Napoli 4-1 Inter: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Gli Azzurri Secure Comfortable Win

?Napoli were in fine form as they romped to a 4-1 win over Champions League-chasing Inter on Sunday evening.

It was a rather inauspicious start for both sides, but the game exploded into life on the 15 minute mark as Napoli opened the scoring through Piotr Zielinski. The Polish midfielder took up a decent position outside the box and unleashed a venomous strike into the top corner, leaving Samir Handanovic with no chance in the Inter goal. 

Roberto Gagliardini,Fabian Ruiz

Napoli dominated the game thereafter, but it took until the 60th minute for them to double their lead. Jose Callejon whipped in an excellent ball from the right flank and Dries Mertens rose highest to power a header home.

The three points were secured ten minutes later as Fabian Ruiz scored a quick-fire double to extend Napoli’s lead to four – a lead that was fairly reflective of the pattern of the game. Mauro Icardi pulled a goal back for Inter from the penalty spot, but the goal merely acted as a consolation for the Nerazzurri.


NAPOLI 

Key Talking Point

Despite having already secured second place, ?Napoli will still be looking to finish the season strongly in order to carry through some momentum into the summer.

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They’ve been a little off the pace in recent weeks, but they were at their very best in this one. Right from the off, they were aggressive and clinical, barely giving Inter a chance to breathe. The likes of Zielinski, Fabian and Mertens were untouchable at times, combining effectively to cause Inter all sorts of problems in the final third.

It was a performance to be proud of, but it also comes as a reminder of what may have been had Carlo Ancelotti’s side been able to perform to the same level all season.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Karnezis (6); Malcuit (8), Albiol (6), Koulibaly (6), Ghoulam (6); Callejon (7), Allan (7), Zielinski (8), Fabian (9*); Mertens (7), Milk (6).

Substitutes: Insigne (6), Younes (6), Luperto (N/A).


Star Man  – Fabian Ruiz

A truly excellent performance from Fabian, who ran the show from start to finish for Napoli out on the left flank.

The Spaniard was at the heart of everything for Gli Azzurri and his late brace was the least he deserved. Special mentions must also go out to the likes of Zielinski and Kevin Malcuit, who also out in impressive performances on the night.


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INTER

Key Talking Point

?Inter came into this one with plenty to play for as Champions League qualification was still in the balance prior to kick off.

Radja Nainggolan

Unfortunately, the fight for a top four finish is now going to go down to the final day of the season as Inter were incredibly disappointing in this one. Napoli had the beating of them all over the park and, once the first goal went in, there was a sense that the Nerazzurri were never going to be able to drag themselves back into the contest.

Atalanta’s draw against Juventus means that Luciano Spalletti’s side drop down to fourth heading into the final game of the season against Empoli – who are fighting to remain in Serie A themselves.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Handanovic (5); D’Ambrosio (4), Skriniar (5), Miranda (4), Asamoah (4); Gagliardini (3), Brozovic (4), Politano (5), Nainggolan (5), Perisic (4); Lautaro (4).

Substitutes: Icardi (6), Vecino (5), Candreva (4).


Star Man – Milan Skriniar

It wasn’t a great performance – it may even be a stretch to say it was an average performance – but Skriniar deserves some credit for at least showing a bit of fight.

He has been Inter’s most consistent performer this season and his recent contract extension will come as a relief for any Inter supporters who were concerned that he could have been on his way out this summer.




??Looking Ahead

Napoli round off their season with a trip to face Bologna next Sunday, while Inter face off against relegation-threatened Empoli.

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Inter Kit Leak: Images of I Nerazzurri Away Shirt for 2019/20 Season Emerges Online

?Pictures of Inter’s new away kit for the 2019/20 season have been leaked, revealing a break from tradition with a bold and distinctive new colour that’s sure to divide opinion. 

Many fans may have predicted a fresh new look, after images of the new home kit surfaced earlier in the week. Whilst the change here was nowhere near as drastic as the away strip, the inclusion of a section of diagonal stripes to break up the traditional vertical black and blue was clearly a sign of change. 


The new Nike kit is a basic design, with the stripes of the home jersey replaced with a one-toned strip of teal. The striking colour combines with the classic Pirelli logo emblazoned across the front, as well as the Nike swoosh and Inter badge finished in an understated black and gold design.

