Verona’s Thomas Henry missed a last-gasp penalty in a dramatic finish at San Siro as Serie A leaders Inter hung on to a 2-1 victory.

Henry had cancelled out Lautaro Martinez’s 13th-minute opener with 16 minutes left only for Davide Frattesi to apparently win the game for the hosts in injury time.

However, a lengthy VAR check saw Verona, who had Darko Lazovic sent off, awarded a penalty, from which the unfortunate Henry struck a post.

Inter have never lost at home to Verona but it was the visitors who created the first real chance, Cyril Ngonge playing the ball in from the right for Tomas Suslov, who was still at a tight angle when he sent in a shot that was blocked by keeper Yann Sommer.

Inter, looking to return to winning ways after drawing with Genoa, scored the opener from their first real opening, carving the Verona defence apart.

Marcus Thuram’s deft touch played in Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who drove towards the edge of the box before teeing up Martinez for a comfortable finish into the bottom corner.

Inter continued to have most of the possession for the remainder of the first half but their final ball was disappointing and the best chance fell to Verona’s Milan Djuric, whose header was straight at Sommer.

Martinez thought he had scored a second for Inter three minutes into the second half, finding the net after Francesco Acerbi had headed on Mkhitaryan’s free-kick, but the linesman’s flag denied him.

There did not appear to be a great deal of threat from Verona until Henry scored the equaliser with his first touch after coming off the bench.

Marko Arnautovic wanted a foul for a challenge from Giangiacomo Magnani but the referee played on and Ondrej Duda’s cross from the right flew past Sommer off Henry’s knee.

Inter immediately set about trying to restore their lead and came agonisingly close in the 79th minute. A free-kick clipped the shoulder of Juan David Cabal, drawing a smart save from Lorenzo Montipo, with the ball just evading Arnautovic at the back post.

A frustrated Martinez then sent a header straight at the keeper while Arnautovic was unable to get his head on Acerbi’s high cross with the goal gaping.

But three minutes into injury time, Inter found the goal they craved. Alessandro Bastoni’s thunderous volley struck the bar, Nicolo Barella followed up with a well-struck shot that Montipo could not hold and substitute Frattesi tapped in to spark jubilant scenes.

Lazovic was shown a second yellow card in the aftermath but there was still time for another big twist when a VAR review saw Matteo Darmian penalised for kicking Magnani’s foot, only for Henry to agonisingly miss the target.

Hellas Verona boss Marco Baroni insists their showdown against Serie A leaders Inter Milan is not already a foregone conclusion as his side look to keep themselves clear of the relegation zone.

The Gialloblu have lost three straight games against Inter, all without scoring a goal – and were thrashed 6-0 at home the last time the sides met in May.

Baroni, though, is looking for a positive response after his side were beaten 1-0 at home by Salernitana in their last game of 2023.

“We are going to play a match on Saturday which may be impossible on paper, but these are the matches that give us the measure of what we are,” Baroni said.

“It’s an opportunity. We know who we are playing against, but we go looking for a performance, this is what we need. I always turn difficulties into opportunities.

“We must not be distracted by something we cannot control – work can help us obtain the our objectives, the rest is of no use to us.”

Inter saw their gap over rivals Juventus closed down to two points after being held to a 1-1 draw at Genoa in their final match of 2023, but they remain unbeaten in 12 league games.

Striker Lautaro Martinez, Serie A’s top scorer with 15 goals, and defender Federico Dimarco could be available again from muscle injuries after both trained with the squad ahead of Saturday’s game.

New signing Tajon Buchanan, though, is not expected to feature.

The 24-year-old wing-back only officially completed his move from Club Brugge on Friday afternoon to become the first Canadian to play in Serie A.

“I think that it was the right decision for me at this point in my career,” Buchanan said to Inter TV.

“I have followed Inter for a while and I see myself playing in this team. I am really excited for what is to come.”

Buchanan added: “I can play in a number of roles, but my aim is just to learn as much as possible, make myself available for the team and adapt to a new style of play.

“I want to take it day by day, working hard. I want to settle in as quickly as possible and learn as much as possible from the coach, the staff and the guys that have been here for a while.”

Inter Milan dropped points for only the fourth time this season as they were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw away to Genoa on Friday.

