Win Against Lazio as Manager Luciano Spalletti Snubs Media

?Inter manager Luciano Spalletti refused to give any post-match interviews after his side’s ?stunning comeback win over Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday evening. I Nerazzurri netted two quick goals late in the second half to overturn a 2-1 deficit and leapfrog their hosts into fourth place in Serie A, thus qualifying for the UEFA Champions League at Lazio’s expense.

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According to the ?Passione Inter website, Spalletti left his players with the responsibility of speaking to the media – which at least three of them were happy to do.

Defender Andrea Ranocchia, who came on as a late substitute, hailed his side’s achievement in what he called an ‘insane match’. Speaking to Mediaset Premium, and ?quoted by Football Italia, Ranocchia said:


“I would’ve come on for that late corner even if there hadn’t been a substitution. I felt good, I felt it was the night. I had to come on and take part. It was an insane match, but we achieved something fundamental.”

Ranocchia was full of praise both for Sunday’s opponents and especially for his own side, whom he hailed as ‘real men’: “Lazio are such a strong side and proved it again this evening, but we believed from start to finish,” he said, adding:

“First and foremost, before being players, we are men and that is what’s important. This Inter is full of real men.”


The Inter defender also hailed his side’s fans: “We have a rapport with the fans that few other sides in the world can boast. This is the reward for them believing in us, even when we lost our way and seemed to be out of the running.”

Captain Mauro Icardi and defender Joao Cancelo were also quoted by Football Italia after speaking to Mediaset Premium. ?Cancelo praised his ‘splendid’ side, while ?Icardi said: “Lazio play well, but we showed strength and desire to turn the result around.”

?Like Lazio manager Simone Inzaghi, Icardi also rejected the notion that Stefan De Vrij’s pending move to Inter may have influenced his performance, in which he conceded the penalty from which the Argentine levelled the match:


“All players are professionals, I don’t think he fouled me on purpose. He tried to stop me scoring, it was just destiny,” said Icardi – echoing Inzaghi, who also attributed his side’s loss to ‘destiny’.

Perhaps worryingly for Inter fans, neither Cancelo nor Icardi committed their future to the Milanese club, ?with the striker heavily linked with a move away from the San Siro.

Cancelo – currently on loan from Valencia – said his future was ‘up to the two clubs and what they decide’, while Icardi – whose penalty put him level with Lazio’s Ciro Immobile in the race for the Capocannoniere – said diplomatically: “We’ll talk with the club and do what is best for Inter.”

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Lazio 2-3 Inter: Stunning Inter Comeback Breaks Lazio Hearts & Seals Champions League Qualification

?Inter will be playing Champions League football next season, after a stunning comeback win over Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico. An Ivan Perisic own goal and a brilliant team goal finished by Felipe Anderson were rendered irrelevant by goals from Danilo D’Ambrosio, Mauro Icardi and Matias Vecino.

For neutrals as well as Inter and Lazio fans, this was surely the most hotly-anticipated fixture of the final weekend of the Serie A season, being essentially a play-off for the fourth available Champions League place. The atmosphere at the Stadio Olimpico was electric with anticipation – and, unless you were a Lazio fan, the match didn’t disappoint.

After a bright start by Inter, with Perisic looking dangerous down the left, Lazio missed an absolute sitter when Luis Felipe blazed over the bar from close range after good work by Ciro Immobile. Then the hosts struck a devastating blow in the ninth minute, when a misdirected shot by Adam Marusic from the right wickedly deflected off Perisic past Samir Handanovic, who stayed rooted to the spot.


It was harsh on Inter, and especially on Handanovic, who had made a fine save moments earlier from a Sergej Milinkovic-Savic shot. And yet, although the visitors showed excellent passing accuracy and movement in midfield, they failed to carve out clear chances.

In the 22nd minute, Lazio did Inter’s work for them by giving the ball away cheaply in their own half, and Mauro Icardi had a clear run on goal. Unfortunately for I Nerazzurri, he missed the kind of opportunity he’s been taking with aplomb all season, scuffing his shot harmlessly wide.

