Inter Milan

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Serie A: Inter Milan run away late to stay perfect

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Inter Milan stayed perfect in Serie A with a hard-fought 2-0 win at Crotone, which remained on Saturday the only team yet to score a goal in the league.

Inter won its previous three matches comfortably but found it harder than expected at Crotone until eight minutes from time when defender Milan Skriniar broke the deadlock.

Ivan Perisic sealed the result in stoppage time.

“Crotone made it difficult for us … we’ll see how many teams manage to win here,” Inter coach Luciano Spalletti said. “We faced two situations where (Inter goalkeeper Samir) Handanovic did well but they shouldn’t have happened … we’re not a great team yet, but we played with character which is important.”

Opportunities were few and far between at Stadio Scida and it was Crotone which had the best chances, with Handanovic pulling off two fine second-half saves to deny Aleksandar Tonev and Marcus Rohden.

However, Inter took the lead when a free kick ricocheted around the area before Skriniar bundled in the ball with his third attempt for his first Serie A goal.

Perisic was left unmarked to gather Joao Mario’s pass, cut inside, and fire into the bottom right corner.

Federico Chiesa scored a goal his father would have been proud of to set Fiorentina on its way to beating Bologna 2-1.

“He’s a good lad who should not listen much to what is being said around him and instead center himself a lot on his work: He can still improve, together with the team,” Fiorentina coach Stefano Pioli said. “I never doubted he would stay here: He is only at the start of his journey.”

Little of note happened before Chiesa – the son of prolific former goalscorer Enrico – cut inside the left of the area, beat a defender, and curled a fantastic strike into the far side of the net in the 51st minute.

However, Bologna was back level a minute later when Rodrigo Palacio finished off a rapid counterattack with a half-volley.

German Pezzella scored what was to prove the winner in the 69th with a looping header from a corner.

Palacio almost equalized but his header came off the left post.

It was Fiorentina’s second successive victory after losing its first two matches.

Serie A: Icardi, Perisic keep Inter Milan perfect; AC Milan trounced

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ROME (AP) The dynamic duo of Mauro Icardi and Ivan Perisic are proving unstoppable in Serie A and Inter Milan is quickly moving on from last season’s failures and upheaval.

Icardi scored his fifth goal in three matches and Perisic added another as Inter beat Serie B champion Spal 2-0 Sunday to extend its perfect start in the Italian league.

Each of Inter’s eight goals this season have involved either Icardi or Perisic, with goals or assists.

Video replays were used to set up Icardi’s first-half penalty and Perisic sealed the result three minutes from time.

Inter drew level on points with six-time defending champion Juventus, which defeated Chievo Verona 3-0 on Saturday.

Later, Napoli also had a chance to extend its perfect start at Bologna.

Big-spending AC Milan dropped its first points in a 4-1 loss at Lazio, which got a hat trick from Ciro Immobile.

Including Roberto Mancini’s surprise resignation two weeks before the season began, Inter struggled through four managerial changes in the 2016-17 campaign and finished seventh to miss out on European competition.

But order appears to have been restored with the appointment of former Roma coach Luciano Spalletti in June.

“There are three big points, especially since Inter struggled against the smaller clubs last season,” said assistant coach Marco Domenichini, who handled the post-match interviews because Spalletti lost his voice during the game.

“It’s great to have nine points but we’ve still got to improve, especially in terms of ball control,” Domenichini added.

Leonardo Semplici, the coach of Ferrara-based Spal, believes Inter will challenge Juventus and Napoli.

“They’ve got a really good and experienced manager. They’re going to battle until the end for the title,” Semplici said.

At the San Siro, Inter was in control from the start and Icardi used a quick touch to set up Joao Mario at the edge of the area when the Portuguese international was tripped by a defender.

The referee immediately pulled out a yellow card for the defender, Francesco Vicari, and then a five-minute delay ensued as the referee sought video assistance to determine if the foul occurred inside or outside the area.

Eventually, the penalty was awarded and Icardi calmly slotted his spot kick in the left side of the goal as the `keeper went the other way.

It was Icardi’s 77th goal in Serie A for Inter, placing him joint 10th on the club’s all-time list with Attilio Demaria.

After Inter’s Milan Skriniar hit the crossbar, Perisic volleyed in a cross from Danilo D’Ambrosio for his second score of the season to go along with his four assists.