Marko Arnautovic headed the Serie A leaders in front late in the first half, but Radu Dragusin headed the hosts level in added time before the break and Inter could not get back in front as Genoa threatened a winner in the second half.

The result leaves Inter five points clear of Juventus who host Roma on Saturday, while Genoa remain 13th.

Inter threatened just a minute into the match as Arnautovic found the run of Henrikh Mkhitaryan to set him through on goal, but the Armenian could not get his shot on target.

Josep Martinez clawed away a Marcus Thuram header before the match was held up at the quarter-hour mark, with the number of pyrotechnics being set off leaving a thick smoke cloud over the pitch.

Play eventually resumed after an eight-minute delay and Inter quickly reasserted their dominance, with Arnautovic setting up a chance for Carlos Augusto, and then shooting wide himself after the Brazilian’s effort was blocked.

The breakthrough came in the 42nd minute as Genoa struggled to deal with a long throw into the box.

Nicolo Barella’s deflected strike was pushed on to the post by Martinez, but bounced up into the path of Arnautovic who could hardly miss with an open goal in front of him.

Genoese appeals for a push by Yann Bisseck on Kevin Strootman in the build-up fell on deaf ears.

Genoa had been decidedly second best up to that point but responded well to the setback. Caleb Ekuban saw his header saved as the first half moved into stoppage time, but they drew level in the seventh of the nine added minutes.

Albert Gudmundsson sent in an outswining corner and Dragusin got great power on his header to beat Yann Sommer low to his right.

Genoa carried that momentum into the second half as they put up a much better fight and Inter grew increasingly frustrated.

Genoa were screaming for a penalty early in the second half when Johan Vasquez’s header was blocked by Bisseck, but the defender’s arms were by his side and the officials showed no interest.

Inter’s best chance of a winner came in the 67th minute when Mkhitaryan chipped a free-kick into the box and Francesco Acerbi got his head to the ball, but Martinez got down smartly to save.

At the other end, Vasquez forced a save from Sommer who then spilled the ball, offering hope to Dragusin who was harshly booked for colliding with the goalkeeper as he challenged for the loose ball.

Dragusin had a late chance to win it but headed wide as Inter were forced to settle for a point.

Inter Milan conceded twice in the last eight minutes of extra-time as their grip on the Coppa Italia came to an end with a 2-1 defeat to Bologna.

Lautaro Martinez had a penalty saved as normal time ended goalless, before Carlos Augusto headed hosts Inter into a 92nd-minute lead.

But Sam Beukema and Dan Ndoye struck in a dramatic turnaround as the back-to-back cup winners were dumped out at the quarter-final stage for the first time since the 2018-19 season.

Inter’s Marko Arnautovic tried his luck from range but his sixth-minute effort went wide in a cagey start.

Bologna responded with a chance of their own in the 18th minute when Giovanni Fabbian’s shot grazed the outside of the post.

Inter pushed for an opening but were being held off by a stubborn Bologna.

The closest they got in the first half was when Davide Frattesi went down under a challenge but his penalty appeals were waved off.

Inter came out fast after the break and came close in the 49th minute through the dangerous Fratessi.

The goalscoring midfielder lost his marker and met Alessandro Bastoni’s cross, but he failed to connect with the ball properly.

Simone Inzaghi’s side had kept four successive clean sheets prior to this match and their quality showed as their tight back three and hard working midfield stifled any Bologna attack.

But at the other end Martinez missed a golden opportunity to give Inter the lead in the 65th minute.

Bologna’s Tommaso Corazza was deemed to have handled the ball in the box following a corner but Martinez’s placed effort was saved by Federico Ravaglia.

The striker had scored 17 in all competitions up to that point and failed to add to his tally as Inter’s frustrations grew.

The Argentina international was keen to make up for his miss when he drove with the ball before shooting from range, but his shot sailed just over the Bologna crossbar.

The stalemate remained at full-time, but Inter finally broke the deadlock just two minutes into extra-time.

Federico Dimarco’s corner picked out Augusto who rose highest and nodded his effort home.

But the visitors responded eight minutes from time when Joshua Zirkzee flicked on a corner to the charging Beukema who smashed home from close range to make it 1-1.

And Bologna grabbed another in the 116th minute.

Zirkzee produced another moment of brilliance to beat his man in midfield before he threaded a pass through to Ndoye, who casually chipped Emil Audero to give his side a 2-1 win.

