Massimiliano Allegri launched an impassioned defence of his Juventus side after they came from a goal down to beat Cagliari 2-1 in Serie A.

Juve have come in for heavy criticism of late following their Champions League elimination at the hands of Villarreal and their Derby d'Italia loss to Inter last week.

But Allegri, who saw his side move within five points of Serie A leaders Milan with a hard-fought victory in Sardinia, believes such critics are overly focused on results.

"I don't like losing, so I prefer criticism when we play badly, but still win. Nobody remembers the performance last Sunday, they only remember Inter marching towards the Scudetto, not how anybody played," Allegri told Sky Sport Italia.

"You never know, they might transform tonight's game too. The comical thing is that you in the media are always going on about beautiful football, but are also the first to focus only on the result!

"I was told that until the 75th minute against Villarreal, all the websites and social media were praising the Juventus performance. Once we conceded, Juventus were called a disaster.

"That doesn't make sense. The performance remains the same, the only thing that changed was the result. I enjoy myself hearing the criticism, but every now and then some go a bit over the top and that irritates me.

"It's not just about us, but football in general. I hope in future years people will return to talking about the ABC of football, like the first touch, shaking off your marker, etc. Italy won the World Cup four times, we have our style, but for 15 years we've been chasing after Pep Guardiola's style and didn't realise he’s changed as well."

Goals from Matthijs de Light and Dusan Vlahovic, who netted a fortuitous 75th-minute winner, earned Juve all three points after Joao Pedro gave Cagliari a surprise early lead.

Milan and Napoli, who along with Inter are a point adrift of the Rossoneri, both play on Sunday against Torino and Fiorentina respectively.

And Allegri continues to reject talk of a late Scudetto push for Juve.

"We lost a head-to-head with Inter that would've allowed us to have Scudetto ambitions," he added. "We need to be realistic. I continue to maintain Inter are the favourites, especially with their fixture list.

"Naturally, it's going to shake a team when you chase down the light at the end of the tunnel for 16 games and then it vanishes. That is why this was a very risky match, especially with players injured and suspended.

"We needed to win this evening to consolidate fourth place, reaching the final two rounds with a good advantage."

Juventus came from behind to solidify their grip on a top-four spot and keep their Scudetto hopes alive with a 2-1 Serie A win at Cagliari.

Massimiliano Allegri has consistently rebuffed talk of Juve joining an absorbing three-way title race, but the Bianconeri are now just five points behind leaders Milan – albeit having played a game more – after victory in Sardinia.

Allegri's men were in danger of suffering a setback when Joao Pedro gave Cagliari an unexpected early lead and Luca Pellegrini then saw a goal controversially disallowed.

However, Juve pulled off a turnaround thanks to Matthijs de Ligt's leveller and Dusan Vlahovic's 75th-minute winner.

Relegation-threatened Cagliari had lost their previous four league games but took the lead in the 10th minute through Joao Pedro's sublime strike.

Paulo Dybala was dispossessed in midfield by Razvan Marin, who surged down the right and laid the ball off for Joao Pedro to steer it into the top-left corner.

Juve appeared to have levelled when Pellegrini's left-footed drive deflected beyond Alessio Cragno, but the visitors were left incensed as the goal was ruled out by the VAR for handball, with the ball striking Adrien Rabiot's elbow on its way in.

The Bianconeri continued to pepper the Cagliari goal, though, and their reward finally came on the stroke of half-time.

Juan Cuadrado saw a long-range effort turned behind, but the same man delivered a deft cross following the subsequent corner, with De Ligt arriving to power a header into the bottom-left corner.

Giorgio Chiellini had a goal ruled out for offside soon after the restart and Dybala fired over on the half-volley before later teeing up Cuadrado to shoot narrowly wide of the far post.

Juve's luck was finally in 15 minutes from the end of normal time as Vlahovic, having moments earlier been denied by Cragno, saw Giorgio Altare's attempted interception of Dybala's throughball deflect off his leg and beyond the unfortunate Cagliari goalkeeper. 

