Inter 1-0 Udinese: Report, Ratings & Reaction as VAR Helps the Nerazzurri Claim All Three Points

Inter battled past a stubborn Udinese side on Saturday evening to claim all three points as they continue to chase Napoli in second place.

In a match largely dominated by the home side, it took until the 76th minute and a VAR awarded penalty for the Nerazzurri to break the deadlock, with Mauro Icardi cooling chipping the spot kick down the middle.

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The opening 20 minutes were dominated by ?Inter, in terms of possession at least, but they were unable to create any clear cut opportunities as the Udinese defence stood firm. Inevitably, the first real chance of the half did fall to the home side as Matteo Politano whipped in a corner which was met by ?Icardi at the near post, only for his looping header to drop just wide.

Inter’s domination continued up until the half-time whistle – the home side with nearly 70% possession but failing to grab an all important goal. Udinese failed to have a single shot for the whole of the first period and in truth rarely visited the Nerazzurri half.

Udinese got into the game more after the break, but with 74 minutes on the clock and Inter attacking down the right, the referee blew his whistle to check a potential handball by Seko Fofana through VAR. 

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After just a quick glance at the monitor, a penalty was awarded and Icardi had the chance to bag his ninth goal of the season. Under huge pressure, Inter’s talisman stepped up and dinked the ball down the middle to seal a tight win. 


Inter

?Key Talking Point

Dumped out of the Champions League in midweek after failing to beat PSV at home, it was a matter of interest to see how Inter would react in front of their own fans after such disappointment.

They played well and dominated the match, but perhaps lacked the confidence in front of goal. They also didn’t create as many clear cut chances as they would have liked against a struggling Udinese side who sat just about the relegation places coming into the game. 

Icardi though – as he so often does – saved the home side and sent the fans home happy after midweek’s heartbreak in the Champions League.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Handanovic (6), Vrsaljko (8*), De Vrij (6), Skriniar (7), Asamoah (6); Valero (5), Brozovic (7), Mario (6); Politano (7), Icardi (7), Balde Diao (7).

Substitutes: Martinez (6), Perisic (6), Nainggolan (N/A)

STAR MAN – Despite Icardi grabbing the winning goal, it was Sime Vrsaljko who caught the eye terrific for the home side. Despite lining up at right-back he spent most of the much attacking and consistently whipping in dangerous deliveries in a terrific display.


??WORST PLAYER – Borja Valero had a difficult evening, although his side dominated the first half. The Spaniard gave the ball away a number of times and had a number of wayward shots. He was duly subbed off after 55 minutes.


Udinese

Key Talking Point

After sitting just two points above the drop zone, it was inevitable that the Zebrette would come to defend and try to nick a point. Credit to them, they defended well and nullified Inter’s potent attack for periods of the game.

Unfortunately their stubborn resistance was broken through a VAR awarded penalty as Fofana handled when attempting to head the ball away. They can take heart from the way they performed and could count themselves slightly unfortunate not to grab anything from the game.

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Player Ratings

Starting XI: Musso (6), ter Avest (6), Troost-Ekong (5), Nuytinck (6); Stryger Larsen (6), Fofana (5), Behrami (7), Mandragora (6), D’Alessandro (6), Pusetto (5), de Paul (6).

Substitutes: Machis (6), Felipe (N/A)


Looking Ahead

Inter return to action in a weeks time as they travel to Chievo for another Serie A clash. I Gialloblu have been in dire form all season and are rock bottom – also the only team in the league without a victory – so Spalletti’s men should fancy their chances of picking up three more points.

Udinese also play next Saturday as they host Frosinone who are second bottom in the table in an early relegation six-pointer.

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Antonio Conte & Luka Modric at the Top of Inter Wishlist as Italian Giants Plan First Team Makeover

Serie A giants Inter are looking to revive their summer interest in Real Madrid midfielder and Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modri? as part of a major overhaul to get back amongst European football’s elite.

Inter have fallen by the wayside in recent years and haven’t come close to challenging in Europe since their outstanding Champions League winning season back in 2010, when José Mourinho ended the club’s 45-year wait for that trophy.

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This isn’t the first time that Inter will attempt a major overhaul of their squad, but the Mirror claims that this time the Italian outfit will now look to recruit Modri? as the centrepiece of their squad which already has a Croatian core, including Ivan Periši?Marcelo Brozovi? and Šime Vrsaljko.

As part of their latest makeover plans, the Nerazzurri will also be looking to replace their current manager, Luciano Spalletti.

The former AS Roma manager has been popular amongst Tottenham fans this week, after Inter’s failure to beat PSV Eindhoven ensured the north London side would qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League at their expense.

However, fans at San Siro aren’t quite as pleased with their head coach and Tuesday’s result could prove to be the last straw for Inter’s hierarchy.

It is claimed that former Chelsea manager Conte is at the top of the club’s wishlist for the next head coach as Inter look to appoint a sixth manager since 2016.

Italian Football Federation 'Panchina D'Oro' Prize

Recently appointed sporting director Beppe Marotta, who earned his reputation with Juventus, has a close relationship with Conte and, after seeing his success at Chelsea, is convinced that the former Azzurri boss can return Inter to their former glory days.

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Picking the Best Potential Inter Lineup to Face Udinese in Serie A on Saturday

Inter welcome Udinese to San Siro hoping to end a disappointing run of form, which has seen them fail to pick up a win in their last four matches in all competitions.