Inter Milan were forced to settle for second place in Champions League Group D after a 0-0 draw with leaders Real Sociedad at San Siro.

Last year’s runners-up needed a win to clinch a place among the top seeds heading into the knockout stage but could not break down their impressive Spanish opponents.

A second draw between the sides in the group stage left them locked together with 12 points, but La Real – who conceded just twice in their six matches – topped the pool on goal difference.

The draw did mean both teams kept up their impressive recent runs, with Inter having now gone 14 games without defeat.

Real Sociedad are now unbeaten in eight and have still only lost to Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in all competitions this season.

And it was the visitors who dominated possession early on but, other than a couple of promising runs from Take Kubo, they failed to seriously test the visiting defence.

Inter were happy to hit on the break and they came closest to scoring in a first half of few chances.

The lively Marcus Thuram caused problems, and his surging run created an opening for Henrikh Mkhitaryan, but his goalbound effort was brilliantly cleared by Sociedad defender Hamari Traore.

Federico Dimarco then forced a save out of visiting goalkeeper Alex Remiro just before the interval.

Davide Frattesi fired over 10 minutes into the second half after La Real did not deal with a long throw, before Juan Cuadrado drove narrowly wide.

Simone Inzaghi brought on top-scorer Lautaro Martinez, midfielder Nicolo Barella and Marko Arnautovic with 25 minutes to go as Inter chased a winner which would have clinched top spot.

But they were forced into some defending five minutes later, with former Manchester United defender Matteo Darmian blocking an effort from Arsen Zakharyan before Inter goalkeeper Yann Sommer smothered Mikel Oyarzabal’s shot.

Real Sociedad thought they had a penalty with 15 minutes left when Kubo went down in the area but a VAR review led to referee Sandro Scharer overturning his decision.

Sommer had to save from Oyarzabal again to keep Inter’s hopes alive.

Inter poured forward as they looked for a late winner and they created a stoppage-time chance for Martinez. But the Argentina World Cup winner opted to go for goal himself from a tight angle instead of looking for a team-mate and and he could only lash his shot high over the crossbar.

Inter Milan returned to the Serie A summit with a 4-0 win over Udinese at the San Siro.

Hakan Calhanoglu, Federico Di Marco and Marcus Thruam rewarded Nerazzurri dominance in a seven-minute scoring burst before half-time.

Lautaro Martinez put the gloss on victory six minutes from time by winning possession and advancing to lash home his 14th goal of the season from 20 yards.

Udinese might have argued their plan to shackle Inter was working until Nehuen Perez pulled back Martinez and Calhanoglu converted from the penalty spot after 37 minutes.

This was Inter’s 12th win from 15 league games and again took them two points clear of Juventus, who had beaten champions Napoli on Friday.

Udinese arrived at the San Siro – scene of their only league victory this season against Milan last month – as Serie A draw specialists, with the points being shared in nine of their 14 games.

But Udinese’s cause was not helped by the absence of injured defenders Jaka Bijol and Enzo Ebosse and the writing was on the wall inside 10 minutes.

Christian Kabasele twice cut out dangerous crosses and Martinez headed Di Marco’s cross against a post.

A fine Inter move also split open the visitors as Yann Bisseck, making his first Serie A start, crossed from the byline but Di Marco lacked the power to beat the diving Marco Silvestri.

Udinese escaped their own half for the first time and Roberto Pereyra fired wide when the veteran Argentinian might have been expected to do better.

Thuram headed over and Calhanoglu drove just wide before Udinese were let down by rash defending from Perez.

Martinez was attempting to reach Di Marco’s cross but Perez guaranteed that he would not, fouling his fellow countryman to prompt a lengthy VAR check which ended with Calhanoglu sending Silvestri the wrong way for his fourth goal in five league games.

Calhanoglu was involved again as Inter doubled their lead within five minutes, the Turkish midfielder setting up Di Marco who drilled an unstoppable left-footed drive past Silvestri.

The best was still to come before the break from a flowing 21-pass Inter move.

Di Marco stepped up the urgency and an incisive pass from Henrikh Mkhitaryan gave Thuram a simple tap-in for his seventh goal of the campaign.

Inter’s intensity dropped after the break and Udinese went close when goalkeeper Yann Sommer failed to hold substitute Sandi Lovric’s shot from the edge of the area.