Inter head coach Simone Inzaghi was pleased to see his team pick up where they left off after following last week's win in the Derby d'Italia at Juventus with another three points against Hellas Verona on Saturday.

First-half goals from Nicolo Barella and Edin Dzeko sealed a routine 2-0 win for the Nerazzurri, who moved up to second ahead of Napoli and just a point behind city rivals Milan.

It was the first time Inter have won back-to-back Serie A games this year. Indeed, they have done so for the first time since a run of eight league wins between November 2021 and January 2022.

That was what pleased Inzaghi most about the victory, and he told reporters after the game: "It is an important signal to give continuity. It was vital to follow up on the match in Turin.

"We had prepared well for this match because we knew about the strength of Verona, who came from an excellent streak. We played very well in the first half, while in the second we managed the match.

"In the last matches the results had not arrived and the head was heavy, periods like this are understandable."

 

Despite being the reigning champions, Inzaghi believes he has seen a progression in the team since his arrival.

"When I arrived I was aware of the difficulties, but the club absolutely did not want to give up despite the necessary sacrifices," he added. "Trust in this team has never failed."

The former Lazio boss made changes to his starting line-up, bringing Federico Dimarco in for Alessandro Bastoni, explaining: "Dimarco has very important characteristics and in Naples he had done well, while Bastoni came from a tour de force.

"I have the obligation to make the choices and we evaluated that it was a match in which Dimarco was better placed to play.

Stefan de Vrij was forced off at half-time at San Siro, but Inzaghi insisted it was merely a precaution.

"He has had flexor fatigue and it shouldn't be anything serious," he reassured reporters.

Inter moved within a point of Serie A leaders Milan with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Hellas Verona.  

Aiming to win back-to-back league games for the first time this year following their Derby d'Italia defeat of Juventus, Inter were relentless in pressuring Verona in the first half.  

Their superiority yielded the desired rewards as goals from Nicolo Barella and Edin Dzeko put them 2-0 up inside 30 minutes.  

Simone Inzaghi's defending champions were never at risk of surrendering that advantage and could go top next week if Milan failed to respond in kind to his impressive performance. 

Lorenzo Montipo was busy from the off, the Verona goalkeeper producing a strong save to deny Ivan Perisic, and his goal was soon breached by an excellent opener from Barella.  

Barella steered Perisic's left-wing cross in off the bar with a superb effort with the outside of his boot.  

Joaquin Correa was then thwarted by Montipo before Perisic flicked a corner into the path of Dzeko to tap in and make it 2-0.  

Samir Handanovic prevented the deficit from being halved after Giovanni Simeone broke through on goal following a neat one-two with Gianluca Caprari.  

Hakan Calhanoglu fired wide from long range and Danilo D'Ambrosio forced another fine save from Montipo before Dzeko blazed a header over, the final score arguably flattering Verona. 
 

What does it mean? Inter avoid stumble in pulsating title race  

Inter went second with a win that never looked in doubt, moving level with Napoli on 66 points and leapfrogging them due to their superior head-to-head record.  

With Napoli hosting Fiorentina and Milan visiting Torino on Sunday, avoiding a slip-up after the derby triumph over Juve was critical, and Inter did so in style.  

Inter make another fast start 

Barella and Dzeko's goals took Inter to 31 first-half goals in as many Serie A games this season, more than any other team in the division. 

Verona wait goes on 

The visitors offered a meek display in keeping with their away record against Inter. Verona have never won in 31 Serie A away games against Inter, the Nerazzurri tied with Juve as the opposition against whom the Gialloblu have played the most matches on their travels without winning. 

What's next?  

Inter travel to Spezia on Friday, while Verona face a trip to Atalanta three days later. 

Massimiliano Allegri called on Juventus to improve their calmness and clinical finishing as he conceded his team cannot compete with Serie A title contenders Milan, Inter and Napoli.

