Massimiliano Allegri called on Juventus to turn around their recent poor form when they host Atalanta on Sunday as he expressed his disappointment at a run that has seen them fall 15 points behind Inter Milan.

Juve topped Serie A as recently as late January, but their title challenge looks all-but over after they collected just five points from their last six games.

They were beaten by defending champions Napoli last time out, with Inter now looking increasingly likely to claim their first title since 2021.

“I am not worried,” said Allegri. “If anything, I am disappointed because we did not get many points in February.

“Even at Napoli we showed some positive signs but in the end we came home with nothing. We need to turn this trend around.

“We have 11 league games left, plus two – hopefully three – Italian Cup games, we are fully in contention to reach our targets and now all our energy must be focused on those.

“It will not be a decisive game tomorrow, but still important. Now the points start to weigh that bit more and because Atalanta are also in the running for a top-four finish.

“We need to read the phases of the game in the right way and improve when we defend, because we have conceded too many goals lately.”

Weston McKennie and Moise Kean are available after injury, though, Adrien Rabiot and Carlos Alcaraz are set to miss out.

Sunday’s visitors are themselves chasing down a Champions League place and are looking to get their season back on track after their recent five-game winning run in the league was followed up by three without a victory.

Manager Gian Piero Gasperini talked up Ademola Lookman after he put in an impressive display during Wednesday’s Europa League draw with Sporting Lisbon.

“Every now and then I push him to become a more complete player, he has the physical ability to do so,” he said.

“Sometimes he hides a little but he can be more of a reference point, especially this year.”

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.”

Inter Milan boss Simone Inzaghi called on his side to continue playing with “speed, aggression and determination” ahead of their clash against Genoa.

Runaway Serie A leaders Inter are aiming to continue their perfect start to 2024 on Monday night.

They extended their winning streak to 11 games in all competitions this calendar year with a 4-0 victory against Atalanta on Wednesday and Inzaghi hopes Inter can keep the run going.

He told Inter TV: “We have done our best in the last two months but we know that tomorrow is a difficult game, there will be many others too and we need to continue playing with speed, aggression, and determination.”

The last time Inter dropped points came against Monday’s opponents in December when defender Radu Dragusin – who has since left Genoa for Tottenham – cancelled out Marko Arnautovic’s opener in a 1-1 draw.

Genoa are 12th in the table and have also claimed draws against top-four sides Juventus and Bologna as well as reigning champions Napoli this season.

Their last outing saw them return to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Udinese and Inzaghi insisted Inter need to remain “extremely focused”.

“It will be a difficult game. Genoa is a good side, they have 33 points, and they’re having a good season,” he said.

“In the last 12 games, I think they’ve only lost to Atalanta in the final minutes, they’re in good form and we need to face them with focus.

“Genoa covers the pitch very well, they are good in attack and defence.

“We will need to be extremely focused, and technically clean whilst trying to play our usual game.”

Inzaghi also confirmed that there will be changes to the squad ahead of the match.

He added: “There will be some changes, some rotation.

“I am lucky to have players who are ready, unfortunately some could still be out tomorrow, but we have seen that you won’t always have everyone available when you play this much and everyone involved has given me great results”.

Inter Milan opened up a 12-point lead at the top of Serie A by thumping Atalanta 4-0 at San Siro.

Matteo Darmian, Lautaro Martinez, Federico Dimarco and Davide Frattesi were on target as Inter extended their unbeaten league record to 20 games.

Simone Inzaghi’s side appear in an increasingly unassailable position with 12 games left to play.

Atalanta were left to rue the presence of VAR after Charles De Ketelaere found the net with a blistering half-volley after 10 minutes.

Benjamin Pavard’s poor pass put Inter in trouble and Mario Pasalic’s shot was pushed out by Yann Sommer.

The ball fell to De Ketelaere who buried it in emphatic fashion, but not before Alessandro Bastoni’s attempted clearance had brushed the arm of Aleksey Miranchuk.