Lorenzo Lucca dispatched the rebound but the on-loan striker was standing in an offside position and the final word belonged to Serie A top scorer Martinez.

Inter Milan stormed back from three goals down to draw 3-3 away to Benfica after Joao Mario’s first-half hat-trick.

The Portuguese international bagged a brace inside the first 15 minutes and netted a third just after the half-hour mark to put Benfica on course for their first win in the group stages.

Inter Milan, who had already qualified, sparked a second-half fightback when Marko Arnautovic pulled a goal back six minutes after the break before Davide Frattesi’s 58th-minute goal gave the away side more hope.

The comeback was complete with 18 minutes to go when Alexis Sanchez netted a penalty before Antonio Silva saw red late on for Benfica.

The Portuguese side opened the scoring in the fifth minute after a looped ball into the box was headed down by Casper Tengstedt into the path of Mario, who lashed home from close range.

Inter almost had an equaliser five minutes later but Kristjan Asllani’s effort from outside the box was well saved by Anatoliy Trubin.

The hosts doubled their lead in the 15th minute when Tengstedt capitalised on some lazy Inter possession and drilled a low ball into the box which fell nicely for Mario to poke home.

Benfica made it three in the 34th minute and Tengstedt was once again the creator, this time he lifted a ball into the six-yard box and Mario was on hand to pounce and hit the first Champions League hat-trick of his career.

Inter started the second period with much more intent than the first and were denied when Carlos Augusto’s powerful effort was turned behind by Trubin and the Ukrainian shot stopper was on hand to push Sanchez’s free-kick over the crossbar a couple of minutes later.

The away side cut the deficit to two goals in the 51st minute when Yann Aurel Bisseck’s header was pushed into the path of Arnautovic who prodded in from close range.

Inter grabbed their second just before the hour mark when Francesco Acerbi’s cross was wonderfully volleyed home by Frattesi to make it 3-2.

The visitors had a chance to equalise after Marcus Thuram was brought down by Nicolas Otamendi inside the area and Sanchez sent Trubin the wrong way from the resulting spot-kick to dramatically level things up at three apiece.

Benfica almost regained their lead in the 82nd minute after Di Maria’s curling effort from outside the area looked to be heading into the top corner but Emil Audero palmed behind for a corner.

The home side were then reduced to 10 men a couple of minutes later. Antonio Silva lunged in late on Nicolo Barella and his yellow card was upgraded to a red after a VAR check.

Inter had a chance to snatch it late on but Barella’s first-time effort from inside the box was lashed against the post before Trubin held on to Federico Dimarco’s second shot as both sides took a share of the spoils.

Inter Milan remain two points clear at the top of Serie A after coming from behind to draw 1-1 at nearest rivals Juventus.

Dusan Vlahovic gave the home side the lead after starting and finishing a well-worked move in the 27th minute, but Lautaro Martinez equalised just five minutes later with a first-time finish which capped a stunning team goal.

The latest instalment of the derby d’Italia petered out in the second half and Juve never seriously threatened to complete a sixth straight win which would have taken them a point clear at the summit.

The first good chance fell to the home side in the 15th minute and Federico Chiesa should have done better than shooting wide after being picked out in the centre of the area.

At the other end, Martinez was unable to significantly trouble Wojciech Szczesny with a header after getting on the end of a deep cross from Denzel Dumfries.

However, any fears that two teams with such superb defensive records would lead to a stalemate were extinguished in brilliant style as Juve took the lead in the 27th minute.

Vlahovic won the ball in midfield and released Chiesa to race into the penalty area, where he pulled the ball back perfectly for Vlahovic to open up his body and side-foot a shot into the bottom corner.

Vlahovic’s fifth goal of the season was his first since mid-September but was cancelled out five minutes later thanks to a stunning team move from the visitors.

Goalkeeper Yann Sommer’s ball to Dumfries was met with a first-time pass to Nicolo Barella, who deftly turned the ball immediately into the path of Marcus Thuram.

Thuram surged forward before picking out Martinez with a low cross which the Argentinian struck first-time into the bottom corner – just the eighth goal Massimiliano Allegri’s side have conceded in the league this season.

Inter dominated possession in the second half as they showed why they came into the fixture with a 100 per cent away record, although there were more yellow cards than clear-cut chances in a disappointing 45 minutes.