Juve dominated for large periods against Inter in the Derby d'Italia, but Hakan Calhanoglu's penalty practically ended the Bianconeri's hopes for a late Scudetto surge following a remarkable unbeaten streak.

With Allegri's side also crashing out at the Champions League last-16 stage to Villarreal, their hopes of silverware hang on their Coppa Italia run, where they hold a 1-0 first-leg semi-final advantage over Fiorentina.

Allegri urged his team to improve on Saturday when they visit Cagliari, who have lost 10 of their last 11 league meetings with Juve – failing to score in eight of those games.

"There is just one possible reaction. Play good games. Tomorrow's match will be very different from the one against Inter," Allegri told reporters at Friday's pre-match news conference. 

"It's never easy to win in Cagliari and we must be prepared, knowing the opponents, and their moment. We must win games, that's the only thing we must think about.

"Our target is to finish in the top four. For now, we are there, but Roma are close [five points behind]. That's why we need a great performance tomorrow. We can take no risks, we need to adapt to the game.

"We played the best games against Atalanta, Villarreal and Inter at home, but we were not clinical enough. We need to improve and be more calm in those situations.

"I can understand errors in one or two games, but three is an important number and that's why we need to improve.

 

"I've analysed what I saw against Inter. I always think about what the team is doing. We deserve to be fourth. We need to work to improve and we can improve before the end of the season.

"We can work on the development of individual footballers and we have more time because we'll play one game per week, except the Coppa Italia semi-final with Fiorentina.

"I don't like compliments, otherwise, we become a team that is satisfied with compliments and finds excuses. I don't want excuses or compliments, I want victories."

Paulo Dybala will leave Turin when his contract expires at the end of the season but the Argentina international has continued to feature despite a breakdown in talks.

Allegri will hope his striker can deliver and remain committed to the cause against Cagliari, given Dybala has scored six of his eight goals in the league this season against teams in the lower half of the table.

"We have time to work during the week but at the same time, we have targets," he continued. 

"Every player in the team must give his contribution and help us reach a top-four finish, regardless of their future. We have five or six players with a contract expiring. Right now, we must focus on the pitch and on getting results.

"I think Juventus have created a lot in the last three or four months. We haven't scored much and we must be more efficient up front.

"Had we won against Inter, we would have had a small chance [to win the title], but now we need to focus on our target. We are fourth and we deserved so, when we were 10th, we deserve to be 10th. The rest doesn't count."

Paulo Dybala should have demanded a one-year contract to prove his worth to Juventus if he was happy in Turin, according to former Bianconeri boss Fabio Capello.

Argentina international Dybala is set to see his time at the Allianz Stadium comes to its conclusion when his contract expires at the end of the season.

The forward has 113 goals across all competitions for Juve, ranking him third all-time among the club’s non-Italian scorers, behind only David Trezeguet (171) and John Hansen (124).

Fellow Serie A competitors Inter and Premier League side Tottenham, managed by former Nerazzurri coach Antonio Conte, are reportedly among the favourites to secure Dybala's signature for the next campaign.

But Capello believes if the 28-year-old was settled at Juve then he should have pleaded with the club for another chance, while he heaped praise on Massimiliano Allegri's new star striker Dusan Vlahovic.

"I like Vlahovic, he has pace, physical strength and desire to improve," he told Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport. "He knows how to work for the team and stay inside the box.

"But Max [Allegri] is right when he says that he must learn how to play in a top club, managing the pressure and the different phases in a game.

"You can't question Dybala technically, but he has had some fitness issues. If he was happy in Turin, he should have challenged Juventus. Ask them for a one-year contract and show how much he's worth.

"The same goes for [Roma forward Nicolo] Zaniolo. He suffered two serious injuries and remained out for 18 months. He must rediscover self-confidence because he has the technical skills."

 

Capello also expressed his concern for the state of Italian football, with the Azzurri missing out on two straight World Cups and no Serie A side in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Roma and Atalanta are the only two Italian sides left in the Europa League, and former England manager Capello believes Italy are way behind their international competitors.