By the letter of the law it was handball, but the faintest of touches did not deviate the ball and Atalanta had reason to feel aggrieved.

Miranchuk was off target from Dimarco’s weak clearance before Inter had their own goal chalked off.

Nicolo Barella was clearly in an offside position before advancing to round Marco Carnesecchi and finish confidently.

Martinez had a first sighting of goal – wasted in uncustomary fashion – but Inter hit the front after 26 minutes.

Carnesecchi stopped Henrikh Mkhitaryan from reaching Martinez’s defence-splitting pass, but the ball fell straight at the feet of Darmian, who rolled it in to an unguarded net.

It was Darmian’s first Inter goal since January 2023, a Coppa Italia winner against Atalanta, and the full-back would have had a second almost instantly but for Carnesecchi’s legs.

Martinez smashed the crossbar after Dimarco dispossessed Pasalic on the edge of the area, but the Argentinian did not have to wait long for his 26th goal of the season.

Carnesecchi held up Dimarco but the ball was recycled and Martinez unleashed from the edge of the box, setting his swerving effort outside the post before nestling just inside it.

Dimarco was denied at the start of the second period and the contest was effectively ended in bizarre fashion after 54 minutes.

An assistant referee flagged that the ball was out of play before Denzel Dumfries’ cut-back clipped the arm of Hans Hateboer.

Again it was the lightest of touches but, after it was ruled that the ball had stayed in, a penalty was awarded.

Carnesecchi parried Martinez’s spot-kick but Dimarco, who had possibly just encroached into the area, swept home the rebound.

Two substitutes combined for Inter’s fourth after 71 minutes as Alexis Sanchez’s quickly-taken free-kick found the head of Frattesi at the near post.

Atalanta remain in fifth place, two points from a Champions League spot.

A second-half goal from substitute Marko Arnautovic gave Inter Milan a 1-0 lead in their Champions League last-16 first leg contest against Atletico Madrid.

The former Stoke and West Ham forward delighted the majority of the San Siro crowd with his 79th-minute breakthrough on Tuesday evening.

And it proved enough for last season’s runners-up to take an advantage to the Spanish capital for next month’s second leg.

After the visitors had survived penalty appeals for handball by defender Nahuel Molina, Lautaro Martinez had the first chance of a tight first half but fired wide in the 36th minute.

Argentina international Martinez brought a save out of Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak four minutes later, following Nicolo Barella’s cross, then mishit an effort from the edge of the penalty box soon after.

Marcus Thuram, who appeared to get injured in the closing stages of the first half, was replaced by Arnautovic for the second 45 minutes.

There was frustration for the home fans when Arnautovic headed over, before shooting high off target soon after.

Martinez was then denied by Oblak, before Arnautovic got it right at the third attempt with the only goal of the game.

After Atletico substitute Reinildo and Rodrigo de Paul had dallied on the halfway line, Martinez advanced and saw his shot blocked by Oblak. However, it broke for Arnautovic and the Austria international tucked the ball away left-footed from the angle of the six-yard box, squeezing his shot past the goalkeeper and a backtracking Samuel Lino.

Atletico’s best chance of a goal came in the closing stages when Alvaro Morata glanced a header wide of Yann Sommer’s goal.

It proved a fitting outcome for Inter on an emotional night for the home fans, who paid tribute to Andreas Brehme before kick-off.

The former Germany international defender, whose death had been announced earlier in the day, played for the Nerazzurri between 1988 and 1992.

Marko Arnautovic came off the bench to score the winning goal as Inter Milan defeated Atletico Madrid 1-0 at the San Siro in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

The substitute fired home on the rebound with 11 minutes to play after Lautaro Martinez had been denied when racing through on goal by goalkeeper Jan Oblak, squeezing it inside the near post as Samuel Lino tried gallantly to clear from the goal line.

Earlier, Arnautovic and Martinez had wasted the two best chances of the game for the hosts, failing to find the target from good positions, as Diego Simeone’s side threatened to make it a frustrating night for the Serie A leaders.