Juan Cuadrado had the right to feel hard done by at being booked after seemingly winning the ball in a 50-50 challenge, but Filip Kostic could have no complaints about being cautioned for a cynical foul which halted a counter-attack from the visitors.

Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri has suggested Sunday’s table-topping clash with Inter Milan is not the time for change.

Inter go into the latest instalment of the derby d’Italia with a two-point advantage at the top of the Serie A table.

A sixth success in a row for Juventus would take them to the summit and Allegri has hinted he would not be making radical changes to his winning side.

The 56-year-old told a press conference: “We’re approaching the game as best we can and we’ve prepared well for it.

“It’s a big test for us and it can help us improve as a team. We’re up against the league leaders and the title favourites.

“We have lots of midfield options and I don’t think switching formation is a good idea. All our forwards are in good shape. They have to make a decisive contribution.”

Juventus conceded their first goal since September in the 2-1 home win over Cagliari last time out and Allegri continued: “It will come down to small margins tomorrow and it should be an excellent test for us. The lads are all ready to play.

“It’s sure to be a great football spectacle with a full stadium – but the season doesn’t end tomorrow.

“It’s been a long time since we were playing for top spot. We must show our desire to win it. I’m confident the lads will perform well.

“We’re approaching the game as best we can and we’ve prepared well for it. It’s a big test for us and it can help us improve as a team. We’re up against the league leaders and the title favourites.

“I have a solid, close-knit group of players who are ready to produce a big performance in what will be a fantastic match for Italian football. We must keep working away and maintain our hunger.

“Football is full of surprises and you have to deal with them calmly.”

On their opponents, he added: “(Simone) Inzaghi and Inter are doing really well. They give little away and if they take the lead, it’s difficult to get back in the game.”

Inter have a 100 per cent away record and are chasing a seventh-successive victory in all competitions.

Boss Inzaghi told his team’s pre-match press conference: “It will be a challenging game, with maximum concentration required.”

Benjamin Pavard is again ruled out for the visitors with the knee injury sustained in the win at Atalanta three weeks ago, while fellow defender Alessandro Bastoni joins him on the sidelines because of a calf issue sustained on international duty with Italy.

Frosinone coach Eusebio Di Francesco feels his side will have to play beyond their limits when they face the “most complete” team Inter Milan at the San Siro on Sunday.

The Nerazzurri secured a place in the Champions League knockout stages with a 1-0 win away at RB Salzburg on Wednesday night, which was a fifth-straight victory through all competitions.

Simone Inzaghi’s side, though, were knocked off the top of Serie A after Juventus beat Cagliari on Saturday.

Frosinone, who were promoted to the top flight this season, got themselves back on track last weekend with victory over Empoli, having lost back-to-back league games.

Canaries coach Di Francesco, though, is all too aware of just what challenge awaits his side at the San Siro.

“I believe that in order to compete with Inter we will have to outdo ourselves,” Di Francesco said.

“Inter are the most complete team, they are difficult to face and a club who have given continuity to the work of their coach.

“He has many weapons at his disposal, they are so difficult to deal with from all points of view.

“But what is most scary about Inter is the awareness, the knowledge they have among themselves which makes them a tough team to beat.

“If so far we have put in 10 out of 10, now to be able to compete with this Inter we will have to put in, I won’t say double, but come close.

“We must go and play this match with the same enthusiasm we have had so far.”

Despite the challenges ahead, Di Francesco wants his side to stay true to the values which have helped push them towards the top half of the table.

“In terms of the characteristics of the players who will be involved, the right solutions must be chosen, but we must not lose our identity and our principles of play,” said Di Francesco, who took over the newly-promoted side in the summer following the departure of Fabio Grosso.

“We must rely on the fact of enthusiasm, of the great desire to go and play the match.”

The Frosinone coach told a press conference: “I don’t share the concept that it’s not possible to face Inter with a smile and try to have fun – factors that will have to accompany us until the end of the championship this season.”

Di Francesco feels his players must focus on their collective goal, rather than get swept up in the occasion.

“I tried to tell my boys that when you enter the pitch in any stadium the strength lies in putting two plugs in your ears and to just focus on your team’s goal,” he said.

“That is what I did this week too, I didn’t give much weight to the match itself.

“I made it clear that we will have a strong team to fight against, however that doesn’t mean just standing behind them, but we must also be trying to fight back.”