"Italian football is far behind the others. The ball doesn't move quickly, referees blow the whistle too often," he added. "They stop the play too frequently. Every challenge is a foul, so there is never intensity, our teams do not learn to keep up the pace.

"We have fallen behind, in every sense, but the main problem is that the best players no longer come to Italy, so there is no comparison with the best. 

"I don't learn anything if what should help me grow is of the same level as me, has my same knowledge, identical experiences"

Allegri acknowledged his reluctance to use young players in an interview on Friday, and the preference to utilise more experienced players is a problem thought to spread across the whole of the Italian game.

Capello expects no quick fixes as he cited the progression of other countries to learn from.

"Even eight. In Italy, everyone intervenes," he responded when asked if it would take five or six years to return Italy to the top of the footballing pyramid.

"As for youth sectors, those in charge should have a trip to Spain where they work on the technique, not on tactics."

Massimiliano Allegri remembers his maiden successes with Sassuolo and Milan more fondly than his triumphs with Juventus. 

Sassuolo made history under Allegri in 2007-08 when he led them to the Serie C title and promotion to the second tier for the first time.

He was poached by Cagliari and took over at Milan ahead of the 2010-11 season, guiding them to a first Scudetto in seven years. 

Allegri only added the Supercoppa Italiana before moving onto Juve in 2014. He steered the Bianconeri to five straight Serie A titles – the first four of which were domestic doubles thanks to successes in the Coppa Italia – and two Champions League finals, both of which ended in defeat. 

Despite the incredible record he possessed during his first stint at Juve, it is the triumphs in the earlier stages of his career that he remembers more prominently. 

"All the titles are beautiful, I cannot choose. The ones I remember the most are the Serie C title with Sassuolo and the first Serie A title with Milan," said Allegri. 

"The defeats, on the other hand, are all bad – some more than others because the question remains for you about whether you could have done something better." 

Juve endured a sluggish start to the season following Allegri's return to the helm and sit eight points adrift of leaders Milan with seven games to play. 

Allegri has come in for criticism for a lack of willingness to try out young players, an attitude many believe is widespread in Italy and a significant factor in their failure to qualify for the 2022 World Cup. 

The 54-year-old explained why he may seem reluctant to put his faith in youth. 

"For some years in Italy, there has been a tendency to consider youngsters to be champions after two or three games," he said. 

"But that is pushing them ahead of schedule – at 20 years old a footballer cannot have the maturity of a 28-year-old."

Barcelona have asserted they will not break the bank in pursuit of Erling Haaland, but they remain keen on a striker to help Xavi's rebuild.

Robert Lewandowski is seen as a potential option if does not extend his deal at Bayern Munich.

According to reports, Lewandowski is weighing up his options, as Barcelona prepare themselves for a possible move.

 

TOP STORY – DEST TO BE USED AS MAKEWEIGHT?

Sergino Dest will be added as a sweetener to get a potential deal for Bayern's Lewandowski to Barcelona over the line, Sport reports.

Bayern already made a transfer request during the previous off-season's transfer window for the 21-year-old United States international, who has struggled for consistent minutes since Xavi took over as coach in November.

While a combination of Ronald Araujo, Dani Alves and Oscar Mingueza have all filled in at right back this season, Dest has been increasingly viewed as expendable under Xavi's tenure.

Lewandowski's contract runs out in 2023, but a move at the end of this season is still on the cards. Barca could use Dest to partly subsidise what is sure to be a huge asking price.

 

ROUND-UP

– The agent of Chelsea and Germany forward Timo Werner has been in Italy meeting with representatives from MilanJuventus and Atalanta, according to Corriere dello Sport.

– Ajax and Netherlands midfielder Ryan Gravenberch has agreed personal terms with Bayern Munich, per Bild.

– The Mirror is reporting senior figures at Inter are now more open to the idea of a return for Chelsea and Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku.

– Villarreal and Netherlands winger Arnaut Danjuma is viewed by Liverpool as a potential replacement for Sadio Mane, Goal has reported, but the Reds are not expected to make a bid until 2023.