For the visitors, Alvaro Morata headed wide from six yards out in the final minutes after getting on the end of Angel Correa’s deep cross.

Elsewhere, PSV Eindhoven came from behind to claim a 1-1 draw in their last-16 first leg against Borussia Dortmund.

Former PSV forward Donyell Malen scored after 24 minutes with a shot that deflected in at the near post beyond goalkeeper Walter Benitez.

But the Bundesliga side were denied the chance to take a one-goal advantage back to Germany when Luuk de Jong levelled from the penalty spot 11 minutes after the break.

Marcus Thuram inspired a strong second-half fightback as Inter Milan extended their lead at the top of Serie A to seven points with a 4-2 win over Roma at the Stadio Olimpico.

Thuram flicked home from a Matteo Darmian cross four minutes after the break then pressured Roma defender Angelino into turning a ball from the left into his own net six minutes later.

Roma pressed desperately for an equaliser, but Inter made sure of the points deep into stoppage time when defender Alessandro Bastoni finished off a swift counter-attack.

Victory allowed Inter to build on their crucial win over title rivals Juventus last week, while it spelled a first defeat for new Roma head coach Daniele De Rossi after three straight wins.

Seeking another win that would send them up to fourth, Roma started with confidence, and Inter goalkeeper Yann Sommer had to tip over a shot from Stephan El Shaarawy inside the opening minute.

Matias Pellegrini also came close from distance, but Inter grew into the game and grabbed the lead in the 18th minute when Federico Dimarco’s corner was headed home by Francesco Acerbi.

But Roma were level within 10 minutes when Gianluca Mancini nodded home from a free-kick, with set-plays proving dangerous for both sides in the slippery conditions.

An end-to-end clash saw chances for Dimarco and Paulo Dybala at both ends before the hosts stunned Inter by grabbing the lead moments before the half-time break.

Pellegrini led a sweeping counter-attack that sent the ball out to El Shaarawy on the left flank and his rising shot clattered against both posts before nestling in the net to put Roma 2-1 up.

Inter responded strongly at the start of the second half and it took them only four minutes to level when Thuram met Darmian’s cross with the neatest of finishes.

Angelino was unfortunate to divert the next past his own keeper after 56 minutes and Inter were intent on pressing home their advantage with Benjamin Pavard striking the post with a fine shot moments later.

Roma’s best chance to give an engrossing game one final twist came in the 71st minute when former Inter man Romelu Lukaku was played clean through, but had the ball picked off his feet by the alert Sommer.

It sparked a grandstand finish from the home side with Sommer having to be on his toes again to tip away an effort from Leonardo Spinazzola with six minutes left on the clock.

But Roma’s increasing desperation left holes at the back and the visitors confirmed victory after a thrilling game through the unlikely figure of Bastoni.

Inter Milan moved four points clear at the top of Serie A with a 1-0 win over title rivals Juventus 1-0 in the Derby d’Italia at the San Siro.

The Nerazzurri made the breakthrough just before half-time when Juve defender Federico Gatti diverted a cross into his own net.

Juve keeper Wojciech Szczesny produced a fine late save from Inter substitute Marko Arnautovic as Simone Inzaghi’s men put themselves firmly in the driving seat for the Scudetto.

Charles De Ketelaere scored twice as Atalanta consolidated their place in the top four with a 3-1 win over Lazio at the Gewiss Stadium.

Napoli came from behind to beat Verona 2-1 and close back up on the top six.

Cyril Ngonge scored against his former club to equalise after Diego Coppola’s opener with 20 minutes left before a fine strike from Khvicha Kvaratskhelia in the closing stages completed the turnaround.

Bottom club Salernitana fought out a goalless draw at Torino, but remain five points adrift of safety.

Real Madrid missed the chance to extend their lead at the top of LaLiga after derby rivals Atletico Madrid scored a stoppage-time equaliser to snatch a 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu.