The Nerazzurri sit third in Serie A and face a 17th-placed Zebrette outfit, who could drop into the relegation zone if they lose the match and results go against them on Tuesday, when Bologna face Milan.

3. Goalkeepers and Defenders

Samir Handanovi? (GK) – The keeper has kept seven clean sheets in 15 league appearances in all competitions. Although he hasn’t managed to keep one in his last four, the Slovenian will be eager to impress against his former side. 

Danilo D’Ambrosio (RB) – The full back has made 15 appearances in all competitions this campaign, keeping five clean sheets in 11 league games. He has been terrific defensively and is also a threat in the opposition area, providing a goal and an assist this season.

Stefan De Vrij (CB) – Like D’Ambrosio, the defender has made 15 appearances and kept five clean sheets, albeit in ten league appearances. He also possesses an aerial presence in the opposing box, with a goal and an assist to his name already.

Milan Škriniar (CB) – The Slovakian is only 23 but has shown a great defensive maturity. He has helped his side keep six clean sheets from 13 league appearances and has failed to feature just twice this campaign. It comes as no surprise why several top European sides are after the talented youngster.

Kwadwo Asamoah (LB) – The Ghanaian has kept five clean sheets in 13 league appearances this season. He possesses great pace, which helps the Nerazzurri going forward and he utilises it well when making recovery challenges. He also has a wand of a left foot, making it easy for him to send in dangerous first time crosses.

2. Midfielders

Marcelo Brozovi? (CDM) – The Croat has impressed this campaign for the Nerazzurri, providing one assist and has found the net twice in the league in 13 appearances. He is a player who often sacrifices himself for the team, making cynical challenges and picking up bookings for the side, which has cost him with one sending off.  

Matías Vecino (CM) – The Uruguayan has struggled with a muscular injury, which ruled him out of Inter’s Champions League draw against PSV Eindhoven, but will be a massive boost should he return to the starting lineup.

Radja Nainggolan (CM) – The Belgian hasn’t made as big an impact as he was tipped to after his move from Roma, due to a succession of muscular injuries. He is a combative, box to box midfielder who knows how to keep possession under pressure, dribble past players and pick out a pass. He has a slight niggle but could feature.

1. Forwards

Matteo Politano (RW) – Politano has impressed as the season has gone on. He has featured in every match this campaign for Il Biscione and has been involved in six goals in 21 appearances in all competitions, five of which have come in Serie A.

Mauro Icardi (ST) – Icardi has been terrific thus far this campaign, continuing last season’s form which saw him finish as joint top scorer in the league. He has eight goals and two assists in 12 league appearances, four in the Champions League and is on course to equal his tally from last campaign.

Keita Baldé (LW) – The summer signing has done well since arriving at San Siro. He has been involved in five goals in 14 league appearances, scoring three and providing two assists. He is very good on the ball, possessing great pace and trickery. He has managed to complete 90 minutes just once, but he grabbed a brace and an assist on that occasion.

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Italian Supreme Court Rejects Juventus Appeal to Have Inter Stripped of 2005/06 Scudetto

?Juventus’ appeal against the 2005/06 Serie A league title being awarded to Inter has been thrown out by the Italian supreme court.

Inter, who had originally finished third that season, were elevated to the status of champions after the punishments meted out to Juventus and AC Milan for their part in the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal – in which Inter were not indicted.

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In 2011, ?Inter were accused by prosecutor Stefano Palazzi of similar offences to the ones which saw ?Juventus relegated, but the statute of limitations had expired so no action could be taken.

According to ?La Gazzetta dello Sport, Juventus’ latest appeal was thrown out by the Supreme Court of Cassation because it would undermine “the principle of autonomy of the national sports system” for an outside court to weigh in on a sporting issue.

The Supreme Court of Cassation does not re-examine the facts of a case, it merely interprets the relevant legislature, and in this case it upheld the earlier verdict that civil courts have no jurisdiction over sporting disputes.

Having previously appealed to the FIGC and the Consiglio di Stato, it would seem that Juventus have no further avenues to pursue and may be forced to drop the case.

The 2005/06 title was one of two that Juventus were stripped of after the Calciopoli investigations. The 2004/05 title was not re-awarded.

Juventus v Bologna

Juventus were demoted to the bottom of Serie A and relegated to Serie B as a result, but they are now back at the top of Italian football, winning the last seven Scudetti.

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Inter Officially Unveil Former Juventus Director Giuseppe Marotta as New CEO of Sport

?Internazionale has officially welcomed former Juventus official Giuseppe Marotta as their new chief executive of sport after spending the last eight years in Turin.

Marotta oversaw great success during his Juve tenure, wining included seven consecutive Serie A titles and making two UEFA Champions League final appearances, before leaving the club in October.


The 61-year-old, who also had a spell at Sampdoria, has already described his move to Inter as ‘an important chapter’ in his career and professional life.

“I am now part of the great Inter,” Marotta said on Thursday.

“I’m very proud and I’m going to have the important role of the CEO of the sports area. It is certainly going to be an important chapter in my professional life and I will have great responsibility, but that doesn’t daunt me.

“It’s the start of a new chapter and it must be one marked by success.”

Inter will hope that Marotta can help guide the club back to its former glories after going seven years without a trophy. That came in the shape of the Coppa Italia in 2011, while Inter haven’t won Serie A or the UEFA Champions League since Jose Mourinho’s remarkable treble in 2010.

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The club crashed out of the Champions League at the group stage this week – their first time in the competition since the 2011/12 campaign – and will continue their continental adventure this season in the Europa League in the new year.

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