Inter coach Inzaghi did not hold a media conference ahead of Sunday’s Serie A fixture.

Inzaghi is expected to recall Nicolo Barella after the midfielder did not feature in the Champions League.

Nerazzurri captain Lautaro Martinez started on the bench in Salzburg before coming on during the second half and scoring the late penalty which secured a 1-0 win.

Inter Milan booked their place in the Champions League knockout stages with a dramatic 1-0 win away at RB Salzburg.

The in-form Lautaro Martinez came off the bench to secure the victory, netting from the penalty spot in the 85th minute to put the Italian side on 10 points in Group D, seven above their opponents.

Salzburg relied on the heroics of goalkeeper Alexander Schlager but they finally succumbed to Serie A leading scorer Martinez.

The hosts started strong and enjoyed touches in dangerous areas where they produced half chances through Roko Simic and Mads Bidstrup, whose 12th-minute shot failed to hit the target.

Inter were fortunate not to concede a penalty when Carlos Augusto appeared to bundle Simic to the ground from a corner but the referee did not award the hosts the spot-kick they searched for.

Inter went close after 35 minutes.

Set-piece specialist Hakan Calhanoglu stood over a free-kick and his whipped pass found the head of Alessandro Bastoni whose effort narrowly went wide.

Inter should have taken the lead on the stroke of half-time.

Marcus Thuram went forward and played a testing ball to Alexis Sanchez who acted quick and opted to pick out Davide Frattesi, but he blazed his effort over the bar.

Manager Simone Inzaghi cut a frustrated figure and must have motivated his men at half-time because they came out looking stronger in the second half.

In the 73rd minute they threatened again from a set-piece.

Federico Dimarco lined up the ball from a corner and delivered a perfect cross to Thuram who somehow failed to throw his head onto the ball inside the six-yard box.

Moments later Schlager saved Kristjan Asllani’s dipping long-range effort.

Inter’s players were up in arms when Thuram was denied a penalty in the 80th minute.

Substitute Martinez, who has 12 league goals to his name this term, glided with the ball and played in Thuram who took it around his marker before being brought down.

Inter’s appeals were waved off before Martinez’s header was sensationally tipped onto the bar by Schlager.

But Salzburg’s defence was finally breached when they conceded a penalty with five minutes remaining.

Nicolo Barella’s shot struck the arm of Bidstrup and Martinez stepped up to send Schlager the wrong way.

Inter Milan boss Simone Inzaghi has warned his side they will need to be at their best if they are to get the victory they need at Red Bull Salzburg to clinch qualification for the Champions League knock-out stages.

Inter travel to the Red Bull Arena on Wednesday second in Group D, behind Real Sociedad on goal difference, and knowing a win would ensure progression with two games to spare.

The Serie A side beat Salzburg 2-1 in the reverse fixture last month, but Inzaghi says the Austrians, who lie third in the pool, are capable of causing last season’s beaten finalists problems.

“We know the importance of tomorrow night’s match,” he said at a press conference.

“We know that we are facing opponents who have demonstrated their worth at the San Siro. Salzburg are a physical team that run a lot, with excellent players.

“We have already played here and we know how strong the enthusiasm of the fans is. We have to play an Inter match because Salzburg are a team that knows how to play these matches.

“Salzburg are a quality team, well-organised. As at the San Siro, tomorrow we will have difficulties and we should overcome them together in the best possible way.

“We will need technique and physicality. We will need the best Inter, we know the importance of the match and we will try to put on an important match.”

Inter will be without France defender Benjamin Pavard, who is facing a spell on the sidelines after dislocating his kneecap against Atalanta on Saturday.

Inzaghi said Denzel Dumfries may not be able to start the game, with Yann Aurel Bisseck an option to start at right-back.

The Inter boss said: “He (Bisseck) is working very well, he is a growing player who is showing great signs in training and in the minutes he has had available.

“Dumfries had not yet recovered fully to be able to train. I spoke about it with the doctors and physiotherapists, he is there, but it is not yet known whether he will start the match.

“I have the option of Bisseck, (Stefan) de Vrij, possibly I can put Carlos Augusto on the right.

“The possibilities are different. We could also use Darmian in that role.”

Inter Milan defender Benjamin Pavard faces a spell on the sidelines after suffering a dislocated kneecap.