Girona were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Sociedad on Saturday, but Carlo Ancelotti’s men could not make the most of their opportunity which could have sent them four points clear.

Brahim Diaz – drafted into the side after Vinicius Junior suffered a problem during the warm-up, so started on the bench – put Real ahead from close range after 20 minutes.

Atletico saw Stefan Savic’s goal early in the second half ruled out by VAR for offside, but eventually were level through a looping header from Marcos Llorente in the third minute of added time to leave the home fans stunned.

Celta Vigo had earlier edged clear of the bottom three with a 3-0 win at Osasuna, while fellow relegation-battlers Cadiz picked up a point from a goalless draw at Villarreal.

Real Betis and Getafe drew 1-1 at the Estadio Benito Villamarin. Mason Greenwood put the visitors ahead through an early penalty before Isco’s spot-kick levelled things up ahead of the break.

RB Leipzig ended a three-game Bundesliga losing streak to get their top-four challenge back on track with a 2-0 win over Union Berlin, who finished with 10 men.

Lois Openda and Benjamin Sesko were on target either side of half-time, before Union captain Christopher Trimmel was shown a straight red card with 20 minutes left.

Lovro Majer scored twice in the second half as Wolfsburg came from behind to draw 2-2 against Hoffenheim at the Volkswagen Arena.

 

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In Ligue 1, Canada forward Jonathan David scored twice as Lille comfortably beat Clermont 4-0 at Stade Pierre-Mauroy to keep up their top-four challenge ahead of Monaco, who drew 1-1 with Le Havre.

Second-placed Nice and Brest, who are third, cancelled each other out in a goalless draw at Stade Francis-Le Ble.

In Sunday’s late match, Alexandre Lacazette was on target with his 10th league goal as relegation-battlers Lyon beat Marseille 1-0 to move three points clear of the drop zone.

Panos Katseris’ second-half goal helped secure Lorient a 2-1 victory at fellow strugglers Metz, while Toulouse held off a second-half fightback to win 3-2 at Reims.

Liverpool announced the signing of Brazilian forward Philippe Coutinho from Inter Milan on this day in 2013.

The 20-year-old became manager Brendan Rodgers’ second signing of the January transfer window after finalising the details of his medical and work permit.

Coutinho was on his fourth club – all in different countries – in three years, but having spoken at length with compatriot and new team-mate Lucas Leiva, he was confident he would adapt to life on Merseyside.

“I’ve been talking to him for some time and he said good things about Liverpool,” said the midfielder, who began his career with Vasco da Gama before moving to Inter, who loaned him to Espanyol.

“He believes this might be a nice club for me and now it’s happening. I’m very confident and excited to come and start to train with the team and be available to the manager.

“I’ve been playing in Italy for two and a half years and I believe I will adapt with ease here.

“I’m feeling very happy, it’s a very important step in my career and I’m expecting to come here and play good football to give my contribution on the pitch.

“Liverpool is a great club with great players. We’ve always heard about Liverpool’s history in Brazil.

“They are the club that have been interested in me and that have showed this interest so I know they believe in me and my football.”

Coutinho went on to make 201 appearances for the Reds, scoring 54 goals, before he was sold to Barcelona for £130million in 2018.

Now 31, he currently plays for Qatari club Al Duhail, on loan from Aston Villa.

Inter Milan’s fine season continued as they moved back to the Serie A summit after in-form Lautaro Martinez hit the only goal of the game to down Fiorentina.

It was a 22nd goal of the campaign for Martinez, who raced to the near-post to head home Kristjan Aslani’s 14th-minute corner.

Nico Gonzalez saw a second-half penalty saved as Inter secured the three points with a 1-0 win that extends their unbeaten run to 15 games.

Simone Inzaghi’s side have now 17 of their 21 Serie A games this season – equalling their previous record at this stage, set in 2006/07 under Roberto Mancini as they went on to win the league by 22 points.

Carlos Augusto thought he had given the visitors the lead with a close-range finish but was denied by brilliant defending by Davide Faraoni.