Alessandro Florenzi has undergone surgery on his left knee and Milan have not given a timeframe for his recovery.

Florenzi is on a season-long loan at Milan from Roma, with the Rossoneri having the option to make the deal permanent.

The 31-year-old full-back has played 27 times this season for the Serie A leaders, though only 13 of those have been starts.

Florenzi suffered the injury in Monday's goalless draw with Bologna at San Siro that saw Milan drop two points in the race for the Scudetto, though they remain a point ahead of second-placed Napoli.

A statement on the club website read: "AC Milan can confirm that Alessandro Florenzi today underwent an arthroscopic operation on his left knee, conducted by Dr Piero Paolo Mariani.

"The meniscectomy, undertaken with AC Milan club doctor Lucio Genesio in attendance, was successful. Alessandro will commence the rehabilitation process right away."

Florenzi was in the Italy squad that won Euro 2020 last year and the group that failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup after losing to North Macedonia in the play-offs.

Stefano Pioli's side travel to Torino on Sunday.

Christian Eriksen has been in sparkling form since returning to action with Brentford following his cardiac arrest at Euro 2020.

Inter allowed Eriksen to end his contract after the Denmark international was unable to play in Serie A after having a cardiac device implant fitted, allowing the Bees to sign him on a six-month deal.

Eriksen has since scored for both club and country, and his form has some familiar faces swirling.

 

TOP STORY – TOTTENHAM WANT ERISKEN REUNION

With his return to health, and some form, Tottenham want to bring Eriksen back to the club where he made a name for himself in England.

Eriksen departed from Ajax in 2013, and would spend seven seasons with Spurs, scoring 69 goals in 305 appearances, before signing with Antonio Conte's Inter in Serie A.

As luck would have it, Conte is now the man in charge at Tottenham, and The Daily Mail is reporting he would like to bring Eriksen back on a free transfer when his contract expires at the end of this season.

Spurs will have some competition, though, as it is also reported that Manchester United will be seeking the Dane's services.

 

ROUND-UP

– The Liverpool Echo is reporting that Jurgen Klopp is "happy" with the fact that Mohamed Salah and "decisive parties" are talking to each other regarding a contract extension at Liverpool.

– If Salah was to leave the club, FourFourTwo is reporting that Liverpool will explore replacing him with Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe – while according to RMC Sport, a third "mystery team" has entered the race for Mbappe, with Real Madrid also circling.

– Real Madrid will be offering out Eden Hazard on loan for the 2022-23 season, according to AS.

– Union Berlin's Nigerian striker Taiwo Awoniyi will fetch a price of £25million if Newcastle, West Ham or Southampton want to prise him away, per Bild.

– The Daily Mirror is reporting that Newcastle could offer England midfielder Kalvin Phillips a contract worth £120,000 per week to lure him away from Leeds United.

Milan dropped potentially crucial points in their bid to win Serie A after they were frustrated by Bologna in a 0-0 draw at San Siro.

The Rossoneri went into the international break holding a three-point lead on the back of three straight 1-0 wins, but they could not keep up that winning run on Monday.

Indeed, Bologna – whose coach Sinisa Mihajlovic was not present on the touchline as he is in hospital for leukemia treatment – restricted Stefano Pioli's team to little in the way of clear chances in their boss' 100th league match in charge, to the chagrin of an expectant Milan faithful.

With Napoli and Inter having both won on Sunday, Milan's advantage has now been cut to just one point with seven games remaining.

Rafael Leao had the first opportunity 16 minutes in, though the Portugal forward could not keep his shot down.

Michel Aebischer drilled straight at Mike Maignan following Marko Arnautovic's clever dummy, before Milan's goalkeeper tipped Musa Barrow's strike over after Gary Medel had made a fine block at the other end.

Bologna continued to frustrate their hosts after the restart, with Leao particularly wasteful, first skewing a cross out of play before failing to get a shot off when he had space.

