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Inter keep hopes alive!

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eThird meets fourth in a crucial clash at the Allianz Stadium. Juventus were looking to solidify their hold on the final Champions League spot. Meanwhile, Inter were seeking to close the gap to Napoli and AC Milan to just three points.

It was a busy start to the match. Dusan Vlahovic had the first shot on target, a low effort easily gathered by Samir Handanovic. Then came a moment of concern for Manuel Locatelli, who caught a boot to the head from Lautaro Martinez. Inter had their first chance with Milan Skriniar’s header pushed aside by Wojciech Szczesny.

 

The home side were flying forward at every opportunity. Giorgio Chiellini hitting the crossbar from half a yard out. Alvaro Morata had a sharp-headed chance but placed his effort across the face of the goal. The game was being played at a rapid pace, with chances for both sides. Paulo Dybala tested Handanovic while Hakan Calhanoglu was denied by a block from Matthijs de Ligt.

 

Just before halftime, all hell broke loose. Denzel Dumfries was felled by Morata inside the penalty box. Though the contact looked light, Inter were awarded a penalty after VAR asked the referee to check. Szczesny saved from Calhanoglu and in the ensuing melee, the ball ended up in the net. However, the referee blew for a foul against Inter. VAR intervened once again, with Juventus players having encroached and the penalty was to be retaken. Calhanoglu made no mistake this time as Inter took a 1-0 lead at the break.

 

The second half was more of the same. Juventus were attacking more and more, trying to level. Vlahovic had a good chance on his weaker foot but skewed his effort wide. Denis Zakaria had the best chance, striking the post with 15 minutes of play left.

Juventus tried their best but it was not to be as Inter held out for the win.

 

Here are the three key takeaways from the match:

Unlucky Juventus lose out

It was a fantastic opening 40 minutes by the Old Lady. They harried and hassled Inter, streaming forward at every opportunity. The energy was electric inside the stadium and it looked a goal was coming. Chiellini had a great chance, Morata had a header, and Dybala troubled Handanovic. However, Inter held out and took the lead after a lot of confusion surrounding the penalty. Max Allegri was understandably aggrieved by the decision and so were the fans. They tried again in the second half, Zakaria going closest while Vlahovic tried his best too. However, the goal did not come and they fell to their first defeat in 16 league games.

 

Inspired Inter hold on for the win

It felt like Inter were going be dead and buried for a while. They could barely get a sniff of the ball in the opening minutes. Handanovic was all over the place while the midfield looked off theย  pace. Inter were resorting to fouls and last-ditch defending in order to keep the scores level. However, they got slightly lucky with the penalty call and the fact that it was retaken after being missed. The second half was about Inter defending their lead than getting another goal. Skriniar was doing an expert number on Vlahovic though they were guilty of overplaying in their half at times. Simone Inzaghi will be relieved that the win was secured after two consecutive draws in recent times.

 

Inter climb; Juventus worry

Inter have closed the gap to three points, level on games with AC Milan and one less than Napoli. They have rekindled their hopes of defending the Scudetto and the final few weeks will have to faulbe tless Meanwhile, Juventus remain just five points ahead of Roma in fifth-place, with a tenuous grasp on fourth. Allegri knows he will have to fight tooth and nail to remain there towards the end of the season.

Ratul Ghosh
His name means Red and a fan of devilish food, which equals to his favourite team being Manchester United. Can be found sleeping or in front of the TV otherwise. Hates waking up early but loves staying up late for football.

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