In fact, the two rivals for the Capocannoniere, Icardi and Immobile, both looked some way short of their best. Although the Lazio striker had been passed fit, he certainly didn’t look it. It was no surprise when he was substituted in the second half.


With the two sides’ star strikers failing, the goals came from less likely sources. Shortly before the half-hour mark, Inter’s Danilo D’Ambrosio forced home a corner by the impressive Marcelo Brozovic, having been left unmarked by Immobile.

Then, in the 41st minute, Felipe Anderson started and finished a majestic counter-attacking move, bursting forward at least 100 yards before sliding a nonchalant finish past Handanovic.

Things looked bleak enough for Inter at half-time, but it could have been even worse – Milinkovic-Savic hit the woodwork with a superb free kick, and also forced a save from Handanovic with a ferocious drive.

SS Lazio v FC Internazionale - Serie A

?Inter had to throw caution to the wind in the second half, and Perisic played alongside Icardi as a second striker. The Croat made a number of intelligent runs, battled for every ball and occasionally threatened the Lazio goal – but he failed to make a decisive breakthrough.

Seemingly realising that this tactic wasn’t working, Luciano Spalletti brought on Eder for the disappointing Antonio Candreva, and Perisic moved back out wide. Yet Lazio still looked likelier to extend their lead than to concede, and Anderson wasted a presentable chance to double his tally by firing into the side netting.

Just as it looked as if Inter’s Champions League hopes were fading away, they were handed a lifeline. Having been controversially denied a penalty earlier in the half after review by the VAR, the referee had no doubt about Stefan de Vrij’s clumsy challenge on Icardi. The Argentine made no mistake in the 78th minute, equalling the 29 Serie A goals scored by Immobile, who could only look on helplessly.


Soon afterwards, a nervous situation for the hosts turned into a catastrophe, as Senad Lulic received a second yellow card for a reckless foul. A hotly-contested encounter had seen a flurry of cautions, so it was no surprise to see a player dismissed. Nevertheless, Lulic must have been kicking himself for committing such a pointless challenge in a fairly innocuous situation.

Then, in the 81st minute, Vecino headed home from a corner to send Inter into raptures, and Lazio into desperation. Lazio piled on the pressure, but it was all to no avail. Inter celebrated in disbelieving joy, while the hosts must have wondered how they had managed to throw away what looked like a comfortable position.

Lazio boss Simone Inzaghi will likely face tough questions about his late substitutions including the removal of Immobile, which seemed to unsettle his side and give Inter momentum, while Spalletti can prepare for Inter’s return to European football’s elite next season.


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Man Utd Offered Former West Ham Star by Super Agent Ahead of Expected Summer Switch

?Joao Mario has been offered to ?Manchester United following his impressive loan spell at ?West Ham, according to reports in Italy. 

The Inter loanee brought an end to his temporary stay at the London Stadium with another solid showing, rounding off a string of fine performances for the Hammers during ?their 3-1 win over Everton on the final day of the season.

Since then, Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho has been outspoken regarding his appreciation of the 25-year-old, who will be heading to Russia this summer as part of Portugal’s international set up. 

And according to Italian news outlet ?FcInterNews.it, United have been offered the chance to snap up the midfielder by super agent Kia Joorabchian this summer – with the Nerazzurri setting their price at around £22m to £26m to strike a deal. 

Despite the ?Serie A giants being prepared to wait until how Fernando Santos’ side fare at the World Cup, a season-long loan with an obligation to buy has also been mooted. 

West Ham United v Southampton - Premier League

However, Mourinho is not the only boss Joorabchian is said to be in contact with, with La Liga outfit Valencia as well as West Ham also in the frame. 

It is thought that should the east Londoners land their key managerial target, former ?Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini, in the coming days, and the Chilean gives the green light, Mario may well be heading back to the London Stadium after the player admitted his happiness during his spell at the club. 

During his 13 games after the January transfer window, the Portuguese midfielder scored two goals and provided one assist for David Moyes’ men in their successful bid for Premier League safety. 

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Jose Mourinho Hoping to Add Former Inter Colleague to Manchester United Coaching Staff

?Jose Mourinho is preparing to reshuffle his backroom staff at Old Trafford this summer, and is looking to a figure from his past to join him.