The 27-year-old was forced off in the first half of Inter’s 2-1 Serie A win at Atalanta on Saturday.

“Benjamin Pavard underwent a medical examination at the Humanitas Institute in Rozzano this morning,” the Serie A leaders said in a statement on Monday.

“The tests ascertain that he has suffered a dislocated kneecap.

“The French defender will need to wear a knee brace for 3/4 weeks before starting his rehabilitation process.”

World Cup winner Pavard joined Inter from Bayern Munich at the end of August and has made nine appearances for the Nerazzurri.

Inter Milan extended their unbeaten start in Champions League Group D with a 2-1 win over Red Bull Salzburg at San Siro.

Oscar Gloukh gave the Austrians hope when he cancelled out an opener from Alexis Sanchez but Hakan Calhanoglu’s second-half penalty extended the fine form of Simone Inzaghi’s side.

Inter bounced into the game off the back of a 3-0 win over Torino on Saturday but found themselves up against it early on against confident opponents who had started their campaign with an eye-catching 2-0 win at Benfica.

Gloukh had the first chance when he rifled a fifth-minute chance straight at Inter keeper Yann Sommer, and the same player combined well with Maurits Kjaergaard only for the Dane to mis-kick straight at the Swiss stopper.

Inter barely threatened in the opening quarter of an hour but they snatched the lead against the run of play in the 19th minute when Davide Frattesi swept up a pass from Henrikh Mkhitaryan and played a neat ball to Sanchez who fired home.

The goal galvanised the hosts who pushed for a second and Salzburg defender Amar Dedic almost presented them one when he deflected a cross from Denzel Dumfries inches wide of his own goal.

Calhanoglu’s set-pieces posed a constant threat to the Austrian defence while Sanchez played in Lautaro Martinez who flashed a shot across the face of goal.

Inter continued in the ascendency early in the second half but it was Salzburg’s turn to break through against the run of play in the 57th minute after Kjaergaard dealt well with a long ball out of defence from Roko Simic.

The Dane found Gloukh, who rounded off a brilliant team move by shooting beyond Sommer and giving his side realistic hopes of another momentous scalp.

But Salzburg’s revival lasted just eight minutes before Frattesi fell under a careless challenge by Lucas Gourna-Douath in the box and Calhanoglu duly stepped up to send visiting keeper Alexander Schlager the wrong way.

Augusto powered a cross by Matteo Darmian straight at Schlager while Martinez blazed a good chance over the bar as Inter looked to make the game safe.

Inzaghi’s men thought they were home and dry 10 minutes from time when Frattesi’s ball across the box fell to Martinez, who fired home before VAR ruled Frattesi offside.

Salzburg failed to find the breakthrough they required and Inter played out the remaining minutes relatively comfortably to cement their status as the team to beat in Group D.

Inter Milan boss Simone Inzaghi has urged his side to improve their concentration as they visit Torino on Saturday.

Inter lost ground at the top of Serie A when they threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at home to Bologna, allowing city rivals AC Milan to open up a two-point lead.

A tough test awaits when they head to Turin and Inzaghi knows his side cannot afford any more lapses.

“There will be a need for a very high concentration and desire to do well because a very difficult match awaits us. Intense,” he told Inter TV.

“We are working hard on the defensive organisation. The league table and performance in Europe say we are doing well, but we need to improve again: in the last match, for example, we conceded two clearly avoidable goals and therefore we must make progress day after day.

“The whole team must participate in the non-possession phase.

“Preparing for the first game back from a break is never easy. Most of the players got back on Wednesday, the South Americans yesterday.

“We know that Torino are a good team with a coach in his third year with them. We’ll need a great Inter performance.”

 

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A post shared by Lautaro Javier Martinez (@lautaromartinez)

 

 

Scoring goals is certainly not a problem, with 21 in eight games, but Inzaghi thinks there is more to come.

“It’s true, we score a lot and with different players, but we know that we can still improve this figure,” he added. “By training as best we can and finding more goals also with our defenders, with the midfielders.”

Captain Lautaro Martinez has been at the forefront of that, scoring 11 goals in 10 appearances.

“Lautaro is a player with a huge sense of belonging,” Inzaghi added. “He’s improved a lot in the last couple of years and, of course, the armband has given him more responsibility. He also has top team-mates who always try to set him up.”

Inter will assess their players, including Nicolo Barella, as they return from international duty.

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