The same colour scheme is used for the v-neck collar, the sleeves, and the back neck taping – all of which feature a black base with a thin gold line running through the middle.

Whilst the kit is yet to be confirmed by Inter themselvesFooty Headlines boast an impressive record of accurately leaking new strips ahead of schedule.

The I Nerazurri faithful will be hoping that a new look might help them to freshen things up in Serie A next season, and break the eight-year vice grip that Juventus have held on the league. 

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However, there is still business to be attended to this season, with Inter needing to navigate their way through a difficult fixture away to Napoli followed by a showdown against Empoli at the San Siro, in order to ensure qualification for next season’s Champions League.  

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Transfer Rumours: Tottenham Ready to Spend Big, Twists in Ndombele & Dani Alves Futures & More

?As the domestic European season draws to a close and a long summer looms large, what better way to occupy the downtime than with an action-packed period of transfer drama?

From the far and wide to the downright unlikely, the rumour mill is already kicking into overdrive with gossip which is sure to capture our imaginations and raise more than a few eyebrows with scepticism.

However realistic, there is nothing better to whet the summer appetite than a juicy roundup of the latest transfer talk. So, here is the latest set of rumours to feast upon.


Tottenham (Finally) Ready to Spend Big on £40m Midfield Target

Nicolo' Zaniolo

It seems almost an age since Mauricio Pochettino managed to twist Daniel Levy’s arm into splashing the cash to land Lucas Moura from PSG for £25m in January 2017.

Without a notable senior singing for Spurs since then, the Brazilian proved his worth with an incredible hat-trick against Ajax to seal ??Tottenham’s passage into this season’s Champions League final, and suggested what the club might be capable of with further investment.

Having suffered a succession of injury problems in midfield this season, the middle of the park seems to be a priority area for Pochettino to strengthen. According to the ?Mirror, Roma starlet Nicolo Zaniolo is a potential solution, and Tottenham are hoping a £40m raid can beat ?Real Madrid, ?Bayern Munich and ?Juventus to his signature.

Judging by the pedigree of their competition, Spurs shouldn’t hold their breath on this one yet.


PSG Threaten to Blow European Rivals Away in Race to Sign Highly-Rated Lyon Star

Tanguy Ndombele,Memphis Depay

Zaniolo is not the only hot young midfielder attracting widespread attention from Europe’s elite sides.

According to ?L’Equipe, PSG have emerged as serious contenders in the race to sign Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele, and could use their financial might to steal a march on the likes of ?Manchester United, ?Manchester City and ?Juventus who are also interested.

The race to sign the highly-rated Frenchman? has heated up in recent times amid a string of impressive performances in Ligue 1, but Ndombele could yet be set to remain in the French top flight, despite intense interest from abroad. Ole is certainly not at the wheel of this one.


Real Madrid Name Their Price for Midfield Outcast to Seal Cross-City Move to Atletico

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The remarkable success of English clubs in European competition this season has come at the expense of the previously all-conquering giants of Spain.

?Real Madrid and ?Atletico Madrid won the Champions League and the Europa League respectively last term but, less than 12 months on, the Spanish capital duo are locked in a tug-of-war over Los Blancos’ forgotten man, Marcos Llorente.

According to ?AS, Atletico have already held talks with the player’s representatives, though Real do not want their man to make the move across town. Diego Simeone’s side want Llorente as a potential replacement for Manchester City target Rodri Hernandez, though, and have quoted a fee of €50m to sign the 24-year-old. This one could be a goer.


Inter Offer Former West Ham Loanee to Everton as Part of Ambitious Attacker Swoop

Richarlison

What better bargaining chip for ?Inter to use in their efforts to sign ?Everton’s prized asset than a player in limbo between making his mark in the Premier League and settling into an under-performing Ne?razzurri side, right?

Well, according to Tuttosport via ?Football-Italia, that is exactly the plan that Inter have up their sleeve, as they are preparing to offer former ?West Ham loanee Joao Mario as part of a bid to prise Brazilian star Richarlison from Goodison Park this summer.

