Inter Milan Assistant Manager Praises Players After ‘Deserved’ Win

?Inter Milan assistant manager Marco Domenichini – who was speaking to the press in place of Nerazzuri boss Luciano Spalletti because he had lost his voice – has praised his side’s performance in their 2-0 home win against SPAL in Sunday’s early kick-off. 

The result continued Inter’s perfect start to the new Serie A season, following in the wake of rivals Juventus, who did the same on Saturday. 

The newly promoted side made themselves very difficult to break down, and even after Mauro Icardi converted his penalty – after five whole minutes of VAR faffing around – they gave Spalletti’s side a tough game for the majority of the second half. 

The tie was put to bed in the last five minutes by Ivan Perisic, who celebrated the signing of his new deal earlier in the week with a thunderous, left-footed volley to see off their resilient visitors. 

FC Internazionale v Spal - Serie A

“It was not an easy game but the result was deserved,” Domenichini said afterwards, per the club’s ?official website. “Inter played excellently, SPAL are an organised team and they created some problems for us, but the result was very well-deserved.

The assistant manager was quick to praise his players, who look to have adapted to their new boss’ tactics very quickly – if slightly disjointed at times – and was glad of the strong start to the season. 

“They are valuable points which allow us to consolidate our place in the table and build self-confidence. We did some good things and we still obviously have to improve in some areas but we’re satisfied with the performance and the result. 

“We could have managed the game better at points in midfield but the week prior without the international players was a bit odd. In any case, we played how we wanted to and with awareness of the problems that the opposition could have created for us. SPAL are an excellent side led by an excellent coach.” 

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As well as praising the players, Domenichini also saluted the 57,000 strong fans that occupied the San Siro for the game, saying: “We want to thank the crowd at the stadium, they supported us all match. This is a good group and if the boys continue to follow the Coach, they can keep doing even better.”

Inter’s next fixture is away to Crotone next Saturday, where they will look to continue this impressive run and establish themselves as potential contenders for the Scudetto this season. 

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Inter Milan 2-0 SPAL: Inter’s Perfect Start Continues Against Resilient Serie A Newcomers

?Luciano Spalletti and his Inter side continued their perfect start to the Serie A season against newly promoted upstarts SPAL. Inter fielded a side with three new faces from the summer transfer window, with Dalbert at left back, Borja Valero in midfield. and Milan Skriniar partnering Miranda at centre back. 

SPAL featured two veteran strikers in their ranks, in the form of Marco Borriello and Alberto Paloschi, who would look to make things difficult for their hosts. 

FC Internazionale v Spal - Serie A

Spalletti’s men played very cohesively with a high press, and the hard work of Ivan Perisic paid off early, as he slipped in Roberto Gagliardini, who struck a low shot just wide from the edge of the SPAL penalty area. 

The early warning signs looked to have been issued. 

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Inter quickly got their claws into the game, with their opposition comfortably affording them possession, instead looking for the counter. Whilst they were very comfortable with the ball, it led to one or more Inter players taking one or more sloppy touches when they did venture into the SPAL penalty area. 

Inter’s confidence continued to grow, and there was some controversy after 20 minutes when Spalletti’s men were awarded a free kick after a fluid passing move – with the contact for the foul on Joao Mario appearing to come inside the penalty area. 

The VAR was consulted, and after FIVE awkward minutes of the crowd whistling and the referee looking sheepish, the penalty was rightly awarded. Icardi calmly rolled his spot kick into the bottom left corner, and Inter had their breakthrough. 

??The Argentine striker had the chance to double Inter’s tally very shortly after, but chose to shoot near post, rather than square the ball for the darting run of Joao Mario. 

The combination of pressing and fluidity was now really tarting to flow for Inter, and SPAL were looking more and more rattled with each attack against them. Candreva forced a fine save from Alfred Gomis with a dipping effort from range, as Inter looked for a second goal before the break.

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SPAL had their best chance of the match in first half stoppage time. Paloschi found himself in behind the Inter defence, but could not sort his feet out in time to angle his shot correctly, slicing his shot horribly askew, meaning SPAL’s only clear chance of the match went begging. 

After a cagey (at best) performance in the first half, SPAL made a clear effort to go toe-to-toe with their hosts as the second half got underway, keeping far more of the ball, and creating passing moves, at times exposing an Inter defence that was perhaps a little complacent after their earlier dominance. 

