Inter were not at their best against Napoli and Antonio Conte felt his side paid for their exertions against Milan.
Antonio Conte feels Inter’s derby victory over Milan took away a lot of “nervous” energy as his side fell to a limp Coppa Italia semi-final first-leg loss at home to Napoli.
The Nerazzurri fought back to defeat their rivals 4-2 in a barnstorming Serie A encounter on Sunday.
It was a different story on this occasion, though, as Inter struggled to get out of second gear and succumbed to a 1-0 loss thanks to Fabian Ruiz’s excellent second-half strike.
Speaking to Rai after the game, head coach Conte said: “The derby took away a lot of energy, especially nervous.
“I made five changes from Sunday to bring in fresh legs, but Napoli beat Juventus, Lazio and Liverpool this season, so that means they’ve got quality there.
“I’d say that, after Juventus, Napoli have the most impressive squad in Serie A.
| FINAL WHISTLE
— Inter (@Inter_en) February 12, 2020
“Gennaro Gattuso was smart to sit back, wait and go on the counter. We had the chances and it would’ve been a fair result if we had played out a draw.
“When you’re up against defensive teams like this, you have to move the ball around faster and create spaces.
“We are at the start of this journey, so if some think we are at the same level as a side that was at the top for many years, then I say we’re a long way off and have to use these defeats to improve.”
Christian Eriksen was again only among the Inter substitutes, with Conte explaining the Denmark playmaker is still finding his best form after being in and out of Tottenham’s team.
“He is certainly a player of quality, he needs to rediscover that intensity, seeing as he hasn’t played much in the last six months,” the ex-Italy boss said of Inter’s January arrival.
Highlights – Inter Milan vs AC Milan
Lazio’s Ciro Immobile set to join an exclusive club as the highest-scoring player in Europe this season
In a decade dominated by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the underrated Italian is near assured of winning the European Golden Shoe for the continent’s top scorer.
From Messi, to Ronaldo, Mohamed Salah, Robert Lewandowski and Erling Braut Haaland, nobody in Europe has managed to keep pace with the Naples-born player.
Immobile overtook Bayern Munich striker Lewandowski with his 35th goal against Brescia midweek, and will close his campaign against Napoli on Saturday.
Juventus star Ronaldo, on 31 goals, is four behind before the Serie A champions’ final game against Roma in Turin, in which he may not even play with the Champions League looming.
It would not be the first time that 30-year-old Immobile has topped the Serie A goal-scoring charts, having won the ‘Capocannoniere’ twice before in 2014 and 2018.
But he would become just the third Italian winner of the European Golden Shoe after Roma’s Francesco Totti (26) in 2007 and Luca Toni for Fiorentina in 2006 (31).
Another two goals on Saturday would also see him surpass Gonzalo Higuain’s Serie A record of 36 goals, set playing for Napoli in the 2015-16 season.
“I am only sorry that I cannot celebrate these numbers with the fans,” said Immobile, nicknamed ‘King Ciro’ in the capital, but whose career before arriving in Rome had been erratic.
Success has not followed onto the national team, where he has scored ten goals in 39 games, taking the brunt of criticism after Italy failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
Immobile started his career at Juventus, where he made just three appearances before a breakthrough loan season in 2011-2012 at Pescara where his 28 goals lifted the Serie B side into the top flight.
Juventus ‘Irritated’ By Maurizio Sarri After He Refused To Stop Smoking Even While Struggling With Pneumonia
Jack Kenmare in FootballLast updated 8:37 AM, Thursday August 29 2019 GMT+1Serie A champions Juventus are reportedly ‘irritated’ by manager Maurizio Sarri after he ‘refused to stop smoking’ despite being diagnosed with Pneumonia. The 60-year-old, who averages around four packs of cigarettes a day, missed the club’s first league game of the season against Parma on Saturday…
Serie A champions Juventus are reportedly ‘irritated’ by manager Maurizio Sarri after he ‘refused to stop smoking’ despite being diagnosed with Pneumonia.
The 60-year-old, who averages around four packs of cigarettes a day, missed the club’s first league game of the season against Parma on Saturday after club doctor’s advised him to take a rest.Sarri’s condition has improved ‘sufficiently’ in recent days but Juventus are still concerned about their manager’s smoking habits.
In fact, it is believed that they are ‘irritated’ and would prefer him to stop while being treated for the infection, according to news agency Ansa via Football Italia.Sarri was pictured holding a pack of cigarettes while outside his home this week, which prompted the Italian side to be displeased with the former Chelsea boss. So how many does Sarri really smoke on a daily basis?
According to reports, the Italian gets through 80 cigarettes a day. That means if he’s awake for 16 hours then Sarri will smoke five an hour. That is a cigarette every 12 minutes.The guys over at Dream Team worked out that if a pack costs £11.50, then the Chelsea manager smokes £46 of his salary every day, which works out at a hefty £1,400 every month.
But back in June this year, the Italian confessed to smoking 60 a day and admitted his habit is getting out of control. “I smoke 60 a day, which is probably a few too many,” he revealed to La Nuova Riviera via Football Italia.”I don’t particularly feel the need to smoke during games, but straight afterwards it really is necessary,” he added. “I had back problems tormenting me for weeks, but I feel much better now.”After signing a three-year deal at Juventus, the 60-year-old accepts that he’ll have to win over some fans considering his ties with Napoli.”I arrive with scepticism, just as I did with all my other clubs,” he said at his unveiling.”I understand that, but I know only one way to change that and that is to win and convince while entertaining and getting results.”For three years [at Napoli] I would wake up and think about how to defeat Juventus, because they were a winning team. I gave 110%, but we still couldn’t do it. I will now give everything for this club.
The Championship Can Resume On June 20 – Italian Sport Minister
The green light has been given for Italy’s Serie A football championship to begin on June 20.
The Italian Minsiter of sports on Thursday May 28 said, the government’s Technical and Scientific Committee (CTS) had agreed to the health protocol proposed by Italian football chiefs.
“Italy has started to return to normal life again, it is only right that football should do the same. The federation assured me that it had a Plan B and a Plan C. In light of these considerations, the championship can resume on June 20,” Spadafora said.
He added that, “The CTS agreed with the medical protocol, but confirmed the absolute necessity for a quarantine period if a player were to test positive.”
In a video conference, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) President Gabriele Gravina said, there would be a play-off system if the championship were again interrupted, while the existing standings would be used if it were stopped.
I’m happy and satisfied. The restart of football represents a message of hope for the whole country,” Gravina said.
Being one of the hardest hit countries by the coronavirus pandemic with over 33,000 deaths, Italy begun to ease restrictions. No top-flight matches in Italy have been played since Sassuolo beat Brescia 3-0 on March 9. Italian football now faces a scheduling nightmare, for matches, which will take place behind closed doors.
Italians clubs on Friday May 29 meet to examine the possibility of playing the remaining Serie A and Italian Cup matches, amounting to some 127 in total. Most teams have 12 league games left to play, but there were four postponed fixtures.
By Etienne Mainimo
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