But Martinez would turn home the resulting corner, glancing a near-post header in after he had easily slipped the attention of his marker.

The Argentina World Cup winner had proved to be the match-winner last time out – his injury-time effort sealing a 1-0 win over Napoli in the Italian Super Cup final in Saudi Arabia.

Marcus Thuram could not sort his feet out when played through on goal as Inter looked to build on their lead before Yann Sommer made a fine stop to prevent Giacomo Bonaventura levelling for the home side.

Inter thought they had doubled their but had a goal ruled out for offside as Marko Arnautovic turned home from a Henrikh Mkhitaryan pass, only for the flag to go up against the Armenia international.

Fiorentina were handed a lifeline when they were awarded a controversial penalty following a lengthy VAR check for a foul against Sommer.

The Switzerland goalkeeper had punched away a cross but caught M’Bala Nzola in the face with his fist and the video assistant referee flagged the incident to the onfield official.

A spot-kick was duly awarded but Sommer would make amends as Gonzalez – on as a substitute as he returned from injury – hit a tame spot-kick that was easily saved.

It proved to be the best chance the hosts would have in attempting to rescue a result, while Inter moved back above Juventus to the summit.

Juve visit the San Siro next Sunday with just one point separating the two sides at the top of Serie A – the pair having drawn 1-1 in Turin earlier this season.

Christian Eriksen signed for Inter Milan from Tottenham for a fee in the region of £17million on this day in 2020.

The Denmark international joined Inter on a four-and-a-half-year deal following six-and-a-half years with Spurs, where he scored 69 goals and provided 89 assists in 305 appearances.

Following his departure, Eriksen posted on X, formerly Twitter: “Dear Tottenham fans, I don’t know where to start!

“I didn’t have time to say goodbye to everyone, even though I felt like I played a lot of games where everyone said and thought I would be gone the next day.

“I have so many unbelievable memories over the last 6.5 years I was at Spurs.

“I enjoyed being at the training ground every day and playing games in the stadium so much, but sometimes you just want to try something new.

“So, Spurs fans it has been a pleasure to play at your club and hopefully we meet again in the future.”

Eriksen won a Serie A title with Inter, but left the club in December 2021 after suffering a cardiac arrest at Euro 2020 during Denmark’s opener against Finland.

After receiving life-saving treatment on the pitch, he was taken to hospital and fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) device.

Serie A rules stated that Eriksen would be unable to play with an ICD and an agreement was struck for him to leave.

He then signed for Brentford on a six-month deal in January 2022 before joining Manchester United that summer.

Inter Milan beat Napoli to win the Italian Super Cup after both teams paid tribute to Italy’s all-time top scorer Gigi Riva.

Lautaro Martinez scored the winner in injury time as Inter wrapped up a third straight Super Cup success.

But the match, held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, between current Serie A champions Napoli and Coppa Italia holders Inter, was overshadowed by Riva’s death, aged 79.

A minute’s applause was held before the second half after the news filtered through during the first half.

Riva scored 35 goals in 42 appearances for Italy and was a member of the squad which won the 1968 European Championship and lost in the 1970 World Cup final to Brazil.

He was also a prolific goalscorer for Cagliari, leading the Sardinian club to their only Serie A title in 1970.

It appeared that no one was going to find a goal to settle the match, until Martinez finally broke the deadlock two minutes into added time.

Inter dominated the first half and created the first chance when a long Matteo Darmian throw-in found its way through to Federico Dimarco, whose volley was deflected inches wide.

Martinez then headed wide from Francesco Acerbi’s cross and Henrikh Mkhitaryan fired over 20 yards out.

Martinez had the ball in the net after 40 minutes when he tapped in Marcus Thuram’s cross but an offside flag curtailed any celebrations.

Napoli’s first real opening came six minutes into the second half when Stanislav Lobotka fed Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.

The Georgian cut back inside and tried to curl the ball towards the far post but his effort was beaten away by Inter keeper Yann Sommer.

