Inter 1-0 Hellas Verona: Nerrazzuri edge closer to Serie A title after Darmian strike

By Sports Desk April 25, 2021

Inter took another significant stride towards a first Serie A title since 2009-10 after a hard-fought 1-0 win over Hellas Verona at San Siro on Sunday. 

The result means Antonio Conte's side are 13 points clear at the league summit, although that could be scaled back to 10 if Milan overcome Lazio on Monday. 

Inter struggled for long periods against Verona, but sealed a 13th consecutive Serie A home win for just the second time in their history 14 minutes from full-time courtesy of substitute Matteo Darmian. 

The wing-back powered forward, collected Achraf Hakimi's pass and slotted past Marco Silvestri from 10 yards to help his side return to winning ways after two draws in the top flight.

Inter started sluggishly and could have fallen behind shortly after the midway point of the first half.

Samir Handanovic got down well to keep out Daniel Bessa's initial effort before Federico Dimarco dragged his follow-up strike narrowly wide with the goal at his mercy.

The hosts rarely looked like scoring during a tepid opening 45 minutes and went in at the break having had just a solitary shot on target.

Lautaro Martinez was denied by Silvestri shortly after the hour as Inter continued to struggle following the restart.

Hakimi went agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock after 69 minutes but his superb 25-yard free-kick crashed against Silvestri's left-hand post.

With Martinez and Romelu Lukaku misfiring, it was left to Darmian to snatch three points, the former Manchester United man showing superb composure to slot home his third league goal of the season in the 76th minute.

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    The Austria international joined the Serie A outfit last term, having spent two years with Shanghai Port in the Chinese Super League, and remains under contract until 2024 with them.

    But news broke over the weekend that United, who suffered an opening Premier League defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion, were exploring a remarkable move for the 33-year-old.

    Bologna have reportedly rejected an opening offer from the Old Trafford club, but now Danijel Arnautovic - both agent and brother to the star - has confirmed the existence of a bid and says they are working for a result.

    "It's true that there is an offer from a well-known club," he told Kurier. "I'm in contact with Bologna to see if that can be realised."

    Arnautovic previously spent a six-year spell in the English top-flight, with four years at Stoke City and two at West Ham, where he was voted Hammer of the Year in 2018.

    Since arriving at Bologna last year, the attacker has arguably been in the best form of his career, netting 14 goals in 33 Serie A games last term.

    News of a potential move for the star however has been met with a broadly negative reaction by many fans and figures associated with United, including former captain Gary Neville, who labelled them as "desperate".

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    After the best goalscoring season of his career, Valencia's Goncalo Guedes has reportedly earned a move to the Premier League, with Wolves said to be finalising a transfer worth up to £35million.

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