Leao provided a sublime pass for Davide Calabria in the 61st minute, but Medel just managed to divert the full-back's shot wide – a touch the referee failed to notice.

Ante Rebic blazed over as Milan kept up the pressure, with Leao then curling wide from just inside the area.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was given 20 minutes to try and make a difference, but the veteran headed over from the one chance that came his way as Milan were thwarted.
 

What does it mean? No milestone celebration for Pioli as pressure mounts

Pioli did not look longed for the Milan job early in his tenure, but the work he has done to turn the Rossoneri into genuine title contenders has been quite superb. Yet, his milestone 100th Serie A game in charge did not end in a victory, but instead a draw that could prove decisive.

Inter battled their way to a 1-0 win over Juventus on Sunday and are just four points back with a game in hand, while Napoli, who like Milan have played 31 times, are only a point behind the leaders. Bologna, meanwhile, did their coach Mihajlovic proud.

Medel leads brilliant Bologna rear-guard

Medel spent time at San Siro with Inter and the experienced, dogged defender was excellent at the heart of Bologna's defence, doing his old side a huge favour in the process.

He made a joint team-high two blocks, including a fantastic one from Diaz in the first half, gained possession seven times and kept things simple on the ball, completing 33 of 36 passes before he had to go off with a head injury following a collision with Ibrahimovic.

Leao found lacking as Milan pay for their profligacy

It has been a fine season for Leao overall, with the 22-year-old scoring eight league goals so far.

His finishing was found totally lacking this time out, however, with only one of his eight attempts hitting the target, while four were blocked. His wastefulness summed Milan up, as the hosts tallied up 33 attempts to no avail.

What's next?

Milan travel to Torino on Sunday, while Bologna host Sampdoria.

Juventus midfielder Manuel Locatelli faces up to a month out of action after the midfielder sustained a knee injury in the 1-0 loss against Inter on Sunday.

The Italy international, who tested positive for COVID-19 in March, started in the Derby d'Italia but suffered a knock in the first half and was replaced by Denis Zakaria after just 34 minutes.

Bianconeri head coach Massimiliano Allegri appeared unworried by the damage to the 24-year-old after the match, but Juve provided another update on Monday.

Scans have confirmed a problem in the ligament of Locatelli's right knee that is estimated to keep him out for a month, which means he will likely miss Serie A clashes with Cagliari, Bologna, Sassuolo and Venezia.

Locatelli will also be absent for the second leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final on April 20 against Fiorentina, who lost the first meeting 1-0, as Juve look to defend their title.

He has played an integral role this season for Allegri's side, who sit fourth in Serie A after their 16-game league unbeaten run ended against Inter.

Indeed, only Alvaro Morata (30) has featured in more top-flight games than Locatelli for Juve this campaign (29), while Juan Cuadrado (1,283) and Matthijs de Ligt (1,317) are the only players to complete more passes than him (1,141).

Locatelli has won 15 of the Serie A games he has appeared in this term, with De Ligt, Morata, Cuadrado and Moise Kean (all 16) the only players to boast better returns.

Juve will be hoping that Zakaria, Adrien Rabiot and Arthur can step up in Locatelli's absence when they visit Cagliari on Saturday.

Tammy Abraham is relishing the opportunity to play abroad under Jose Mourinho, labelling the Roma boss the "best manager in the world."

The 24-year-old English striker has netted 23 goals across all competitions this season and 15 league goals in his first year in Serie A, only behind Dusan Vlahovic and Ciro Immobile in the race for the Capocannoniere.

The Giallorossi are undefeated in the league since a 4-3 loss to Juventus in January and Abraham has scored seven goals in that period - including a brace in a 3-0 win over fierce rivals Lazio.

Abraham attributes some of his success to the notoriously demanding Mourinho.

"You know Mourinho's a character that we all know," Abraham told talkSPORT.

"There's a reason why I call him the best manager in the world. He knows how to drive you, he knows how to get under your skin and he knows how to make you feel like a very special player at times.

"He'll never tell you but I always want to do my best for him."

