Inter received a letter containing threats against head coach Antonio Conte and have informed the relevant authorities, the club confirmed in a widely distributed statement.

Reports claimed the letter, which arrived at Inter's headquarters in Milan, contained a bullet along with references to the former Chelsea boss.

Inter are second in Serie A following a five-game unbeaten run, including victories in their last three league matches.

The club's statement contradicted some reports that indicated the letter was sent directly to Conte.

"In relation to the news published today, Antonio Conte has not personally received any threatening letter," the statement said.

"Consequently, he did not go in person to file a complaint.

"It was the club that received a letter and, as per the practice in this kind of situation, proceeded to contact the competent authorities."

Inter's next fixture sees them travel to Torino for a Serie A clash on November 23.

Inter have a fight on their hands to retain the services of star forward Lautaro Martinez.

Martinez has been heavily linked to LaLiga champions Barcelona as they search for Luis Suarez's long-term replacement.

But Manchester City and United are both reportedly interested in the Argentina international.

 

TOP STORY – CITY & UNITED TARGET MARTINEZ

Manchester City and Premier League neighbours United want to sign Inter star Martinez, according to The Mirror.

Martinez – who is only in his second season in Milan after joining from Racing Club in 2018 – has flourished this term with eight goals across all competitions for Antonio Conte's Inter.

LaLiga champions Barcelona have been linked, while the two Manchester clubs are also reportedly targeting the 22-year-old forward.

 

ROUND-UP

- Unhappy at Barcelona, Ivan Rakitic could remain in LaLiga. The Croatia international has attracted interest from the likes of Inter, United and Paris Saint-Germain in his pursuit of more game time. However, Movistar+ claims Atletico Madrid are willing to meet Barca's €40million valuation of Rakitic. Marca adds that Atletico do not plan to replace Diego Costa due to salary constraints.

- The Mirror says Arsenal scouted Leicester City defender Caglar Soyuncu during Turkey's Euro 2020 qualifier against Iceland on Thursday. Soyuncu moved to Leicester from Freiburg in 2018 and the 23-year-old has stepped up to fill the void left by Harry Maguire, who joined United in a world-record deal.

- Zlatan Ibrahimovic out and Edinson Cavani in for LA Galaxy? According to Gianluca Di Marzio, MLS side the Galaxy are targeting Paris Saint-Germain's Cavani following Ibrahimovic's exit. The Uruguay forward is out of contract at the end of the season and has been linked to David Beckham's Inter Miami franchise, who will open their inaugural season against the Galaxy next year.

Inter will need to fork out €30m if they want to sign Udinese's Rodrigo de Paul in January, reports Calciomercato. The Express also reports that Inter are ready to offer out-of-favour Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud an 18-month contract. Conte is determined to add depth up front, with Martinez and Romelu Lukaku leading the way in the absence of injured loanee Alexis Sanchez.

- Corriere dello Sport claims Roma have joined the chase for Everton forward Moise Kean. The 19-year-old has struggled since moving to the Premier League from Juventus, and the likes of Sampdoria and AC Milan are lining up to bring the teenager back to Serie A on loan.

Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta insisted head coach Antonio Conte and the club "share common objectives" as the Nerazzurri look to strengthen their squad in January.

Conte hit out at Inter's management over his squad following Tuesday's 3-2 Champions League defeat to Borussia Dortmund, accusing the Serie A side of failing to plan sufficiently for the season ahead.

Inter signed club-record recruit Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez, Stefano Sensi, Nicolo Barella, Diego Godin and Valentino Lazaro for the 2019-20 campaign, but Conte wanted more in his bid to overhaul Serie A champions Juventus.

Barcelona pair Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal have both been linked to Inter, as well as out-of-favour Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic.

Asked about Conte and his relationship with Inter prior to Saturday's 2-1 Serie A win over Hellas Verona, Marotta – who worked alongside the Italian boss at Juve – told Sky Sport Italia: "I know Antonio very well, he is very severe and demanding. His culture of victory is very strong and he has his own special way of communicating.

"We share the desire to seek excellence and victory. That is going to be a gradual process, so we are aligned with the desire to improve the squad in the January transfer window, where we'll look at every opportunity. We agree with Conte's requests for a strengthening of mentality and are all on the same page."

Marotta added: "Experience tells me the January transfer market tends to be fairly quiet. We agree with our coach that we'll see what opportunities there are.

"We have a strong club, an excellent coach and he is very transparent when dealing with everyone. We share common objectives.