Fresh off his goal for Italy in a 1-0 win over Israel in World Cup qualifying, Lazio striker Immobile was in full control at the Stadio Olimpico against remodeled Milan, which spent more than 200 million euros (nearly $250 million) in the transfer market.

Late in the first half, Immobile converted a penalty and then scored again with an acrobatic volley.

After the break, Immobile slotted inside the near post following an expert setup from Marco Parolo then provided the assist when Luis Alberto finished off a swift counterattack.

Riccardo Montolivo pulled one back for Milan in a match in which kickoff was delayed for an hour due to severe rain.

After scoring only one goal in its opening two matches – both losses – Fiorentina routed promoted Hellas Verona 5-0.

Giovanni Simeone, Cyril Thereau, Davide Astori, Jordan Veretout and Gil Dias scored for the Tuscan club, which has had to overcome the sale of nearly all of its most prized players.

Fiorentina sold Nikola Kalinic to Milan, Borja Valero and Matias Vecino to Inter Milan and Federico Bernardeschi to Juventus.

Verona had never lost by four or more goals at home in Serie A.

Also, Atalanta beat Sassuolo 2-1; Cagliari celebrated the opening of its new stadium, the Sardegna Arena, with a 1-0 victory over Crotone; and Udinese defeated Genoa 1-0 as both teams finished with 10 men.

VIDEO: Ivan Perisic spanks home unstoppable volley

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This is why Manchester United wanted to sign him.

[ MORE: Serie A scores, schedule

Ivan Perisic put Inter Milan 2-0 up in style late on in their victory against Spal on Sunday in Serie A.

The Croatian winger celebrated his new long-term contract by smashing home his second goal of the season for Inter as he absolutely obliterated the ball

Click play on the video below to see Perisic’s stunner.

Transfer rumor wrap: Bale to Man United; Mbappe to PSG

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Spanish outlet Don Balon claim Manchester United have bid $118 million for Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale.

Despite Bale, 28, insisting he wants to stay at Real and club president Florentino Perez saying he is going nowhere, Bale was jeered by Real’s fans once again on Sunday as he missed multiple chances in their 2-2 draw against Valencia at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Bale has five years left on his current contract at Real Madrid (he only signed a big new extension last October) but Jose Mourinho previously said he would “be waiting at the airport” for Bale if his situation changed with Real.

The Welsh wizard has scored 68 goals in 154 appearances for Real over the past five seasons but with Marco Asensio and Lucas Vasquez challenging to become first team regulars, Bale has a little more competition this season with Cristiano Ronaldo and Karem Benzema guaranteed starters for the reigning European and Spanish champions.

Mourinho has made no secret that United are said to be looking for a wide player for much of the summer with a move for Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic seemingly falling by the wayside. Yet with Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Henrikh Mhitaryan and Jesse Lingard, how many wide players does Mourinho need?

Is it time Bale returned to the Premier League after winning everything he can at Real? That still seems like a year or two away, if it happens at all, but Bale being booed by his own supporters will be music to the ears of the PL’s big boys who hope to pry him away from the Spanish capital.


Arsenal could lose German center back Shkodran Mustafi to Inter Milan.

Sky Italy say that Mustafi, 25, has agreed personal terms with Inter and believe that an agreement over an initial loan deal is close between the two clubs.

Mustafi joined Arsenal from Valencia for $45 million last summer and the German international impressed for the Gunners despite their fifth-place finish in the Premier League table.

Composed on the ball and able to play in a flat back four or as one of three central defenders, quite why Arsenal would let Mustafi leave is a bit mind-boggling.

With the rise of Rob Holding, plus Nacho Monreal playing as a center back, perhaps Wenger thinks he has sufficient cover at center back with Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker also around.

The deal for Mustafi is believed to be a loan deal with an option to buy.


Kylian Mbappe’s move to Paris Saint-Germain is edging closer with the French national team teenager arriving for national team duty.

Mbappe, 18, is said to have had a medical with PSG while the finer points of the massive $214 million deal are sorted out.

Per multiple reports Monaco will loan Mbappe to PSG for the 2017-18 season and then the deal will be made permanent next summer.

That is due to PSG’s world-record $262 million deal for Neymar earlier this month, as Les Parisiens are concerned another $200 million-plus will, obviously, see them struggle to met UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules.

Mbappe is set for a 2,000 percent pay rise which will see him paid $387,000 per week.

