Spalletti: Inter “did not have a bad match” after loss to Genoa

Following his club’s devastating 2-0 defeat at the hands of Genoa, Inter Milan manager Luciano Spalletti spoke to Mediaset and tried to make sense of what happened during the preceding 90 minutes.

The loss drops them into the fourth, and final, Champions League spot in Serie A with Lazio still yet to play their match this week. With the Bianceleste set to play relegation assured Hellas Verona on Monday night, Inter is likely to be out of a Champions League spot come Tuesday morning.

“It is not easy when you take an own goal so at the end of the first half,” said the manager. “There is no peace of mind and quality in managing the ball.”

The team did not have a bad performance. We have to be able to grow from time to time because it is difficult to maintain a clear direction.

In the second half we played a balanced match and we deserved more, even if they deliberately time wasted. I remember important saves from Perin and not Handanovic. We have to go back to working seriously, believing in the potential of the team. There are still many games to put things right and fight until the end for qualifying in the Champions League.

Inter considering to make a move for Liverpool’s Sturridge

After having snapped up Argentine defender Lisandro Lopez on loan from Benfica, Inter are looking to strenghten the other departments of their squad.

As reported previously the Nerazzurri are currently locked down in negotiations with Barcelona for Rafinha as well as with Jiangsu Suning over former Chelsea player Ramires with Lyon’s Grenier on standby should any of those two negotiations not be concluded.

So now the Nerazzurri turn to their attack and according to several reports in the UK they are looking at Liverpool’s English international Daniel Sturridge. The former Chelsea and Manchester City striker has no played since December 6th due to an injury but before then he has scored thrice in 14 appearances across all competitions this season. Given Inter’s financial restrictions the Nerazzurri are looking to make a loan offer for Sturridge but it is unlikely that Liverpool will accept.

Lisandro Lopez flies out for Inter

Lisandro Lopez was spotted at the airport taking a flight to Milan, where he should undergo a medical with Inter tomorrow.
Portuguese paper Record claims the Benfica defender was seen embarking on a flight to Milan.
He is expected to have a medical tomorrow before signing the loan deal.
Inter should pay €0.5m for the six-month loan spell, with an option to buy outright for another €9m.

Spalletti doesn’t fear losing Inter stars

Inter coach Luciano Spalletti claims he is not concerned about losing key players during the transfer window. 
The Nerazzurri enjoyed a strong first half of 2017-18, although a run of four league matches without a win in December saw them enter the mid-season break third in Serie A, seven points behind leaders Napoli.
Captain and star striker Mauro Icardi has been linked with a move away from San Siro, while midfielder Joao Mario, who has found himself out of the starting XI under Spalletti, is potentially set to leave. 
Manchester United could also choose to renew their rumoured interest in forward Ivan Perisic.

Questioned by Premium Sport on possible departures, the coach said: “We’ll act in perfect harmony with what the needs of Inter are. The players under contract here are our players. 
“The Chinese ownership has the results of the team at the heart of things, they’re bringing consistency to the history of Inter because they have the expertise and the will to contribute to improving everything at the club.”

Financial constraints may prevent Inter from reinforcing significantly without selling first, and Spalletti is not counting on new players being made available to him.  
“I’m certainly not waiting for anything from the transfer market,” he said.
“The team and club are strong and those who are responsible for our campaign in the market will know how to benefit from any possible opportunities to improve our squad. Numerically, if someone then comes in to fill up the squad it’s even better still.”
Having thrashed Chievo 5-0 on December 3, Inter then scored just once in a 3-1 loss at home to Udinese, as they also suffered a 1-0 defeat at Sassuolo and were held to 0-0 draws by Juventus and Lazio.
Spalletti, though, rejected concerns about his team’s misfiring attack.
“We have a specialist in Mauro Icardi… I don’t believe that it’s a big problem,” he said.
Inter remain on track to challenge for Champions League qualification, a tournament they have not appeared in since 2011-12. 
Nevertheless, Spalletti is adamant there is more to come from the team in the second half of the campaign.
“I’m not happy with my work because you always need to aim for better,” he said.
“We need to all work in a way which is worthy of Inter, this is what makes the difference. We’ve done very well so far, we’ve picked up a lot of points but I don’t think that we’ve still shown the very best of what we can do.”


Player ratings – AC Milan 1 – 0 Inter: Donnarumma’s dream debut

AC Milan came out on top in the Coppa Italia quarter-final clash against Inter thanks to a goal in the 104th minute by Rossoneri wonderkid Patrick Cutrone.