Napoli were reduced to 10 men on the hour after Giovanni Simeone was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Acerbi.

Inter set about trying to press home their numerical advantage but Thuram twice missed his kick in front of goal and Martinez volleyed over the crossbar.

Frustrated Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri was shown a yellow card before Mkhitaryan tried his luck again, only to send his shot too high.

The match looked destined for penalties until Alexis Sanchez fed Benjamin Pavard down the right.

Pavard pinged in a low cross which was swept home by Martinez to wrap up a super treble for Inter.

Inter Milan head coach Simone Inzaghi is aware of the potential pitfalls facing his team in their Supercoppa Italiana final showdown with Napoli in Riyadh as the Nerazzurri look to make a statement with a mid-season trophy.

Inzaghi’s went into the weekend leading the Serie A table by two points from Juventus and they breezed into Monday’s cup tournament decider in the Saudi Arabian capital by dispatching Lazio 3-0 on Friday.

Standing in their way are Scudetto holders Napoli, who also won 3-0 – against Fiorentina – to give themselves a confidence boost with their league form desperately poor compared to their swashbuckling final season under Luciano Spalletti.

The more pragmatic Walter Mazzarri is now in charge of the Azzurri and there will be a definite clash of styles in Riyadh as attack-minded Inzaghi looks to secure Inter their eighth Super Cup and third in succession.

“A final is often decided in a few moments – you have to be very careful,” the Nerazzurri boss told inter.it. “We’re playing against the Italian champions who won 3-0 in their own semi-final.

“They’ve had some problems in the league but they have a lot of quality, with a deep squad.

“Napoli have changed their formation, before they were a possession team but now they are less so. If Mazzarri keeps his line-up from the semi-final then we’ll be ready for that. Beyond formation and tactics, though, motivation is vital.”

On Inter’s and his own fine record in the Super Cup – he has won five overall as player and coach – Inzaghi added: “Winning it three times in a row has only happened once before. We won it in a derby (against AC Milan) last year, two years ago against Juve, and now we would like to beat Napoli to it.

“I care more about Inter than my own record. It would be nice to win it of course. The boys have been putting Inter before their own interests since the summer and that’s the secret to a good team.”

Napoli boss Mazzarri hopes winning the Super Cup will give his players an incentive to revive their ailing domestic campaign and qualify for the Champions League.

He told La Gazzetta dello Sport: “This is a bunch of good young guys who need to understand that an opportunity like this might not happen again – and that should drive them on.

“I believe we will face an Inter team who are currently at their best. It will be very tough but, also for that reason, winning would give us even more confidence for the future.”

Jens Cajuste and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia are both suspended for Napoli, who are also missing star striker Victor Osimhen due to Africa Cup of Nations commitments.

Inter are in better shape with only Taty Castellanos sitting the fixture out due to injury.

Simone Inzaghi has challenged his Inter Milan players to lift the Supercoppa Italiana for a third straight season as they take on the new format for the first time.

The competition has been expanded to four teams, with the runners-up from both Serie A and the Coppa Italia added to the mix.

With all games being played in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Coppa Italia holders Inter will face Serie A runners-up Lazio on Friday, with the winner advancing to play either league champions Napoli or cup runners-up Fiorentina.

“The Supercoppa is the first objective of the season,” Inzaghi said. “Inter won it in the last two years and we want to win it again. We’ll do our best.

“We have another training session and I need to make careful assessments (on the squad). Everyone was available yesterday, except (Juan) Cuadrado. I have to make decisions, being a final played over two legs.

“Now, I am only thinking about the Lazio game. I am serene, Inter have the same ambitions as Lazio, Napoli and Fiorentina. Tomorrow, we meet an undefeated team in the last five, and it has always caused trouble for us.”

Lautaro Martinez scored a brace in Inter’s 5-1 Serie A win over Monza last weekend, moving to 20 goals in all competitions for the season.