Joao Mario showed glimpses of his considerable abilities during a short spell in east London last season, but failed to convince any Premier League side that he was worth a real shot. Still with unfulfilled potential in his locker, compatriot Marco Silva could squeeze the best out of him on Merseyside, though he his unlikely to part with his main man as part of any deal.


Dani Alves in the Spotlight (Again) as Delay Over PSG Contract Renewal Opens Door to Premier League Move

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Speaking of Brazilian talent and seasoned stars who could yet thrive in the Premier League, Dani Alves could be set to finally arrive in English football at the age of 36. After all, full backs don’t need to defend anymore, right?

According to ?UOL Esporte, former ?Barcelona hero Dani Alves has ‘irritated’ current employers PSG by delaying his decision over committing to fresh terms in the French capital, with an offer of a year’s extension, and the right back is apparently weighing up a potential switch to England. 

Manchester City have been linked with Alves in previous summers, but the Brazilian opted to move to the Parc des Princes in 2017 and has gone on to further his formidable reputation for performing at the highest level across the continent. With Alves apparently seeking at least a two-year deal, the Premier League could yet be his final (and most lucrative) destination.


Wolves Look to Beat Newcastle in £16m Race to Sign West Brom Star

Salomon Rondon

From those still looking to make their mark in the Premier League, to a player who has more than made his mark already in the English top flight.

Salomon Rondon has been a shining light in Rafa Benitez’s mission to steer ?Newcastle to safety and on course for bigger things next term, but a great deal of uncertainty still lingers as Benitez’s unresolved future looms as a potentially dark cloud over St. James’ Park.

There are no such concerns at ?Wolves, where Nuno Espirito Santo has inspired an incredible season at Molineux, and the seventh-placed Premier League side could be set to take advantage of the situation on Tyneside.

According to the ?Express & Star, Wolves are preparing to meet Rondon’s £16m release clause at parent club ?West Bromwich Albion to beat Newcastle to the signing of their own player of the season. The Magpies may be no match for the hungry Wolves in this one.?


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Maurco Icardi Dismisses Talk of Inter Exit This Summer With Post on Instagram

?In what has been an eventful season for Mauro Icardi both on and off the pitch, the polarising striker has released a statement insisting he will remain at Inter this summer.

The 26-year-old will see his contract at the San Siro expire in 2021, although his failure to sign an extension has saw him irk fans and the club in general, while talks of a move away to the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have done little to help his cause. 

Mauro Icardi

Despite a turbulent season – which has seen him net 16 goals in 35 games – ?Icardi has issued a statement via ?Instagram confirming his intentions to remain at ?Inter for next season.

He said: “Hopefully now there will be no more misunderstandings. I understand the interests of the press in selling fake news so I would rather clarify things personally.

“I have already expressed the will to stay because Inter is my family. Time will reveal who is speaking the truth. Forza Inter, always.”


The wife and agent of of Icardi, Wanda Nara, ?issued a similar statement earlier in the season

that claimed he would be plying his trade for the Nerazzurri next season. 

Of his 16 goals, ten have come in ?Serie A, although he’s only scored once in his last 14 league games in a season that has seen the captaincy taken off him by Luciano Spalletti. Inter have two remaining league games left, against Napoli and Empoli, with a win in either of those games seeing them guarantee themselves a place in next season’s Champions League. 

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Paulo Dybala: The Contenders to Sign Him & Where He Might End Up

?Paulo Dybala’s days in black and white appear to be numbered, though where his future lies remains a grey area.

The Juventus forward has been marginalised and demoralised following the groundbreaking £100m acquisition of Cristiano Ronaldo last year, with the Portuguese forcing Dybala from centre-stage to a supporting role.

The Argentine has been left frustrated by Massimiliano Allegri’s lack of loyalty and faith and a summer exit looked inevitable – that was until the announcement came that ?Allegri will leave at the end of the season.

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??That may still happen, though, and he won’t be short of suitors, with a collection of illustrious European clubs eager to bring in a player of his supreme talents. 

Here are the key contenders looking to secure ?Dybala’s signature ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.


Manchester United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

?The Red Devils are in turmoil. Their coach has the worst win ratio of any United manager in history, they failed to mount a significant challenge in any competition this season and the club will not be playing in the? Champions League next term. They really need a blockbuster new signing to lift the gloom.