While admitting Abraham's move to Italy was not a first preference while on his way out from Chelsea, the fact that Mourinho would be his boss helped make his mind up.

Abraham says his parents also played a big part in persuading him to move to Italy.

He added: "As a young English lad I wanted to stay in England. Roma came along and Atalanta and many different teams around the world, I was telling myself I wanted to stay in the Premier League and that I had something to prove.

"But my dad, parents and agent sat me down and said 'you scored goals at Chelsea, Swansea and Bristol City, go and test the waters, go and experience life abroad.'

"When they were speaking it kind of dawned on me that not many players can say they've gone out in Italy, to Serie A and a team like Roma."

Inter boss Simone Inzaghi insists his team will continue to chase Milan and Napoli for the Serie A title after an important 1-0 win at Juventus on Sunday.

A first-half Hakan Calhanoglu penalty was enough for victory in the Derby d'Italia as Inter moved within three points of the top two in the race for the Scudetto.

Massimiliano Allegri's Juventus side will consider themselves unfortunate to have lost, having had 22 shots to the Nerazzurri's five, while the winning goal was the only effort Inter managed on target all game.

Speaking to DAZN after the win, Inzaghi said: "We can chase Milan and Napoli. We have lost some points that we will try to earn in the last eight games from now to the end. It is still very long, [Milan and Napoli] are the favourites, but some will say that it is us."

The former Lazio head coach also insisted there was no controversy about the winning penalty when Calhanoglu's first effort had been saved but the rebound bundled into the net.

The referee initially disallowed the goal and awarded Juve a free-kick, only to then ask for the penalty to be retaken after it emerged Matthijs de Ligt encroached into the box before the first was taken, and Calhanoglu made no mistake at the second time of asking.

"The penalty kick was there, it was already a goal on the rebound and it shouldn't have been repeated," Inzaghi said.

 

Inzaghi also revealed Inter have offered him an extension on his contract, despite rumours he was under pressure after recent results, but added that he will not engage in discussions until the end of the current campaign.

"I have a two-year contract that the club asked me to extend," he said. "I asked to wait until the end [of the season] because contracts are worth what they are worth.

"I feel the trust of the club, of the fans. I'm very happy with what has been done. We had so much fun for seven months and then some criticisms came out. We have been in football for 30 years and we know which criticisms are constructive and which are artfully created."

Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri conceded his side's Serie A title chances had evaporated after their 1-0 home loss against Inter.

The home side controlled the majority of the contest, finishing with 23 shots compared to just five from Inter, but were unable to find the back of the net.

The decisive goal was drenched in controversy as Hakan Calhanoglu's penalty was saved in first-half stoppage time, with the rebound being scrambled in, before VAR and the referee decided other players had entered the box too early, leading to the penalty being retaken.

Calhanoglu made no mistake the second time around, slamming his shot into the bottom-left corner for what ended up being the match-winner.

Speaking to DAZN after the loss, Allegri said the result marked the end of Juventus' hopes of competing for this year's Scudetto.

"From now on we can say that Juventus are definitively cut off from the Scudetto," he said. 

"Now we have to score as many points as possible for fourth place, and then prepare to get off to a good start next year to win the championship. 

"We got off to a bad start, and we have recovered many points, but in the decisive matches the [results] have condemned us."

Despite the bleak outlook, Allegri was complimentary of his side.

"[It was] a good match – a good performance – we created a lot, and shot a lot on goal," he said.

"Too bad for the defeat, [but] there is room for improvement. 

"We have to see the glass half full – the boys have grown up and we have become an important team. We have to work on the technical improvement of the team and try to score as many points as possible… Roma are only five points [behind us]."

Despite Inter now sitting in third place, trailing both AC Milan and Napoli by three points, Allegri declared the Nerazzurri the favourites from here.

"I think Inter are favourites – [they have] the simplest schedule of Milan and Napoli," he said.

"For [Inter] it was an important obstacle to win here, now they will play it all the way and remain the favourites."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.