The Nerazzuri are humming.
Inter Milan beat Lazio on Wednesday to move to 5-0 in Serie A, continuing a perfect league start for Antonio Conte in his first job since leaving Chelsea.
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Not too far removed from winning the Premier League but skipping town under a label of “not attacking enough” for Blues owner Roman Abramovich, Conte is rolling with the big-investing Nerazzurri.
Danilo D’Ambrosio scored Inter’s goal on Wednesday, which came four days after a 2-0 defeat of derby rivals AC Milan.
“You won’t move my position,” Conte said of the club’s title possibilities in a league dominated by Juventus, who they play in two weeks.
“You saw the difficulties we had in the first half. At the same time, getting five wins out of five shows the hard work is paying off and the mentality is becoming consolidated. I am sure the moment we get a bad result, the critics will come piling on, but we are ready.”
Alexis Sanchez got onto the field in the win.
The 30-year-old has played just 18 minutes for Inter, eight of them coming Wednesday. That’s one day after Conte said this about the Chilean.
“For him it is worth the words I give for everyone else,” Conte said before the match. “When I see ready players, they will be inserted [into the starting line-up]. I have to work in the interest of Inter, not of individuals.”
Given Sanchez’s track record, it’s hardly a surprise to see Conte choose other players over the Chilean. Injuries and form limited him to five goals and nine assists in 45 career games for United, far off his 80 and 45 in 166 with Arsenal.
While Alexis could still rebound and snare his former status, it seems like he’s going to need to either rip up that big money contract — he’s on the books at Old Trafford until 2022 — and go somewhere that wants him. Otherwise, he’d have to go the China, MLS, or Chinese Super League route.
Knowing Alexis, the latter seems likely.