Bologna look to maintain their impressive form against Inter Milan

By Sports Desk March 08, 2024

Bologna will look to land another blow on Serie A champions elect Inter Milan at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara on Saturday.

Inter head into the weekend 15 points clear of second-placed Juventus and are bidding for a 13th straight victory in all competitions, but Bologna have been something of a bogey side.

This will be a third meeting of the season between the teams, with Bologna fighting back to draw 2-2 at San Siro in the league in October and then handing Inter their most recent defeat, in the Coppa Italia in December.

Bologna, who also won the home league match last season, go into this clash in great form having won their last six matches to climb to fourth in the table, earning former Inter midfielder Motta the Serie A manager of the month award.

He told a press conference: “Inter are the favourites in Serie A, they reached the Champions League final last season, so we have great respect for our opponents. I admire (manager Simone) Inzaghi a great deal.

“All teams have weaknesses. There is no team that is unbeatable, although clearly at this level there are fewer weak spots.

“We are where we belong considering all that we’ve done so far, not just in the matches, but in training too. The lads know we have to keep the same attitude right to the end. Our fans cheer us on and we are ready for a great performance against what is at the moment the best team in the league.

“Against Inter we need to do everything we’ve done so far, but also something extra.”

Bologna’s terrific season, which has so far seen them out perform the likes of defending champions Napoli, Roma and Lazio, has seen Motta linked with big clubs across Europe.

He played down the speculation, saying: “I am 1,000 per cent focused on the Inter match. The president is very happy enjoying the present and so am I, without thinking too much about the future.”

The match will see Marko Arnautovic return to Bologna for the first time since his transfer to Inter last summer.

“I think everyone benefited from that transfer,” said Motta. “He wanted to go to Inter, a choice that I absolutely respect, and now is playing in the Champions League and challenging for the Scudetto. We in turn are happy with how our season is going.”

Inzaghi is also celebrating having been announced as the winner of the Bearzot award for the best manager in Italian football.

Inzaghi said of the award, which is named after Italy’s 1982 World Cup-winning coach Enzo Bearzot, in La Gazzetta dello Sport: “I am deeply grateful for this prestigious award named after such a great coach and man of football.

“This recognition would not have been possible without the extraordinary support of all those who have worked with me over the years. I dedicate this award to them and to my family.”

Related items

  • Yamal and Fermin named in Spain's provisional Euro 2024 squad Yamal and Fermin named in Spain's provisional Euro 2024 squad

    Lamine Yamal has been named in Spain's provisional squad for Euro 2024, while Barcelona team-mate Fermin Lopez is one of two uncapped players included by Luis de la Fuente.

    The 16-year-old headlines a relatively youthful 29-man party for La Roja, which must be cut to 26 by June 7 ahead of the tournament in Germany.

    Yamal became Spain's youngest ever player and scorer when, aged 16 years and 50 days old, he found the net on his debut against Georgia last September, and has been a standout player for Barca this season.

    He is joined in the squad by team-mates Pedri, Pau Cubarsi, Ferran Torres and Fermin, who is handed his first senior call-up by De la Fuente having also impressed during his maiden LaLiga campaign.

    The same can be said for Real Betis forward Ayoze Perez, who scored 11 goals for Los Verdiblancos this term, but Marco Asensio, Pedro Perro, Pau Torres and Kepa Arrizabalaga are notable absentees, with Gavi also missing out through injury.

    David Raya, Alex Grimaldo and Marc Cucurella are among several players still yet to reach double figures in caps to be included.

    Greater experience is provided by skipper Alvaro Morata, as well as the likes of Dani Carvajal, Nacho, Rodri and Jesus Navas, while Real Madrid striker Joselu also gets the nod following his Champions League semi-final heroics against Bayern Munich.

    Spain begin their Euro 2024 campaign against Croatia in Berlin on June 15, while La Roja will also face Italy and Albania in Group B.

  • Williamson signs new Arsenal deal Williamson signs new Arsenal deal

    Leah Williamson has put pen to paper on a new deal at Arsenal, extending her 19-year stay with the Gunners.

    The England defender, who was eight years old when she had her first trial at the club, has agreed fresh terms with the Women's Super League side.

    Williamson returned to action in February following a lengthy lay-off with an anterior cruciate ligament injury, which forced her to miss the Lionesses' run to the 2023 Women's World Cup final.

    The 27-year-old, who skippered England to Euro 2022 glory, has made 232 appearances for Arsenal, winning the Women's Super League as well as the FA Cup and League Cup on two occasions.

    "Everyone knows what Arsenal means to me, but I think every time I sign a new contract, I feel that love ignite all over again," she told the club's official website.

    "I'm very happy to be staying. This is a place where I can still continue to grow, develop and be challenged. As a group, we're all very focused on bringing more silverware to this club and I can't wait to get started again when the new season comes around."

    "Leah is an essential part of our team, so we're delighted she has signed a new contract with us," Arsenal head coach Jonas Eidevall added. "She brings us so much on and off the pitch - leadership, accountability and commitment.

    "Leah has a special bond with Arsenal, and I'm looking forward to continuing to work together to bring more success to this great club."

    Clare Wheatley, the club's director of women's football, said: "Leah's connection with Arsenal runs so deep. I can remember her as a girl in our academy many years ago, and I'm so proud of the determined, passionate woman she has become.

    "We're thrilled that Leah has signed a new deal here, and I know our supporters will join me in congratulating her today."

  • Hazard 'bit sad' with Chelsea decision to sack Pochettino Hazard 'bit sad' with Chelsea decision to sack Pochettino

    Eden Hazard "was a bit sad" to see Chelsea part company with head coach Mauricio Pochettino after just one season in charge.

    Pochettino left Chelsea by mutual consent last week after a trophyless campaign and a sixth-place finish in the Premier League.

    Chelsea great Hazard, who spent seven years at Stamford Bridge, believes the former Tottenham boss deserved more time.

    "I was a bit sad," he told talkSPORT. "I think he did a great job. I know people want Chelsea to be in the top four but it’s a season of transition. 

    "He's a great manager. I wish him good luck and let's see who is going to be there in the future."

    Chelsea are reported to have whittled their shortlist to four names - Thomas Frank, Kieran McKenna, Roberto De Zerbi and Enzo Maresca

    However, Hazard cheekily suggested that former Chelsea team-mate Cesc Fabregas could be an option for the Blues.

    Fabregas is working as an assistant manager with Italian side Como and helped guide them to Serie A promotion this season.

    Asked about possible contenders for the job, Hazard said: "I have my friend in Como. He can be the first manager."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.