Written By Onyeka Daniel

Inter Milan reclaimed their spot at the top of the Serie A table by beating Udinese after Juventus taken a temporary lead following their 1-0 win against Napoli. Inter were cruising to victory by the half time break with a Hakan Calhanoglu penalty, Federico Dimarco angled drive and long passing move leading up to the Marcus Thuram cushioned volley.

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Lautaro Martinez put the icing on the cake late on by winning it back and blasting from outside the box for the 4-0 result, and they are just two points ahead of Juventus in second. That means that one result would be all that it would take for the Bianconeri to catch up or overtake the Nerazzurri.

Juventus are having to keep putting the pressure on. And Inter are having to keep avoiding potential setbacks to stay ahead of the Bianconeri in the title race. Inter’s emphatic victory over Udinese was the ideal response. Neither of the two teams are likely to make it easy for each other. This is the fourth time this season that Inter have had to play after Juventus had already taken the top spot and each time, Inter always respond.

According to Inter captain, Lautaro Martinez he admitted that it’s not easy to have to play after Juventus win. The 26-year-old spoke to Sky Sport Italia after the win over Udinese. He also addressed his contract extension situation at the club. “It was important for us to respond to Juve,” the Inter captain noted. “It’s not easy to always play after they do all the time,” he added.


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“But we had to reclaim top spot.” Of the win over Udinese, Martinez said that “We attack the opponents a lot and win the ball in their half of the pitch a lot.” “This leads us to create many opportunities,” he said. “In the first half we put a lot of intensity into it.” In this game, he scored his 14th goal of the season, putting him amongst some of the most prolific strikers in the club’s history and also in Europe this year. When asked how Inter play with such ease in attack, Martinez said “We work hard in training every day.”

“You can see the coach’s hand in it,” he continued. Meanwhile, Martinez also talked about his contract extension talks with Inter. “I’m calm,” the striker said regarding the talks. “I’m happy here and I’m thinking about the pitch.” “My family and agents will take care of the rest,” he further added. For Inter manager, he is amused by his new ‘Demon of Piacenza’ nickname and reveals what he saw in Inter’s 4-0 win over Udinese that ‘is very pleasing for a coach.’

“They were very beautiful goals, the lads did really well. I was afraid of this game, as I saw Udinese win here three weeks ago against Milan. They are near the bottom of the table right now, but they have better quality than that would suggest,” Inzaghi said in his own post match interview. “It could be dangerous on the counter-attack, but the lads did brilliantly to keep the right attitude and intensity from start to finish.”

“We gave a response worthy of a great team. We have to concentrate on ourselves and not really what happens elsewhere. We tend to play after Juve, but we are used to it. Fortunately, this squad has worked so hard and with great enthusiasm since the summer.” The statistics are truly remarkable, scoring 37 goals, conceding only seven and keeping 10 clean sheets in Serie A this season.

Inzaghi was told he has been nicknamed ‘The Demon of Piacenza’ for his tendency to create magic with his teams. “It is pleasing, but we all know that football moves quickly. So we want to enjoy these evenings and the targets we achieve, like Champions League Round of 16 and the Club World Cup. The fans are wonderful and when things weren’t going as well, they were always by our side.”

Martinez said that Inter play in more advanced roles, with a higher line, and that makes it more interesting for the players themselves. “That is quite possible. Not all games go the same way. The strikers are helping out, as they are the first who must get us back up the field. We know that we’re doing well, but there are dangerous around every corner like injuries, setbacks, and we showed today that we had a great performance despite missing quite a few key players.

“As a coach, it is great to see your players work so hard to win back the ball, be aggressive and score goals. Now we have a very important match coming up and must recover mental and physical energy.” Now a huge appointment awaits Inter, as they must beat Real Sociedad at San Siro on Tuesday evening in order to guarantee first place in the Champions League group.

Inzaghi seemed to hint at his choices for that fixture when explaining what he was telling Davide Frattesi on the bench. “I was not sure whether to start Davide, but considering the way the game was going and how much we need him in the next match, I told him to relax. Nicolò Barella and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are two fantastic players, as is Frattesi, so there is competition for places. He is working so hard in training and already scored a few big goals for us. We’ll likely need him on Tuesday.”

There were even suggestions in the papers that Frattesi would be used today as a right wing-back in place of injured Denzel Dumfries. “No, that was not an option. Juan Cuadrado has a tendon issue that he is struggling with and doesn’t have 90 minutes in his legs, but fortunately I have Matteo Darmian who started as the right wing-back, then moved to the left and eventually to central defence. A player like Darmian is a fortune for any coach.” He further added.


Italian wingback Federico Dimarco feels that Inter must focus on themselves despite Juventus being a formidable rival. He spoke to InterTV after 4-0 win over Udinese. In the view of Dimarco, the best thing for the Nerazzurri to do is simply to not worry too much about what Juventus are capable of and concentrate on themselves.

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“Juventus are a strong team,” Dimarco said. “As are Milan, Roma, Napoli.” “But we have to focus on ourselves rather than on the other teams in the table,” he further added. Dimarco said that “I’m happy for the team because we have the right mentality. We’re playing well.” “And by playing well, the results are arriving,” he added.

And as far as being compared to some great players, Dimarco admitted that he’s not the biggest fan. “It’s nice, but I don’t like comparisons,” the 24-year-old said. “We’re talking about players who have written part of the history of Inter,” he noted. “We’re talking about great left-backs in history.” “But at the same time, I’m happy to be compared to them. Of course.” He concluded.

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