"We are looking for a player with experience, but not at the end of his career. We want to create a good mix of experience and youth. What we lack somewhat at the moment is many players with Champions League experience, so we want to keep raising the bar, making this a more competitive side with players who fit the profiles that the coach is looking for.

"To be honest, I did not expect to be just one point off Juventus at this stage of the season. We aim to raise the bar constantly, that is the desire of the club, the coach, the players and the fans."

Inter bounced back from their Champions League collapse by rallying past Verona at San Siro, where Conte's team emerged triumphant thanks to Barella's stunning 83rd-minute winner.

Matias Vecino had cancelled out Valerio Verre's 19th-minute penalty before Barella produced a moment of magic in Milan to move Inter two points clear of Juve – who are due to face AC Milan on Sunday.

"Look, to be honest after four months we must be proud looking at the table," Conte told reporters. "All we, players, staff, all who works for Inter must be.

"31 points after 12 matches are important. But, the guys have been great, even in the Champions League. We proved we are able to look in the eyes of important teams like Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund. We have to make many steps more to improve our experience. We worked a lot in these four months."

Antonio Conte lauded his side's response to the midweek Champions League defeat at Borussia Dortmund as they came from behind to beat Hellas Verona 2-1 on Saturday.

A penalty from Valerio Verre gave the visitors a surprise lead at San Siro but Inter stormed back in the second period thanks to Matias Vecino's header and a stunning strike from Nicolo Barella.

The win moves Inter to the Serie A summit and Conte was delighted with his players' response so soon after the disappointment of throwing away a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 in Germany.

"I saw an important response to the game in Dortmund, despite the fact we went behind and faced an uphill struggle against a team that man-marks," Conte told Sky Sport Italia.

"It was a great situation for them as they could defend and counter. We did very, very well not to lose our patience, to keep faith and not lose our heads. We rebelled against the result and the situation.

"The team are doing something important, as 31 points from 12 games is a good tally to have in our pockets. I thank the players, as once again they threw themselves into this and overcame every obstacle.

"The disappointment in Dortmund was very painful as we had the game in hand, but that is part of the maturation process and this response was what I wanted to see.

"After Dortmund, going down here could've killed us, but we fought back and must continue like this. Our fans also pushed us on to the end as they could tell we wanted to win it at all costs."

Barella whipped home a wonderful strike from 25 yards seven minutes from time to seal all three points, the midfielder describing it as the best goal of his career.

"It was a pretty difficult first half as Verona play good football, have intensity and caused us problems," he said.

"After the break, our intensity emerged over time and we deserved the victory. We are all giving our best and are highly motivated so that's the most important thing.

"It has been a tough time for all of us with so many games in a row, but that's why we trained so hard over the summer, to be ready for this.

"I think it was the best goal of my career!"

Juventus can leapfrog Inter back to the top of Serie A if they overcome AC Milan at the Allianz Stadium on Sunday.

Nicolo Barella scored a wonderful winner with seven minutes left as Inter came from behind to defeat Hellas Verona 2-1 and move top of Serie A.

Valerio Verre scored a 19th-minute penalty, his first Verona goal, to give the visitors a surprise lead at San Siro.

Inter piled on the pressure but could not find a breakthrough until Matias Vecino headed in to score for the second straight game with 25 minutes remaining.

And just as it looked like Verona would come away with a point, Barella produced a moment of magic.

The victory moved Inter two points clear of champions Juventus, who will attempt to respond when they host AC Milan in their game in hand on Sunday.

Antonio Conte said "maybe I was too trusting" as the Inter head coach hit out at the club's management over the planning of his squad following Tuesday's Champions League defeat.

Inter surrendered a 2-0 half-time lead as they lost 3-2 away to Borussia Dortmund, prompting a post-match outburst from Conte.

Goals from Lautaro Martinez and Matias Vecino were cancelled out in a stunning second half, which saw Achraf Hakimi's brace and Julian Brandt lead Dortmund to a Group F victory.

Conte turned his anger on the Inter board following the game, the Italian accusing the Serie A club of failing to plan sufficiently for the season ahead during his interview with Sky Sport Italia.

And former Chelsea boss Conte continued his outburst in his news conference after Inter were left third and three points behind Dortmund in the race for the Champions League knockout round.

"I had my part into the planning together with the team officials, so... I've always said this and I reiterate it here," said Conte, whose side signed club-record recruit Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez, Stefano Sensi, Nicolo Barella, Diego Godin and Valentino Lazaro for the 2019-20 campaign.

