Fiorentina 1-2 Inter (aet): Lukaku leaves it late for last-16 winner

By Sports Desk January 13, 2021

Substitute Romelu Lukaku rescued Inter with a 119th-minute winner to knock Fiorentina out of the Coppa Italia with a 2-1 win for the second season running.

Lukaku started from the bench ahead of Sunday's Derby d'Italia against Juventus but was called for in the second half after Christian Kouame had cancelled out Arturo Vidal's penalty opener.

There was no immediate impact as the Nerazzurri sought to get their season back on track, having taken just a point from their prior two Serie A matches.

Yet Lukaku made his mark deep into extra time at the Artemio Franchi, powering a header past Pietro Terracciano to book Inter's place in the quarter-finals.

Related items

  • Southgate envisages central role for 'brilliant' Foden at Euro 2024 Southgate envisages central role for 'brilliant' Foden at Euro 2024

    Gareth Southgate believes Phil Foden's starting position is less important than the spaces he is allowed to attack, pledging to find a way of letting him operate centrally at Euro 2024.

    Foden was included in England's 33-man preliminary squad on Tuesday, and he is expected to be among the first names on the teamsheet after enjoying a fine campaign.

    Foden was named Premier League Player of the Season as he helped Manchester City win an unprecedented fourth straight title, scoring 19 goals and adding seven assists.

    Only three players in the league bettered Foden's goal tally, while he also ranked seventh in the division for chances created (73) and fourth for possession won in the final third (35 times).

    Foden scored two excellent goals as City clinched the title with a 3-1 final-day win over West Ham, drifting infield from the right to find space between the lines and in the penalty area.

    While the presence of Real Madrid's Jude Bellingham and Arsenal's Bukayo Saka has led many to conclude Foden will be stationed on the left in Germany, Southgate is aware of the need to grant him positional freedom.

    "Phil has played off the right, off the left, the key is where he ends up, not his starting position," Southgate said at a press conference on Tuesday.

    "He plays on the left with City, sometimes he stays wide, but he's allowed to drift, and it has always been the same with us. He's allowed to drift. 

    "Then there's where a player has to defend. Jude has played as a 10 all season, and sometimes he has defended on the left for Real Madrid. 

    "It's about where these players arrive and where you allow them to drift, that's the key. I think if you spoke to all of our players, we never pin them to a touchline, that's not how we work so there is that freedom."

    Foden produced a series of talismanic displays for City in the run-in, scoring match-winning hat-tricks against Brentford and Aston Villa and masterminding a vital comeback against Manchester United with two goals in March.

    The 23-year-old stepped up while players like Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland were sidelined through injury, and Southgate has been impressed by his ability to shoulder that responsibility.

    "It's obvious the brilliant season Phil has had, how he stepped up in big games not only when big players have been out but when he's been playing alongside them as well," Southgate added.

    "You want him in central areas as you do one or two others, so we have to find the best way of making that happen."

  • Shaw a 'long shot' for Euro 2024, says Southgate Shaw a 'long shot' for Euro 2024, says Southgate

    Despite including him in his preliminary squad, Gareth Southgate says it is a "long shot" that Luke Shaw will be fit for Euro 2024.

    Shaw has been sidelined since February with a muscle injury but is the only recognised left-back in Southgate’s 33-man squad as Ben Chilwell also misses out due to injury.

    Joe Gomez is an option for the position after filling in for Liverpool at times this season, while Kieran Trippier has also played at left-back for England in the past.

    However, Shaw has been the first-choice left-back for the last two major tournaments, and Southgate admits that he will give him every chance to be fit.

    "[Luke Shaw's] up against it," said Southgate. "He's missed a lot of football.

    "The fact that he has been our first choice in that position, we've probably given him a lot longer than we would have done.

    "I’ve talked with him and the medical team, we’ve been liaising with Manchester United, I'm not sure what's realistic at this time. I have to say, he's a long shot."

    Southgate may have other injury problems on his hands. Harry Kane missed the end of Bayern Munich’s season due to a back injury, while Harry Maguire has not played since April.

    "The job here is to adapt to the hand of cards you're dealt with," Southgate added.

    "The injuries are a very complex thing. Sometimes players have had to play more than they might have done. Some players have come back earlier than they might have done.

    "There's definitely been a lot of matches in the calendar. But it's too easy to say it's just the [fault of a] winter World Cup. It's lots of different reasons."

    Southgate will cut his squad down to 26 players after England face Iceland in their final pre-tournament friendly at Wembley Stadium on June 7. 

  • Southgate: Henderson will be a miss to the England squad Southgate: Henderson will be a miss to the England squad

    Gareth Southgate says Jordan Henderson will "be a miss" after omitting the midfielder from his preliminary 33-man England squad for Euro 2024.

    Henderson has 81 senior caps for England but saw his place fiercely debated after joining Saudi Pro League side Al-Ettifaq last year from Liverpool.

    The 33-year-old was booed by some England fans during a friendly win over Australia last October, having suggested his presence in Saudi Arabia could be a "positive" thing for LGBTQ+ rights in the country in a widely criticised interview with The Athletic.

    In January, he secured a move to Ajax but has only made nine Eredivisie appearances as the former Dutch champions finished fifth.

    Asked about Henderson’s absence, Southgate said: "[Jordan Henderson] will be a miss. He's an exceptional individual and a fantastic human being. He's been in that leadership role for a long time.

    "We've got young players with a lot of caps. There's no reason why young players can't lead.

    "The 33 isn’t quite a fair definition because we’re taking a longer squad with some younger players to look at. Hendo has given himself every chance.

    "From the last camp, he missed five weeks through injury, and he hasn’t been able to get to that tempo since then. It’s a big call to make, the three players from last time, he, Ben [White] and Marcus [Rashford] all had excellent professionalism."

    Marcus Rashford is another one of the names overlooked after a poor season for Manchester United.

    He scored just seven goals in 33 Premier League games this campaign after netting 30 in all competitions for the Red Devils in 2022-23.

    "These are of course difficult calls," Southgate added when asked about Rashford.

    "You are talking about players that are very important players. With Marcus, in that area of the pitch, I feel that other players have had better seasons, it’s as simple as that."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.