After both teams failed to score over 90 minutes despite both sides having enough chances to seal the victory, in the end, AC Milan finally broke the deadlock when Patrick Cutrone took advantage of a mistake in the Nerazzurri defence. Given how the match played out, it was a deserved victory for Gattuso’s Milan who looked like they wanted to win more, whilst Inter looked tired and were on the back-foot but the Nerazzurri had their chances, with Joao Mario squandering an absolute sitter.

AC Milan:

Antonio Donnarumma – 7,5: What a debut by the AC Milan third-keeper whose performance was anything but that of a third-keeper. Shaky start but grew into the match and in the end gave a Man of The Match performance.

Ignazio Abate – 6: Did his duties well both offensively as well as defensively, especially in the first half. Had to be brought off early in the second half due to an injury.

Leonardo Bonucci – 5.5: The weakest link in the Rossoneri defence, missing simple passes, as well as being caught out of position time after time. Former AC Milan coach Fabio Capello said about him that “he is a good passer of the ball, but he does not how to defend.”

Alessio Romagnoli – 7: Was Milan’s defensive pillar and cleaned up behind Bonucci time and time again. Kept Icardi quiet for the entire match, which says it all.

Ricardo Rodriguez – 6,5: A solid performance by the Swiss international. Missed one or two crosses where he should have done better, but overall did well.

Franck Kessie – 7: Lungs of steel. Ran tirelessly throughout the entire match illustrating why Milan broke the bank to sign him from Atalanta. Best performance since signing for Milan.

Manuel Locatelli – 5.5: Did not have a great evening, losing a lot of balls in midfield as well as being too rash in challenges which forced him to concede unnecessary free-kicks. Brought off in 73rd minute.

Lucas Biglia – 7: Starting to look like the player Milan thought they had signed from Lazio. Hardly put a foot wrong, dictated the tempo of the Rossoneri’s midfield and demonstrated the intelligence he has. Gave his best performance in a Milan shirt.

Suso – 6,5: AC Milan’s own Mr. Derby lived up to the expectations in a derby yet again. Although not as dominant as is previous derbies he oozes class, brilliance and possesses the ability to do the unexpected.

Nikola Kalinic– 6: Had a decent first half where he forced Handanovic to make a couple of good saves. As the match wore on, he grew more and more tired resulting in him being more and more anonymous. Brought off in the 76th minute for Cutrone.

Giacomo Bonaventura – 6: Played 1-1 vs Joao Mario in missing an absolute sitter. Is an irrational player, but struggled offensively so instead he put in a decent shift to help the team.   

Substitutes: Davide Calabria (6,5), Hakan Calhanoglu (6), Patrick Cutrone (7).


Samir Handanovic – 6: Did what he needed to do but like rest of Inter looked tired causing him to make simple mistakes. No chance on the goal.

Joao Cancelo – 6.5: Inter’s best player on the night. Starting to show his qualities offensively as well as defensively. Form is on the rise.

Andrea Ranocchia – 6: The former Inter captain did well, keeping things simple as well as keeping a cool head. Solid performance.

Milan Skriniar – 5,5: Given the high level of performances he has spoilt Inter fans with this season, last night was a step in the wrong direction. 

Yuto Nagatomo – 6: Matched Suso preventing the Spaniard from giving a stellar performance in yet another derby. Has been Inter’s best and most consistent left full-back so far this season.

Roberto Gagliardini – 5,5: Not at all the type of performance Inter needed to see from the former Atalanta player. Brought off in 75th minute for Marcelo Brozovic.

Matias Vecino – 6: Such an important player for Inter, linking up defence with attack and despite not having the best of nights he never stops trying.

Antonio Candreva – 5: Usually Inter’s Mr. Derby, but was completely out of form throughout the night. The fact that he wasn’t the worst Inter player of the night speaks volumes as to the Nerazzurri’s performance. 

Joao Mario – 4: Absolute shocker. Painful to watch. Had his chance to prove why he should play more but probably played himself out of the starting line-up for a long time, if not forever, if transfer rumours are to be believed. Replaced in 67th minute by Borja Valero.  

Ivan Perisic– 4.5: Probably his worst performance since joining Inter. Unable to do anything of consequence despite playing 120 minutes. Should be benched until he regains his form, but unlikely given the lack of squad depth.

Mauro Icardi – 5: See above re Perisic. Inter need their captain during the most critical part of the season, who instead looks tired and out of form.

Substitutes: Borja Valero (6), Brozovic (5.5), Eder (5).