"Maybe I was too trusting in some situation, that's true. I was too trusting in some situations when I shouldn't have been so trusting. But it is what it is."

Conte, whose Inter are a point adrift of Juventus in Serie A, added: "It feels like I always have to repeat the same things. I said that I am worried, I said 'I am worried' when we were winning. I repeat, I can't pretend anything more from these guys, I can't say anything to them.

"That said, there's a lot to work in order to improve and to learn how to manage every moment, especially when you are tired mentally and physically, if we want to make a step forward.

"But at the same time I am well aware that there are things I can't pretend from my players because some of them could rightly tell me 'mister, I am playing every single match from the first to the last minute.' Therefore I have nothing but respect for my players for what they are giving me."

While Conte was frustrated afterwards, Lucien Favre and Dortmund were delighted as they moved second on matchday four – a point adrift of leaders Barcelona in Group F.

"They [Inter] were very dangerous and we played very offensively because we really wanted to win the game," Dortmund coach Favre said. "We took a very high risk. We were often in the defense in two against two situations. And we made some corrections in the half-time break. We stayed very positive. Everything was still possible because our first half was absolutely not bad.

"Of course it was a crazy game in the second half. We played a lot forward and pressed well. We had more ball possession. And we played with patience, intensity and speed. It was a nice game."

Antonio Conte turned his anger on the Inter board after his side lost 3-2 to Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday, claiming he is being held back by poor planning of his first-team squad.

The Nerazzurri were 2-0 up at half-time at Signal Iduna Park through goals from Lautaro Martinez and Matias Vecino but collapsed in the second half in emphatic fashion.

Two goals from Achraf Hakimi and one from Julian Brandt secured Dortmund's win, which lifts them to second in Group F, three points ahead of Inter and one behind leaders Barcelona.

Inter similarly led at half-time against Barca on matchday two but went on to lose 2-1, meaning they are now in need of a win at Slavia Prague and a result against Ernesto Valverde's side at Camp Nou on matchday six to have a good chance of going through.

Rather than blame his players for a poor second-half performance, though, Conte instead accused the club of failing to plan sufficiently for a season of competing for the Serie A title while aiming for the Champions League knockout phase.

"The same thing happened that happened in Barcelona. It was even worse because we were ahead by two goals," a fuming Conte told Sky Sport Italia.

"Sorry – they tell me to talk about the same things, to smile when I go on TV. Honestly, I don't feel like commenting on the second half. There were too many extenuating circumstances and too many excuses.

"I hope games like these will make people understand these things. I just have to thank the boys for what they're giving me at the moment.

"We're always touching on the same topics. Of course, this defeat irritates me and I hope it irritates my players. The management could come out and say something. At the beginning, we made a plan, but it could have been planned much, much better.

"We must try to improve. We can put anyone in trouble if we work hard, but I'm annoyed to have to say the same things all the time. It's not a question of the club: things are always done together here, important mistakes have been made. Draw your own conclusions.

"We cannot manage Serie A and the Champions League in this condition. We have our faults because we've conceded too many comebacks, but what can I say to players who have played in six games in a row?

"We are Inter, so we must all look at ourselves and realise we are… actually, I was going to cause controversy again, but no, stop me talking now. I am really p***** off, because we cannot do more than this. We've reached the limit."

Antonio Conte has challenged his Inter side to play with "personality" in Tuesday's mouth-watering Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund.

Inter ran out 2-0 winners over the Bundesliga outfit a fortnight ago to leave both sides on four points in Group F, three points behind leaders Barcelona.

Conte believes Barca are assured of a place in the knockout stages and knows his side will have to stand strong in the face of a red-hot atmosphere at Signal Iduna Park to ensure they join them in the last 16.

"It's an important match as we are on equal points," he told a media conference. "Barcelona have already guaranteed their place. 

"We were good when we beat [Dortmund] at home and we know the difficulties we will face tomorrow. We face a strong and proven club, who have been in the Champions League for many years. 

"The environment will be hot and electric; we know what motivation Dortmund fans can give to their players. It will be important for us to play with personality.

"We want to play offensively everywhere. If it is a defensive game, it will be only because Dortmund have forced us to do it. Our mentality is to always hurt the opponent. We always want to attack."

Meanwhile, Conte had strong words for the Hellas Verona supporters who racially abused Brescia striker Mario Balotelli in Sunday's Serie A clash, describing them as "ignorant" and "morons".

Former Inter star Balotelli kicked the ball angrily towards Verona supporters early in the second half after hearing abuse, before threatening to walk off the pitch.

