Conte banned for two games after referee rant in Udinese stalemate

By Sports Desk January 26, 2021

Antonio Conte has been given a two-match ban after he was shown a red card in the closing stages of Inter's goalless Serie A draw at Udinese on Saturday.

Conte was also fined €20,000 by Lega Serie A on Tuesday following a rant at referee Fabio Maresca as the Nerazzurri dropped points in the title race.

The Inter head coach was sanctioned after venting his fury over the number of minutes that were added on at the end of the game and continued his protests after the final whistle.

Inter team manager Lele Oriali was suspended for one game and hit in the pocket to the tune of €5,000 for his post-game protests.

Second-placed Inter face arch-rivals Milan in the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia on Tuesday before returning to Serie A action against Benevento on Saturday, then take on Fiorentina six days later.

Conte's men trail leaders Milan by two points in the battle for the Scudetto.

Related items

  • Tottenham's clash with Rennes called off after COVID-19 outbreak Tottenham's clash with Rennes called off after COVID-19 outbreak

    Tottenham's Europa Conference League clash with Rennes on Thursday has been called off because of a coronavirus outbreak at the Premier League club.

    Antonio Conte confirmed on Wednesday that eight players and five members of staff have tested positive for COVID-19.

    As a result of the spiralling number of cases, Tottenham have shut their first-team training centre.

    UEFA rules state that teams must fulfil a fixture in the competition if they have 13 players, plus a goalkeeper, available for selection.

    But Conte said Spurs only have 11 players to choose from and the Group G showdown with Rennes at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium has now been postponed.

    A new date for the fixture, which Tottenham may have to win to remain in the competition, has not yet been set.

    A statement on Tottenham's official website read: "We can confirm that our UEFA Europa Conference League Group G home fixture against Stade Rennais will not take place tomorrow after a number of positive COVID-19 cases at the club. 

    "Discussions are ongoing with UEFA and we shall provide a further update on this fixture in due course.

    "Additionally, following discussions with the Health Security Agency (formerly Public Health England) and DCMS advisers, the club has been advised to close the first team area of its Training Centre at this time, in the interests of the health and safety of players and staff.

    "All other areas of the Training Centre remain operational."

    Tottenham's Premier League meeting with Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday is also believed to be in doubt.

    Speaking earlier on Wednesday at a pre-match news conference, Conte said: "Eight players and five members of staff [have tested positive]. But the problem is that every day we're having people with COVID, people that yesterday weren't positive and today are and we're continuing to have contact with. It's a serious problem.

    "Today another player and another member of staff positive. Tomorrow, who? Me? Another member of staff? I want to speak about football. This is not a good thing for you, the fans and staff.

    "Everyone is a bit scared, we all have families. I ask why? Why? Yesterday we trained and two positives, today we trained and after another two positives. Who next? It's not right, we're going home to our families.

    "We had 11 players available for the match and by the end of the training session today one of the players who would start tomorrow is now positive. It's scary. We're all having contact."

  • Allegri 'worried' by Juventus display despite clinching top spot Allegri 'worried' by Juventus display despite clinching top spot

    Massimiliano Allegri is "worried" about Juventus' second-half display in their 1-0 win over Malmo that helped clinch top spot in Champions League Group H.

    The Italian side saw off Malmo in Wednesday's contest at the Allianz Stadium thanks to a first-half header from Moise Kean.

    That fifth win from six group matches ensured Juve finished two points above holders Chelsea, who were pegged back late on in a thrilling 3-3 draw with Zenit.

    Despite securing one of the seeded spots for Monday's last-16 draw, Allegri was not pleased with the way his side dropped off in the second half.

    "We're happy to finish first; it shows that winning is not easy," he said at his post-match news conference. "But let's put the game aside and think about Venezia on Saturday.

    "I'm worried because I didn't like the second half. But we go into the game with three wins without conceding a goal and on Saturday we play in a field where it is difficult to play.

    "As for finishing top, it's like I said before – being first does not tell us who we will draw. Right now, the only concern is the match against Venezia."

    With his match-winning header, Kean has now scored four goals in five Champions League starts across spells with Paris Saint-Germain (three goals) and Juventus (one).

    He is only the second Italian aged 21 or under to score for Juve in the competition after Alessandro Del Piero, who netted eight times before turning 22.

    Fellow youngster Koni de Winter also impressed as he became the youngest player to start a match for the Bianconeri in the Champions League at 19 years and 179 days.

    Belgium Under-21s international De Winter played 71 minutes at right-back and had the fourth-most touches (78) of any Juve player on the field.

    "He didn't play the whole game but I'm happy with him," Allegri said. "He's a technical player and can play central or full-back. He played with real personality today."

    Juve have won six home Champions League games in a row for just the second time in the 21st century, having previously done so between December 2016 and October 2017.

    Allegri's side are well off the pace domestically, however, and Leonardo Bonucci accepts his side cannot be considered among the favourites to win a third European Cup.

    "It would be hypocritical to say that Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Liverpool do not have something more than us," he said. 

    "Whoever we draw, even if it's Paris Saint-Germain or Atletico Madrid, we need to arrive in the best possible form. We have to reach at least the quarter-finals this time."

  • Tuchel demands more from Chelsea after Zenit draw Tuchel demands more from Chelsea after Zenit draw

    Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has demanded more from his players after seeing his team lose top spot in Champions League Group H following a 3-3 draw against Zenit in Russia.

    The Blues had come from 2-1 down at the break to lead 3-2 going into stoppage time, only for a fine Magomed Ozdoev strike to deny them victory, meaning that Juventus leapfrogged them into top spot after they beat Malmo 1-0 in Turin.

    Two goals from Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku's first since returning from injury looked to be enough for Chelsea before Ozdoev equalised in the 94th minute in the Gazprom Arena.

    Tuchel's side were forced to settle for second place in Group H, and the German was particularly annoyed to concede three goals in a game for the second time in a week, having seen Chelsea lose 3-2 at West Ham on Saturday, which also cost them top spot in the Premier League.

    "If you are coach of Chelsea and you concede six goals in two matches, four times we've given the lead away, my ambition to talk about individual performances is not so high," he told reporters after the game. "We can't be happy today or against West Ham.

    "It is like that now not to talk about individual performances. Nobody can be happy.

    Chelsea started brightly, taking the lead in just the second minute through Werner, but were put under plenty of Zenit pressure for most of the first half, with the hosts scoring twice from nine shots they were allowed in the opening 45 minutes, before a back and forth second half.

    "I think we had a very good first 15 minutes but we stopped doing the things we did," Tuchel added. "I had the feeling, and this is my opinion, that we forgot why we were the better team. And once this drops, once we start managing results, we get punished.

    "It happened against West Ham and today. The reaction is good because it shows that it's not about what we can do. When we concede goals we can show a reaction but once we have the lead, we give it away again.

    "We start playing balls back, not attacking with the same aggression and hunger than before. We got punished twice and it is for me the level of investment we have to do right no matter what is on the scoresheet."

    When asked whether a deeper look was required having seen his team give up leads against both West Ham and Zenit, Tuchel said: "My analysis is very clear: our behaviour changes when we have a lead and this is something we've never done and should never do.

    "The challenge is to close the door and minimise the possibility. We need a higher level of sprints, runs, concentration levels. The basics need to be pushed while we are in the lead. They can't drop when we are in the lead. It's not the big picture."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.