Inzaghi insists Inter 'can chase Milan and Napoli' after beating Juventus

By Sports Desk April 03, 2022

Inter boss Simone Inzaghi insists his team will continue to chase Milan and Napoli for the Serie A title after an important 1-0 win at Juventus on Sunday.

A first-half Hakan Calhanoglu penalty was enough for victory in the Derby d'Italia as Inter moved within three points of the top two in the race for the Scudetto.

Massimiliano Allegri's Juventus side will consider themselves unfortunate to have lost, having had 22 shots to the Nerazzurri's five, while the winning goal was the only effort Inter managed on target all game.

Speaking to DAZN after the win, Inzaghi said: "We can chase Milan and Napoli. We have lost some points that we will try to earn in the last eight games from now to the end. It is still very long, [Milan and Napoli] are the favourites, but some will say that it is us."

The former Lazio head coach also insisted there was no controversy about the winning penalty when Calhanoglu's first effort had been saved but the rebound bundled into the net.

The referee initially disallowed the goal and awarded Juve a free-kick, only to then ask for the penalty to be retaken after it emerged Matthijs de Ligt encroached into the box before the first was taken, and Calhanoglu made no mistake at the second time of asking.

"The penalty kick was there, it was already a goal on the rebound and it shouldn't have been repeated," Inzaghi said.

 

Inzaghi also revealed Inter have offered him an extension on his contract, despite rumours he was under pressure after recent results, but added that he will not engage in discussions until the end of the current campaign.

"I have a two-year contract that the club asked me to extend," he said. "I asked to wait until the end [of the season] because contracts are worth what they are worth.

"I feel the trust of the club, of the fans. I'm very happy with what has been done. We had so much fun for seven months and then some criticisms came out. We have been in football for 30 years and we know which criticisms are constructive and which are artfully created."

Related items

  • Monaco 'convinced' by Minamino qualities as Liverpool forward closes on move Monaco 'convinced' by Minamino qualities as Liverpool forward closes on move

    Monaco head coach Philippe Clement hopes Takumi Minamino can bring new qualities to his side as the Liverpool forward closes on a move to Ligue 1.

    Minamino is widely expected to join Monaco in the coming days, with the club reportedly agreeing a €13.3million (£15.5m) deal to sign the Japan international.

    The forward has scored four goals in 30 Premier League appearances for Liverpool since joining from Salzburg in 2020, but he started only five of those games as he struggled for regular minutes in Jurgen Klopp's star-studded side, spending half a season on loan at Southampton.

    Ahead of Monaco's 1-0 friendly win over Cercle Brugge on Sunday, Clement revealed Minamino was set to complete his move to the principality and affirmed his belief in the 27-year-old's ability.

    "I'm very happy, I've known him for a long time," Clement said of Minamino. "He was very high on our list. Everyone here is convinced that he has the qualities to bring something to the team.

    "He already has experience and has done a lot of good things at Salzburg, in a style close to ours, just like at Liverpool where there is a lot of competition. That's why this is an opportunity."

    Monaco ended the 2021-22 season third in Ligue 1, having finished the previous campaign in the same position.

  • Capello labels Pioli and Mourinho Serie A's finest, calls Inter's Lukaku move a 'blow' for rivals Capello labels Pioli and Mourinho Serie A's finest, calls Inter's Lukaku move a 'blow' for rivals

    Stefano Pioli and Jose Mourinho confirmed their status as Serie A's best coaches by leading Milan and Roma to silverware last season, according to former Rossoneri and Giallorossi boss Fabio Capello.

    Capello also claimed Inter's prospective move for Romelu Lukaku represents a "blow" for the rest of the Italian top flight, given his dominant displays during his successful first spell with the Nerazzurri. 

    While Pioli became the first Milan boss to win the Scudetto since Massimiliano Allegri in 2010-11 last month, Mourinho ended Roma's 14-year trophy drought by winning the Europa Conference League in his first season with the club.

    Capello, who led Milan to four Serie A titles in five seasons between 1991 and 1996 before masterminding Roma's most recent Scudetto triumph in 2000-01, hailed the duo's achievements as he declared next season will be make-or-break for many of the division's other top coaches. 

    "The best? Pioli and Mourinho," he told Il Messaggero. 

    "The first brought Milan back to success, the second confirmed himself as an international coach. Jose achieved a very important success. 

    "[Juventus coach] Allegri, [Lazio's Maurizio] Sarri and [Napoli's Luciano] Spalletti paid for their return to Serie A. They were granted a transitional season. Now will be the moment of truth."

    Meanwhile, with Inter reportedly set to re-sign Lukaku less than a year after his club-record £97.5million move to Chelsea, a series of Italian football's biggest names have spoken about his expected impact.

    Milan legend Alessandro Costacurta said on Sunday the deal would make Inter title favourites, while Gianfranco Zola claimed the Belgian will make a "huge impact" for Simone Inzaghi's men after he scored 30 goals for the Nerazzurri in the 2020-21 campaign.

    Capello concurred with those views, adding: "Lukaku is a great blow because in Italy, no one is able to mark him because of his excessive physical power."

    However, while Milan are expected to work with a smaller budget than their rivals as they look to defend their crown, Capello hailed their recruitment policy and revealed his confidence that they can compete once more.

    "I don't put my mouth on the market because these topics are the responsibility of the coaches," he added. 

    "The experience of recent years leads me, however, to say that we must have confidence. At Milan, they have learned how to handle things, and they know how to choose [players]."

  • 'I've never seen real leadership from him' – Legrottaglie questions whether Juventus should fight for De Ligt 'I've never seen real leadership from him' – Legrottaglie questions whether Juventus should fight for De Ligt

    Matthijs de Ligt has never shown "real leadership" with Juventus and the club might do well to offload him, according to former Bianconeri defender Nicola Legrottaglie.

    The Netherlands centre-back is under contract at the Allianz Stadium until June 2024, but could soon be on the move after three years in Italy.

    Chelsea have been linked with a move for the 22-year-old, who has been a regular in the heart of the Juventus defence since arriving from Ajax for €85.5million in July 2019.

    The centre-half has racked up 117 appearances across all competitions, scoring eight goals, and winning the Serie A title during his first season.

    In 87 Serie A games, he has committed just one error leading to a goal, yet Legrottaglie has not been wholly convinced by De Ligt.

    With the Chelsea rumour now circling, Legrottaglie said: "If the boy was really convinced he wanted to leave, I don't know how much it would be better for Juventus to keep him at home against his will."

    Legrottaglie, who also played for Italy, believes there are plenty of admirable elements about De Ligt's game.

    "In terms of characteristics, I have always liked the player," Legrottaglie told Tuttojuve.com. "I believe, however, that he has never really immersed himself into the environment.

    "I have never seen real leadership from him; from the outside, he has been perceived as a bit separate from the group. Let's say he didn't do everything to make himself loved."

    De Ligt remarked that Torino centre-back Gleison Bremer and Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly might have the attributes to bolster the Juventus defence, after back-to-back fourth-placed finishes in Serie A.

    He also pointed to the likely high cost of such players, and said: "It is not certain that with a great champion you necessarily do better, especially in defence. What counts is the work of the department, which often makes up for the quality of the individual."

    Speaking in early June to Dutch outlet NOS, De Ligt said talks about his Juventus future had been taking place, adding: "When the time comes, I will decide whether I will extend or whether I want to look further.

    "I always look at what is best for myself in terms of the sporting project. Fourth place twice in a row is not good enough; we will have to make steps in that direction."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.