The referee brought play to a halt before following protocol, with a statement read out to the crowd in an attempt to resolve the issue.

Balotelli was persuaded to stay on and see out the game by team-mates and Verona players, before he scored a stunning late goal in Brescia's 2-1 defeat at Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi.

"I was not in the stadium, but I believe it is necessary to be very strict and inflexible," Conte said. "We must punish these ignorant people. The morons must be punished. It is absurd that, in 2019, we are still faced with things like this."

Inter head coach Antonio Conte believes his side's fighting spirit will help sustain their efforts to challenge Juventus for the Serie A title.

Conte's side came back from a goal down at Bologna on Saturday to clinch a 2-1 victory which kept the pressure up on defending champions Juventus.

Romelu Lukaku secured the points for Inter with an injury-time penalty after he had earlier cancelled out Roberto Soriano's opening goal for the hosts, moving Conte's men top and two points clear of Juve, who have played a match less.

Conte told Sky Sport Italia: "Our objective was to become credible, to emerge with a shirt soaked through with sweat. We are achieving that.

"I knew that this job was a very, very difficult challenge for me in many ways.

"I like to seek out something tough, as my history speaks for itself, I always arrived in critical moments for top clubs and with hard work took them back to where they deserved.

"I did that at Juventus and at Chelsea, I hope with hard work to do the same at Inter.

"What makes me happy is working with a group of great lads who give everything and today they didn't let their heads drop or negative thinking to set in.

"The lads showed great inner strength to fight back and turn it around. We can be proud of what we're achieving this season."

Conte has urged his players to simply ignore Juventus' results and instead only concentrate efforts on what they can influence.

"We need to focus on ourselves and not think about what anyone else is doing," Conte said.

"We must work on improving ourselves and sending these signs to above all our fans.

"It's an excellent sign, because it can be too easy to judge when things are going well.

"A team that reacts to difficulties and turns them into a victory is a great sign."

Conte was also impressed with the manner in which Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez linked up.

Belgium international Lukaku took his tally to nine goals in 11 Serie A matches for Inter with that brace.

Although Martinez did not get on the scoresheet, his rapport with Lukaku on the pitch caught the eye.

"Potentially they can be the Inter partnership for another 10 years," added Conte.

"I had studied Lautaro a little before coming here. He is a centre-forward, but at the same time also a second striker, so he's atypical.

"Lukaku is an unusual striker too, because he has this physicality of a centre-forward, but if you give him space to run into, he is devastatingly fast.

"Above all I'm happy with the work they are both doing off the ball."

Antonio Conte is not concerned about speculation linking Lautaro Martinez with Barcelona and has challenged the Inter forward to take his game to the next level.

Reports in Spain have suggested Barcelona are eyeing the Argentina international as a long-term replacement for Luis Suarez, while Manchester United are also rumoured to be interested in the player.

Martinez scored for Inter in their 2-1 Champions League loss at Camp Nou last month and already has seven goals in all competitions this term, striking up an excellent partnership with Romelu Lukaku.

Yet despite the speculation, Conte has told the 22-year-old to continue working hard if he wants to maximise his obvious potential.

"We look to the present to build the future," Conte said at his pre-match news conference ahead of Saturday's trip to Bologna.

"He is working well and has made good progress. He can still make further progress because he is still only 22 years old.

"He has to continue to work hard. Much of the transfer talk comes from that and it cannot be seen as a problem at this moment - there are bigger concerns.

"He must try to be more selfish when he has a chance to score. It's all part of his growth process. I want to improve all of my players.

While Martinez has thrived under the coaching of Conte, team-mate Valentino Lazaro has struggled since arriving from Hertha Berlin in a €22million deal during the close season.

Amid talk that Inter are looking to bring in a new right-sided player, Conte has vowed to give the Austria international a chance to justify his price tag.

"He has been used seven times this season and for his national side he is very promising," he said. "At Hertha there is less pressure than he has found in Milan. 

"He is working hard and we will give him the opportunities to start games. It was a big investment for him."

Inter have won eight of their opening 10 league matches - equalling their best Serie A return at this stage - but are still one point behind champions Juventus.

The Bianconeri's period of dominance started with Conte at the helm, but the Italian coach has played down comparisons between his first seasons at Juve and his early work at Inter.

"There is an important difference - we did not have cup competitions in the first year at Juve," he said. "We could dedicate ourselves, heart and soul, to the league. We played in the league, and then the league again.

"It is not the same thing here - the expenditure is very high. One thing that I am sure of, here we also have to play a thousand miles per hour. If we take our foot off the accelerator, it will be difficult to win games.