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Paloschi made intelligent runs, whilst Serie A journeyman Borriello looked to put the ‘value’ in ‘nuisance value’ for his twelfth professional club. As a result, the game began to open up, with the midfield duo of Gagliardini and Borja Valero – the latter of which was a human metronome in the first half – began to look stretched, as both sides pushed to score.

Skriniar – already catching the eye for Inter with some committed defensive work – nearly broke Gomis’ crossbar with a looping long shot that had SPAL’s keeper completely rooted where he stood. 

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After a frantic half hour at the beginning of the second half, Inter began to control proceedings once again, bringing on extra midfielders in Marcelo Brozovic and Matias Vecino to shore things up, whilst SPAL continued to throw on attacking players like Federico Bonazzoli and former Leeds United striker Mirko Antenucci.

Inter killed the game with five minutes to go, however, with Peresic – a peripheral figure for most of the match – volleying a supreme strike past Gomis, to give the Nerazzuri some breathing room in the tie. 

Inter very nearly found time for a third goal – which would’ve flattered them even more – on the counter, with substitute Eder heading Brozovic’s cross just wide. 

Ultimately, Spalletti and Inter’s perfect start to the season continued, although after an impressive performance and win against Roma before the international break, fans might have expected a more convincing result at home to one of the division’s new boys. 

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Picking the Best Potential AC Milan Lineup to Face Lazio on Sunday

?AC Milan travel to the Italian capital of Rome on Sunday to face Lazio, as they look to maintain their 100% record in the league.

Goalkeeper

  • G. Donnarumma

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?Gianluigi Donnarumma will hold his spot as Milan’s number one. The 18-year-old shotstopper has kept four clean sheets from his five games so far this season, and the Italian starlet will be looking to add a fifth on Sunday.

Defence

  • Calabria

    Calabria2

  • Musacchio

    Musacchio22

  • Bonucci

    Bonucci19

  • Rodríguez

    Rodríguez68

?The same backline as Milan boss Vincenzo Montella fielded in the 2-1 victory over Cagliari, barring the absence of Andrea Conti after the Italian picked up a minor injury on international duty against Israel. In his place, 20-year-old Davide Calabria will likely start following decent performances against KF Shkëndija in the Europa League.

The centre back pairing of Leonardo Bonucci and Mateo Musacchio look to be the Rossoneri’s preferred duo for the season and increased game time together will only help them develop their defensive partnership.

Midfield

  • Montolivo

    Montolivo18

  • Kessie

    Kessie79

  • Biglia

    Biglia21

?A more defensively-minded midfield should be capable of nullifying Lazio’s significant attacking threat, with the likes of Ciro Immobile, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Luis Alberto looking more than capable of punishing teams.

Ivorian midfielder Franck Kessie has been a formidable force in the centre of the pitch for Milan since arriving from Atalanta, and will be looking to improve upon what was an uncharacteristically average performance against Cagliari in his last game.

The notable absence of Hakan Calhanoglu comes as the Turkish star looks to regain a level of fitness following a severe lack of football in the previous campaign. An inability to settle on the ball or string together any build-up play in the match against Cagliari sees him replaced by Lucas Biglia who looks to have fully recovered from an injury of his own.

Forwards

  • Suso

    Suso8

  • Cutrone

    Cutrone63

  • Borini

    Borini11

?The front three who started in Milan’s last Serie A outing should each reprise their place in the starting 11 as they have proven incredibly effective thus far this season. 

Patrick Cutrone has already found the net four times from six appearances this season, netting two from two in the league. Meanwhile, Suso continues to shine, matching Cutrone’s record in the league, as well assisting as many as he has scored.

Dark horse Fabio Borini continues to surprise many with his performances, showing his former employers Chelsea and Liverpool just what they are missing out on. It didn’t take long for Borini to open his account for Milan, netting in the Europa League, and should his good form continue, it’s hard to see him failing to add to that tally.

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Picking the Best Potential Inter Lineup to Face SPAL on Sunday

?New Inter boss Luciano Spalletti will be looking to continue his strong start to the Serie A when his side welcome SPAL 2013 to the San Siro on Sunday. 

With four others team also winning their first two games, things are tight at the top of the table and while Inter will be looking for an easy opponent in SPAL, who were promoted last season, they have started to prove their worth early on. 

It should still be a comfortable win for the experienced Serie A side, here’s the expected winning side.

Goalkeeper

  • Handanovic

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?Regular Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovi? will be keeping his place between the sticks after two more strong performances, in which he only conceded one goal. 

