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Written By Onyeka Daniel

Yesterday at the Allianz arena, it was Juventus vs Inter Milan in the derby d’Italia and it ended 1-1 with the Bianconeri taking the lead in Turin with Dusan Vlahovic on a Federico Chiesa assist. But it was almost immediately cancelled out by Lautaro Martinez for the Nerazzurri.

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And while the game was almost devoid of any controversy, all thanks to the commanding presence of Marco Guida, there were calls that VAR should have intervened on that Inter goal. Some Juventus fans and Tuttosport suggest that Martinez’s goal should’ve been disallowed, refereeing experts are confident there was no foul on Chiesa.

Few minutes after the opener from the home side, Matteo Darmian won back the ball from Chiesa in midfield, sparking the Inter move that resulted in the goal. According to Turin-based newspaper Tuttosport, there was an error from the referee and VAR in not considering the Darmian challenge a foul for an elbow in Chiesa’s face.

However, DAZN showed replays from multiple angles that confirm Darmian’s arm was across Chiesa’s chest and never made contact with his face. Also according to refereeing expert Luca Marelli, VAR should not intervene, as it was a physical challenge, but not an elbow. He also notes that Juan Cuadrado did not warrant a red card for his lunge on Filip Kostic, as he got the ball first and followed through, so at most it was the yellow that he in fact received.


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CBS in a post on X, formerly Twitter, also praised the movement of the Argentine to deceive his marker and meet the cross from his strike partner. The Nerazzurri captain bagged his 13th goal this season, and he celebrated angrily, by shouting towards Juventus’ Curva Sud and upsetting the Bianconeri’s supporters who replied by insulting him.

A big portion of the crowd shouted ‘scemo, scemo’, fool in English, while Lautaro’s teammates ran towards the Argentinean to hug him. Reacting to the goal, Juventus coach, Massimiliano Allegri, revealed that his player should’ve done enough avoid conceding that equalizer, while agreeing the main focus was to ‘avoid defeat’ in the game.

The result saw their run of five consecutive Serie A home wins come to a halt and the gap at the top of the table remains only two points, though it allows Milan and Napoli to close up on the leading pair. “We conceded a very naïve goal, especially as it was only a few minutes after our opener. Inter have already shown that when they have spaces to run into, it makes it easier for them,” Allegri said in his post match interview.

“We knew that they tended to pull back low from the by-line and had worked on that, but we conceded it anyway. Perhaps we should’ve fouled them earlier before they got into that position.” The Inter goal was fairly route one with a move started by Yann Sommer, sending Denzel Dumfries and then Marcus Thuram down the right. “They did well moving it quickly. What we should’ve done was Rugani or Bremer getting closer to Thuram, especially Bremer fouling Thuram so he couldn’t make that pass. This is one of Inter’s strengths and we had practiced all week knowing this was something they did.”

Chiesa, McKennie and Vlahovic were working together to press the Inter players and prevent them getting smooth moves out from the back. “Fortune favours the brave, so we had to be solid, aggressive and we are finding a better sense of balance than in the early games of the season. We must continue to improve and a solid defence is very important.”

Vlahovic ended his goal drought and had a slightly controversial celebration, pointing to his name and then urging critics to stay quiet. “Dusan had I think his best performance since coming to Juventus. Physically he beat De Vrij, while with Chiesa playing wider he also had more spaces to work in. He hasn’t scored for a while, but he always worked hard and let’s also not forget he is only 23 years old.” Allegri and director Cristiano Giuntoli continue to maintain the target is only a Champions League spot, while their players including Adrien Rabiot this evening insist they can challenge for the Scudetto.

“It was a good performance from the team and it was not easy. I think it has been three years since Juventus played for the top of the table. It was a good four and a half years since I did it too, so I am not accustomed to it either,” added Allegri. “Our objective is to finish in the top four. We maintained our advantage over fifth place, we took the right approach against a team that was waiting for our mistake, so that was a show of maturity.

“Unfortunately, we conceded an avoidable goal, but against top teams that can happen.” The coach was asked If there are any reinforcements in January that could bump the Bianconeri up into title contender status, for example replacing suspended midfielders Paul Pogba and Nicolò Fagioli? “The transfer window doesn’t exist for me in January, because I am very happy with the team that I have at my disposal. Our objective is to take it one step at a time and being only two points off Inter is already something positive. “The main thing today was to avoid defeat, as it gives us an extra boost in this growth process.” He concluded.

Meanwhile…

For Inter manager, Simone Inzaghi, the Nerazzurri ‘will take the point’ after falling behind against Juventus, reminding everyone that they lost here last season following a similar match. Juve came about when Vlahovic robbed Dumfries in midfield to spark the Chiesa counter-attack and remained the only Juve shot on target.

“Considering how it came about, we take the point. It’s very difficult to score against Juventus, especially when they have taken the lead. Clearly, we should’ve done better and close Vlahovic down on that goal,” Inzaghi said in his own post match interview with DAZN.

“The team remained concentrated, we scored a great equaliser. We didn’t create a great deal in the second half, but against a strong Juventus side who are deservedly second in the table, we will take the point. We had wanted to come here and win, but considering how things were going, a point is positive.” It Is already progress from last season, where Inter had lost home and away in Serie A, beating their arch-rivals in the Coppa Italia semi-final.

“The team did what it had to do. We had a very similar match last season, in which we actually created four or five really clear-cut chances and then ended up losing the game. We came to Turin aiming to control the possession and it’s very difficult to score against them when going behind, but we stayed sharp and focused.” The visitors took more control in the second half and ended the match with 66 per cent possession.

“We expected Juventus to sit and wait for the counter-attack and that is what happened. We knew that we could find Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Nicolò Barella between the lines, but it was tricky. I told Barella not to track back too much after the break because Juve weren’t pressing us as high anymore and were in their own half.

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“We had expected Juve to man-mark Hakan Calhanoglu, but that did not happen, so he could get between the lines. It’s naturally not easy to find the passing channels when Juve defend so tight.” The stalemate maintains the two-point gap at the top of the table, but allows Milan and Napoli to close up on the front two. “There are several teams built to challenge and more who can push up against the top four.”

The fixture list is tough coming up for Inter, as there are trips to Benfica and Napoli, but squad rotation will not be as extensive as Inzaghi would like. “There are some players missing, Bastoni, Pavard and Sanchez, while Dumfries returned from international duty carrying a knock. I probably would’ve made other choices without those injuries, but we have to play every 48-72 hours and the lads are always at our disposal. “I hope Sanchez will be ready for Lisbon.” He further added.

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