"We must sweat for the victory. That is beyond doubt and must be clear to all the players."

Antonio Conte fears Inter's hectic schedule could eventually catch up with his team despite the Nerazzurri moving top of Serie A on Tuesday.

Inter leapfrogged Juventus by two points atop the summit, albeit having played a game more, after beating Brescia 2-1 thanks to goals from Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku at Stadio Rigamonti. 

However, head coach Conte – who is without the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Stefano Sensi due to injury – admitted his concerns about Inter running out of steam amid a busy domestic and European schedule. 

"It becomes difficult to talk about the game, because the same players are out there constantly. They struggled to an extraordinary degree," Conte told Sky Sport Italia.

"It was our fourth game in nine days, with the same players. Any situation or result is acceptable at that point. All we can do is thank them for the spirit they showed to hang in until the end.

"Now we're only halfway there, as we have another game with Bologna, then Borussia Dortmund and we'll have seven games in 20 days before we get to rest. It's an anomaly and I haven't seen any other side with a fixture list like that, so it seemed very strange to me.

"Some games you need to win just by suffering. They must understand that for many reasons, as for example the hosts are pushing to turn the result around, you have to soak up the pressure, hang in there and I challenge anyone to play four games in nine days while getting a victory at Brescia."

Conte added: "We're top of the table, but pushing the engine to the max and it can't go much longer."

Martinez made it seven club goals for the campaign but conceded it was a tough night for Inter, who were made to sweat following Milan Skriniar's late own goal.

"It was difficult, a very intense game against a team that moves very well," Martinez told Sky Sport Italia.

"We knew that it was going to be tough to take the three points here, but we tried to impose our football, knowing full well Brescia would clam up and defend.

"Some fatigue is natural, as we play with a great deal of intensity every three days, so that needs a lot of physical effort. We are nonetheless happy with the work we're doing for our coach.

"As always, we take it one game at a time, know we are doing very well and it's important to once again return from an away fixture with three points."

Antonio Conte is reluctant to compare Marcelo Brozovic to Italy great Andrea Pirlo but believes the Inter midfielder has world-class potential.

Brozovic has been an ever-present during Conte's Inter reign to date, scoring twice in eight Serie A appearances.

The Croatia international's playmaking skills were again to the fore during impressive wins over Sassuolo and Borussia Dortmund over the past week.

It meant Conte fielding a question at his pre-match news conference for Saturday's meeting with Parma that mentioned the 26-year-old alongside the magisterial Pirlo – a comparison the former Juventus head coach was keen to defuse.

"Brozo can get better. He can get better with his passes to the attack, he can set up more goals," he said.

"We are working on this. I think he needs to also work on his defensive game. A holding midfielder must be good in defence too. He can become world class.

"As for Pirlo, I do not want to make a comparison with Brozo. Pirlo is someone who is a genius. He made history in this game.

"Brozo has different traits, he is training well and I am pleased with him. I want him to become a world-class player."

Back-to-back wins on the resumption from the latest international break have seen Inter bounce back impressively from the reverses to Barcelona and Juve at the start of this month.

That absorbing loss to Maurizio Sarri's reigning champions at San Siro remains the difference in the Serie A table, with Inter a point shy of Juventus thanks to seven wins from eight matches.

"We have started on our journey, we need to focus on ourselves," Conte replied when asked whether Inter's unexpectedly close proximity to Juventus was bringing extra pressure.

"Inter cannot worry about the others, we need to look ahead.

"This is a new cycle for us. It is not easy. We are close to the league leaders. That is very satisfying, but let's stay focused.

"Each game is a test of our ambitions. We need to give our all. That is the only way to get three points."

Conte added: "We have started a new journey together. These things take time and patience.

"We are on the right track, let us continue this way. Then we will see where we are at the end of the season.

"As I have said, we always need to give 100 per cent. I want us to have no regrets come the final whistle."

Antonio Conte claimed Borussia Dortmund feared Inter following the Nerazzurri's 2-0 Champions League victory on Wednesday.

Lautaro Martinez and Antonio Candreva both scored for Inter at San Siro, where the Italian side registered their first Champions League win under Conte.

Martinez – who also had a second-half penalty saved – made it five goals in four games for Inter as he opened the scoring in the 22nd minute before Candreva sealed the Group F points with a minute of regulation remaining.

It was Inter's first victory over German opposition since March 2011 and head coach Conte told Sky Sport Italia: "Borussia Dortmund changed their system to five at the back, which means they were afraid of us and wanted to play by changing their approach to mirror ours.