That man, according to the Mail, is Stefano Rapetti. Rapetti worked as a fitness coach at ?Inter during Mourinho’s time in charge there between 2008 and 2010.

Chelsea v Manchester United - The Emirates FA Cup Final

The Italian is currently working at Sampdoria, but is leaving at the end of the season to link up with the ?Manchester United manager once again. When Mourinho arrived in Milan, Rapetti was in charge of the Inter Under-19 setup, but was then promoted to a fitness coach in the first team.

He will also be adding Michael Carrick to his backroom team, alongside current Under-18 coach Kieran McKenna.

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With current assistant manager Rui Faria set to leave the club to pursue his own career in management, Mourinho will be eager to replace his long term associate. Mourinho first hired Faria after he took over at União de Leiria in Portugal, and the two have worked together ever since, with Faria following him to Porto, ?Chelsea, Milan, ?Madrid and Manchester.

When asked by the Portuguese media about who would be replacing Faria alongside him in the dugout at Old Trafford, Mourinho said: “It’s a person coming who worked with me before but I can’t say the name because he’s still linked to another club. 

“Michael Carrick becomes a coach on the pitch but I’m looking for two new people on the team. Good coaches there are many, but I like to make my assistants. I do not like trained coaches, I like to shape them in my way of thinking and they grow with me and I also grow with them.”

Faria’s last game at Manchester United saw his side lose 1-0 to Chelsea in the FA Cup final, and Mourinho will be eager to organise his backroom staff as soon as possible ahead of a busy summer. 

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Picking the Best Potential Inter Lineup for Their Crucial Serie A Clash With Lazio

??Inter will face Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Sunday, in a Serie A clash which will decide which of the two sides will be playing Champions League football next season.

I Nerazzurri will need to win if they are to leapfrog Lazio into fourth place – hardly a straightforward task against a side who haven’t lost a home match in more than two months. To make matters worse for the visitors, they have lost two of their last three Serie A matches.

Here is how Inter might line up on Sunday, as they attempt to defy the odds in Rome.

Torhüter

  • Handanovic

    Handanovic1

Since joining Inter in 2012, former Slovenia international Samir Handanovi? has made 218 appearances for the Nerazzurri and will most likely start on Sunday.

Verteidigung

  • João Cancelo

    João Cancelo7

  • Škriniar

    Škriniar37

  • Ranocchia

    Ranocchia13

  • D'Ambrosio

    D’Ambrosio33

Manager Luciano Spalletti faces a major selection dilemma. Should he stick with his regular back four (selected here), or should he make sweeping changes – like his Juventus counterpart Massimiliano Allegri before their match against Spalletti’s side?

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On the one hand, unsettling his established lineup of João Cancelo, Milan Škriniar, Andrea Ranocchia and Danilo D’Ambrosio could be catastrophic in a game where Inter will desperately want to avoid conceding.

On the other hand, this same back four failed catastrophically against both Juve and Sassuolo.

Nevertheless, Spalletti will likely decide that discretion is the better part of valour, and stick with his established defence.

Mittelfeld

?Again, Spalletti is likely to adopt a conservative approach on Sunday and stick with what appears to be his first-choice midfield five – with Marcelo Brozovi? and Matías Vecino lining up behind Ivan Periši? on the left, Rafinha in the centre and Antonio Candreva on the right.

Periši?’s creative flair and eye for goal could prove vital in Sunday’s clash – he has netted 11 goals and created nine in all competitions for Inter this season.

Sturm

  • Icardi

    Icardi9

With 28 league goals this season, striker Mauro Icardi is just one behind Serie A top scorer Ciro Immobile. With the Lazio forward unlikely to feature on Sunday, Icardi will no doubt relish the opportunity to overtake Immobile and win this season’s Capocannoniere.

Sunday’s clash could potentially prove to be Icardi’s final match for I Nerazzurri – the Argentina striker’s exploits have reportedly attracted the interest of several European clubs, not least Chelsea and Real Madrid.

Should Inter fail to win and thus miss out on next season’s Champions League, they may struggle to retain Icardi’s services.

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