Dybala is precisely what chief executive Ed Woodward is looking for; marketable, charismatic and capable of reinvigorating the side. However, the 25-year-old demands the limelight and prestige, something the English outfit may struggle to offer with Europa League football and the likes of Paul Pogba in the squad.

Likelihood Rating: 2/10


Paris Saint-Germain

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To be fair, PSG are linked to every top footballer. But, just like a broken clock is right twice a day, the rumour mill occasionally churns out true stories about the Parisians’ transfer targets.

Dybala’s former teammate Dani Alves has allegedly been in his ear, urging him to up sticks and make a move to the French capital. However, the Ligue 1 side don’t exactly need him given the glut of options they have up front, meaning they would likely miss out if a bidding war broke out.

Likelihood Rating: 3/10


?Liverpool

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?Reports suggest that ?Real Madrid have Liverpool attacker Mohamed Salah in their crosshairs in a move that could trigger a chain of extravagant transfers. One such resultant deal could see the ?Reds swoop for Dybala, with €100m believed to be enough to prise him away from the Allianz Stadium.

That would almost definitely be less than the requisite figure for Salah, with his replacement possessing a similar skill-set. The pair are both left-footed, able to play across the frontline and adept as both a finisher or in a playmaking role. It seems like a no-brainer on Jurgen Klopp’s part if Salah is sold. But that’s a big and unlikely if.

Likelihood Rating: 3/10


Bayern Munich

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James Rodriguez’s loan spell at ?Bayern is coming to an end and the Bavarians are thought to be uninterested in taking up their option to buy the Colombian. His South American counterpart Dybala would be a fine successor, the pair having been cast in the same mould.

Of course, Rodriguez is not the only forward expected to depart Die Roten in the coming months, with veteran wing duo Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery set for their swansong in the DFB Pokal final next weekend. 

The ?Bundesliga champions have the financial might to compete with any rivals in the race for Dybala and will be needing a player with his expertise; don’t be surprised if the former Palermo playmaker decides to settle in Germany.

Likelihood Rating: 6/10


Atletico Madrid

Antoine Griezmann

The saga of Antoine Griezmann has rumbled on for aeons, finally nearing its conclusion this week as the Frenchman confirmed he would be leaving ?Atletico following the end of the ?La Liga season. 

It’s the same scenario for Los Rojiblancos as it is for most of the clubs mentioned above; they’re losing a superstar and want another similarly-skilled world-beater to lessen the blow. To put a positive spin on the sale of Griezmann, it will leave them with a sizeable war chest with which to add to their attacking armoury. 

Fortunately for Atleti, coach Diego Simeone is known to have held talks with Dybala in the past, their shared nationality potentially handing the Spaniards the upper hand in the pursuit of the Bianconeri icon. In fact, they have reportedly made their move already, ?offering him a five-year deal at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.

Likelihood Rating: 7/10


Inter

Mauro Icardi

Mauro Icardi has suffered a fall from grace this season, the striker having been stripped of the Inter captaincy in February before petulantly electing to rule himself out of future matches. He eventually reversed that decision after a near two-month playing hiatus, but the Nerazzurri faithful have already turned their back on their once-beloved talisman.

He is likely to be ushered out the door in the summer, his current employers already preparing for life without the prolific forward. They are rumoured to be in for his compatriot Dybala, who would fill the goalscoring hole left by Icardi.

Though the Juventus man has had an underwhelming campaign, he has more than proven his quality in Serie A in recent years. Dybala hit a combined 52 league goals in his first three seasons in Turin, showing his tally of five this term to be an anomaly.

Likelihood Rating: 7/10


So, where will Dybala end up? It’s difficult to see him deciding on a switch to Old Trafford with the catalogue of problems there and Liverpool will fight tooth and nail to hold onto Salah. If the latter remains on Merseyside, there will be no need for a lavish deal for the Argentina international.

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As discussed, PSG would be the first to drop out of the race, making a transfer to France improbable. That leaves three strong contenders, though the player may favour Inter over Atletico and Bayern.

He is familiar with Serie A and would, therefore, not need as much time to adjust. However, joining the men from Milan means he will have the chance to exact revenge upon Juve. His disillusionment with the Old Lady is well-documented and an individual with such unwavering self-belief would be desperate to prove the club that mistreated him very, very wrong.

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