"We had prepared for a very different match, but did well to adjust. When Dortmund switched back to 4-2-3-1 after the break, we adjusted again and took control.

"We had prepared to press them in certain areas of the pitch and they changed their system, so that was no longer valid. The most important thing I told the lads was not to lose possession in central areas, as that is where they push forward on the counter.

"Roberto Gagliardini, Nicolo Barella and Marcelo Brozovic did a great job both in defending and attacking. I often tell Brozo off for attacking too much, but he had a great game tonight with both phases. Barella is so generous and passionate, but he does give me anxiety attacks when he gets booked after 10-15 minutes."

Inter now have four points from three games in Group F and moved up to second – ahead of Dortmund on goal difference – and three points adrift of leaders Barcelona.

"It's tough against Borussia Dortmund, who are a very good team. It's still difficult to qualify, but we know that we're alive and kicking," Conte added.

"It is not a simple situation. The lads did well and dealing with a series of injuries, we still put in a great performance. I am happy above all for the players, as these nights reward them for their sacrifices.

"I told the team that they worked so hard with Luciano Spalletti to qualify for the Champions League, so it was important we give our all to keep that dream going.

"We're not the favourites in this group, but we had to win to stay in the running and we did it. Now we've got Parma coming up, not even three days away, so we need to be very wary, as Saturday is the toughest game and not tonight."

Antonio Conte has commended the hard-working selflessness of Inter's in-form forwards and believes more of the same will help Lautaro Martinez realise his "immense" potential.

Argentina international Martinez has struck up a strong understanding with new strike partner Romelu Lukaku, as seen in Sunday's thrilling 4-3 victory over Sassuolo.

The forwards scored twice each in a devastating double act as the Nerazzurri secured a seventh win in eight Serie A games.

Martinez won the penalty for Lukaku's second goal and converted a spot-kick of his own in the second half after his team-mate gave up the chance to complete a hat-trick.

It is that sort of attitude that has impressed head coach Conte.

"I think Lukaku is a real team player," the Inter boss told a news conference on Tuesday.

"He celebrates his goals with the players and the bench. The press go from criticising to praising too quickly. I look at the performance, not just the numbers.

"I am very pleased with Lukaku. He has settled in well and impressed. We are a good group.

"As for Lautaro, he needs to keep working – that is what he has to focus on. Head down and pedal, as I say. Goals are important but that is not everything for a forward.

"He needs to work hard for the team, as he is doing. I like that he plays for the team. He is setting up goals and scoring.

"He has areas to work on, but he has immense potential."

Conte will hope Lukaku and Martinez can fire his team back into contention for a place in the Champions League knockout rounds when they entertain Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.

Inter know anything less than three points would make qualification from Group F, which also contains Barcelona, a tall order.

Conte wants his side to get on the front foot at San Siro in spite of their suspect defending against Sassuolo.

"We will take the game to them," he said.

"We have our ideas and way we want to play. We know there will be risks, but we are a side that will look to take the initiative."

Romelu Lukaku described Inter coach Antonio Conte as a team player after rushing to the bench to celebrate a goal with his boss in the Nerazzurri's 4-3 victory at Sassuolo.

Conte called for Lukaku to "train more" after Inter lost two consecutive matches going into the international break, and the former Manchester Untied striker underlined his commitment to meet his coach's demands after netting a brace at MAPEI Stadium.

After goals at either end in the opening 16 minutes, Lukaku struck twice to put Inter 3-1 up at half-time against Sassuolo and Lautaro Martinez added a fourth to ensure the hosts' late rally came to nothing.

Belgium international Lukaku, who scored twice in his country's win over San Marino 10 days earlier, told DAZN: "It ought to have been over at 4-1.

"We did everything right in the first half, should have scored more in the second. Once it goes to 3-1 and 4-1, it ought to be over.

"The positive we take is that we got the three points, but we need to defend better than that. I try to help the team throughout the game and am happy for the side, because it was very important to get this win."

Lukaku has scored five goals in eight Serie A appearances for Inter since joining the club for €65million in August.

He is almost half way to matching his league tally of 12 for Manchester United last season but wants to make further improvements to his game at his new club.

"Conte and I are both team players, so when I score a goal, I want to celebrate with everyone," said the 26-year-old.

"I am focused only on working and giving my best in every match.

"I'm fine, but I have to work even more to help the team throughout the game. But today I'm happy because the victory was important for the group. Now I just think about improving again."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.