But while the Argentinian has been in sparkling form, Inter have been linked with a striker in the January window – something Inzaghi would not be drawn on.

“We have a club behind us that is thinking about it,” he said. “I am satisfied with my four strikers in the first part of the season, they are giving us great satisfaction.”

Leading the line for Lazio will be veteran forward Ciro Immobile. The 33-year-old was linked with making Saudi Arabia his permanent home last summer, but asked on Thursday if he would still be interested in joining the Saudi Pro League, he said he was fully focused on Lazio.

“(Saudi Arabia) is developing as a league, infrastructures are improving compared to 2019,” Immobile said.

“Now, everyone has their eyes set on Saudi Arabia and believes there will be an important league here in the future. I spoke to local clubs in the past, but nothing happened in the end. I’ve always tried to be as transparent as possible and I decided to stay at Lazio and carry the project forward.”

Immobile was a late substitute in Lazio’s 1-0 win over Lecce as he comes back from injury.

“We feel the weight of the game,” he added. “It’s a trophy with two finals that are played within three days. There is little time to prepare for all matches. We are proud and happy with what we did last season and want to enjoy this moment.

“I was sidelined for three weeks, but playing 15 minutes against Lecce was important. I’ve had the chance to train and work to return to the top. We only lacked consistency, but the team has always worked well. Sometimes things didn’t work, but we’ve been improving.”

Inter Milan extended their lead at the top of Serie A to five points after Davide Frattesi sealed a dramatic late 2-1 win over Verona at the San Siro.

Inter looked set to have to settle for a draw after an early strike from Lautaro Martinez was cancelled out by Thomas Henry in the 74th minute.

But in a wild finish, Frattesi netted in the third minute of added time with a goal Verona claimed should have been disallowed for an earlier foul by Alessandro Bastoni.

Verona’s Darko Lazovic was sent off for protesting to the referee, but there was still time for the visitors to win a penalty in the 10th minute of added time, which Henry duly fired against a post.

In an equally action-packed clash at Frosinone, Monza ended a run of three games without a win as they clung on for a 3-2 victory over the hosts, who fought back from three goals down but had Pierluigi Frattali sent off in the 75th minute.

Fiorentina’s run of three straight wins came to a jolting end at Sassuolo, for whom Andrea Pinamonti’s ninth minute strike proved enough to end a run of six league games without a victory.

Cagliari remain rooted in the relegation zone despite Gaetano Oristanio’s 68th-minute effort salvaging a point in a 1-1 draw at Lecce, who led through Valentin Gendrey’s first-half opener.

Real Madrid had to be patient before seeing off fourth-tier Arandina in the last 32 of the Copa del Rey, with Joselu, Brahim Diaz and Rodrygo all scoring in the second half.

The hosts grabbed a late consolation through a Nacho own goal to make the final score 3-1 in a game that was also notable for the long-awaited debut of Real’s 18-year-old Arda Guler.

Two goals in the last half hour from Memphis Depay spared Atletico Madrid’s blushes as they edged to a 3-1 win at third-tier Lugo.

The hosts had briefly threatened to cause an upset when Leandro Antonelli cancelled out Angel Correa’s early strike for the visitors.

Goals from Daley Blind and Yan Couto saw Girona emerge unscathed with a 2-0 win at Segunda Division side Elche, while there were also wins for Getafe, Alaves and Real Vallecano.

Golden Lion’s 8,000-mile round trip to face Ligue 1 Lille turned sour as they were mauled 12-0 in the Coupe de France.

The Martinique champions, one of a number of teams from overseas territories eligible to play in the competition, were swept aside with both Jonathan David and Edon Zhegova scoring hat-tricks.

Third tier Sochaux pulled off a shock 2-1 win over Ligue 1 strugglers Lorient thanks to an added time penalty from Issouf Macalou.

Nice needed penalties to see off second-tier Auxerre after a goalless draw, while Brest edged past Angers and there were wins for Montpellier and Strasbourg over lower-tier opposition.

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