The teenage talent burst onto the scenes last season with Monaco, scoring 27 times in his first full season in the pro game as he led the Ligue 1 club to the French title, the UEFA Champions League semifinals and also made his debut for France.


Leicester City are said to have had a bid of $27.1 million turned down by West Bromwich Albion for their captain Jonny Evans and it is believed the Baggies want $38 million for Evans.

The Northern Ireland national team defender has missed West Brom’s last two games with an injured hamstring and despite stating in the matchday programme before West Brom’s 1-1 draw vs. Stoke on Sunday that he wants to stay, another bid has arrived from the Foxes.

Evans has been a target for both Manchester City and Leicester over the past few weeks as the former Manchester United defender has quietly become one of the star defenders in the league over the past 12 months.

Despite Tony Pulis stating Evans will remain at the Hawthorns, if a huge bid arrives from Man City or Leicester in the final days of the window, can the Baggies really turn it down?

Leicester have already improved their defense drastically this summer by adding Harry Maguire from Hull City with the center back handed his first England national team call-up last week. Man City are said to be chasing Evans with one eye on his status as a “homegrown player” under PL rules.

Serie A: Inter throttle Roma; Juve come back on Dybala’s hat trick

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Roma 1-3 Inter Milan

New Inter Milan coach Luciano Spalletti had a fruitful return to the Italian capital on Saturday, as his Nerazzurri side came from behind to win at Roma 3-1 in Serie A.

Mauro Icardi scored twice in the second half as Roma was made to pay for its profligacy, having hit the woodwork three times.

Spalletti left Roma by mutual consent at the end of last season and joined Inter shortly afterward, along with sporting director Walter Sabatini. He has two league wins out of two for Inter, after they beat Fiorentina 3-0 in their opener. Icardi also scored two then.

It appeared as if their return would be a miserable one after Edin Dzeko, last season’s top goal-scorer, gave Roma the lead. He chested down Radja Nainggolan’s pass and volleyed it home.

Aleksandar Kolarov hit the post seconds earlier and Roma hit the woodwork twice more through Nainggolan and Diego Perotti.

Inter leveled through Icardi from an Antonio Candreva assist in the 67th.

Icardi doubled his tally 10 minutes later, controlling Ivan Perisic’s low cross before swiveling to fire into the bottom left corner.

Matias Vecino sealed the result three minutes from time with his first goal since joining Inter from Fiorentina in the offseason.

There was controversy however, as Roma felt it should have had a penalty early in the second half when Milan Skriniar appeared to trip Diego Perotti at the byline, but the video assistant referee was not called upon and only a corner was given.

[ PL SUNDAY PREVIEW: Liverpool host Arsenal; Chelsea vs. Everton ]

[ MORE: Saturday’s PL roundup — United keep 100% record; City win late ]


Genoa 2-4 Juventus

MILAN (AP) The limitations of video review were obvious at Genoa, where Juventus fought back from two goals down to win 4-2 in Serie A on Saturday thanks to a hat trick from Paulo Dybala.

Video review (VAR) was used twice in the first half, to give both sides a penalty. However, Genoa forward Andrej Galabinov was offside before he was fouled by Daniele Rugani, while there were also grumbles about Juve’s spot kick.

Meanwhile, Benevento thought it picked up a first ever point in Serie A but the VAR ruled out what would have been a stoppage-time equalizer and it lost to Bologna 1-0.

In a frantic start, Genoa took the lead against Juventus inside 20 seconds when Miralem Pjanic inadvertently turned Goran Pandev’s cross into his own net.

Galabinov doubled Genoa’s lead six minutes later from the spot after his ankle was clipped by Rugani. It was the second penalty awarded against Juventus by video review in as many matches.

Dybala, who scored in Juve’s opening win at Cagliari last weekend, halved the deficit in the 14th minute when he fired Pjanic’s pullback into the top left corner.

And Juventus leveled in first-half stoppage time through a penalty of its own, which Dybala drove emphatically into the roof of the net after Mario Mandzukic kicked the ball onto Darko Lazovic’s hand from close range.

Juan Cuadrado had a poor match, but gave Juventus the lead shortly after the hour mark. The Colombia winger chested down Mandzukic’s pass, turned Diego Laxalt and placed the ball into the far top corner.

Dybala sealed the result in stoppage time with an accurate shot into the near corner for his first hat trick for Juventus.