Defence

  • D'Ambrosio

    D’Ambrosio33

  • Škriniar

    Škriniar37

  • Miranda

    Miranda25

  • Dalbert

    Dalbert29

The back four will also remain unchanged? apart from Dalbert Henrique coming in at left-back for Yuto Nagatomo as part of squad rotation. 

Miranda is also expected to keep his place at centre-back despite picking up a concussion last week – provided he is deemed able to play on the weekend.

Midfield

?Inter’s solid midfield will also remain the same with Borja Valero and Matías Vecino holding the centre of the field, while João Mário will head the attack with Antonio Candreva and Ivan Perisic lining up behind Mauro Icardi. 

Roberto Gagliardini could potentially replace Vecino should Spalletti decide to rest him after his international duty for Uruguay. 

Forwards

  • Icardi

    Icardi9

While Mauro Icardi? was recalled to the Argentina national side he will keep his place at the head of the team after scoring two goals in both the opening matches – and his quality and current form will be crucial. 

He could see himself brought off early if Inter build a big lead in the first hour.

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Back Together! 7 Pairs of Former Teammates Who Have Been Reunited This Season

It has been a whirlwind summer in terms of transfers, with some interesting deals taking place all across Europe.

For some players, a move this summer meant reuniting with a particular former teammate, so let’s take a look at 7 or the more high-profile cases of this…

7. Mehdi Benatia and Douglas Costa

FC Bayern Muenchen Attend Oktoberfest 2015

Moroccan international defender Mehdi Benatia spent two full seasons at the Allianz Arena, but never really threatened to hold down a regular first-team spot and was sent on loan to Juventus last season, making the deal permanent over the summer.

While Benatia’s exit from Bavaria was hardly surprising, Brazilian winger Douglas Costa, who had performed well since signing from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2015, was unexpectedly shown the door this summer too, joining the centre-back amongst the Serie A champions’ ranks. 

6. Pepe and Ricardo Quaresma

FC Porto's Ricardo Quaresma (L) waves to

After a decade with Real Madrid, no-nonsense defender Pepe swapped the Spanish capital for Besiktas, with the Turkish side even using his former teammate at Porto, Ricardo Quaresma,to announce his arrival via social media.

In addition to playing with the eccentric winger for the Portuguese national side, with whom they both helped to emerge victorious at Euro 2016, Pepe will now line up alongside Quaresma week in, week out. 

5. Benjamin Mendy and Beranrdo Silva

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Bernardo Silva and Benjamin Mendy were not left apart very long – 23 days to be exact – as Manchester City finally ended their long-term pursuit of the latter by announcing his arrival at the Etihad.

A few weeks earlier Mendy’s teammate at Monaco, Portuguese playmaker Bernardo Silva, was also unveiled by the Citizens and Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola will be hoping the pair can produce the same sort of magic as they did last season in the Champions League.

4. Emmanuel Adebayor and Gael Clichy

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A relatively new addition to the highest level of Turkish football, Istanbul Basaksehir have made a statement again this summer, by bringing in high-profile names to a club which was only formed in 1990.

Two of those that came through the doors at the Fatih Terim Stadium are Emmanuel Adebayor and Gael Clichy. The duo, who both made their name at Arsenal, are now in the twilight periods of their careers. 

3. Mario Balotelli and Wesley Sneijder

Wesley Sneijder of FC Inter Milan (R) an

Both Mario Balotelli and Wesley Sneijder were part of Inter’s historic treble-wining season during the 2009/10 campaign, but each one took a rather different path there after, with the Dutchman spending the next five years in Turkey with Galatasaray.

The Italian striker, meanwhile, went back and forth between the Premier League and Serie A before eventually finding salvation with Nice. The bad boy has now been joined in the south of France by Sneijder and will play again together in the Champions League this season.  

2. Danny Drinkwater and N’Golo Kante

Leicester City v Watford - Premier League

Leicester City’s incredible title in two seasons ago had a lot to do with the hard-working partnership of Danny Drinkwater and N’Golo Kante in midfield and the latter, who earned the PFA Player of the Year award as a result, was captured by Chelsea for £30m soon after.

The French international proved to be a snip as he played a crucial role in delivering the title to the Blues and his former partner in crime has now followed suit, signing for the Blues for a reported £35m. 

1. Dani Alves and Neymar

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Undoubtedly the biggest story of the summer, Neymar’s record-breaking move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain has countless side stories, one of which is his reunion with former Barca man and international teammate Dani Alves.

Alves, who only arrived in the French capital himself a few weeks before Neymar, spent last season at Juventus and faced off against the 25-year-old superstar in the Champions League final. 

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