Bizarre own goal steals show, In­ter beat Chelsea

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -


In­ter Mi­lan’s Ge­of­frey Kon­dog­bia en­tered the an­nals of sport­ing in­famy with a re­mark­able own goal but the Ital­ian side held on to win 2-1 and con­demn Chelsea to a suc­ces­sive pre-sea­son de­feat yes­ter­day in Sin­ga­pore. In­ter led by two goals from the im­pres­sive Ivan Perisic and Ste­van Jovetic, be­fore what was sup­posed to be a rou­tine back­pass from sub­sti­tute Kon­dog­bia looped over his own goal­keeper and nes­tled into the top cor­ner from fully 40 yards, stunning the crowd of over 32,000.

In­ter goal­keeper Daniele Padelli, who had no chance and held out his hands in as­ton­ish­ment, shrugged off the em­bar­rass­ing mishap, say­ing after­wards it was merely “un­lucky”. Chelsea boss An­to­nio Conte was sym­pa­thetic: “It can hap­pen, can hap­pen-this is foot­ball.” But the French mid­fielder Kon­dog­bia was soon trend­ing on Twit­ter with many call­ing his un­in­ten­tional long-dis­tance lob the best own goal of all time. It over­shad­owed what had oth­er­wise been an im­pres­sive per­for­mance by In­ter, and in par­tic­u­lar Manch­ester United tar­get Perisic. The Croa­t­ian winger played a cen­tral role and scored the Serie A side’s sec­ond goal in the 53rd minute, latch­ing on to a pass from Jovetic be­fore ap­ply­ing a smart fin­ish.

In con­trast, Chelsea’s big-money sign­ing Al­varo Mo­rata was quiet on his first start since mov­ing from Real Madrid last week and made lit­tle im­pact be­fore be­ing sub­sti­tuted in the 64th minute.

Conte said that Mo­rata, cap­tured in a deal re­ported to be worth up to 80 mil­lion eu­ros ($94 mil­lion), was “work­ing well” but con­ceded he needed to do bet­ter. “To­day he tried to do his best, for sure, but he has to im­prove,” said Conte.

In­ter dom­i­nated the early stages. In the first few min­utes a defence-split­ting Mi­lan Skriniar pass found An­to­nio Can­dreva-re­port­edly a Chelsea trans­fer tar­get-who forced Chelsea goal­keeper Thibaut Cour­tois into a fin­ger­tip save.

With the game go­ing a bit flat, the English cham­pi­ons grew into their own. Wil­lian had Chelsea’s first real chance with a de­flected ef­fort in the 27th minute, be­fore David Luiz fizzed a free­kick over.

In­ter found the break­through in the third minute of first-half stop­page time when Jovetic was awarded a penalty af­ter be­ing fouled in the box. His first ef­fort was saved but the striker slot­ted home the re­bound. Af­ter Perisic’s sec­ond, In­ter nearly made it 3-0 as he squared to sub­sti­tute Joao Mario, only for the mid­fielder to shoot straight at Cour­tois. Kon­dog­bia’s un­for­tu­nate in­ter­ven­tion set up a nervy fin­ish but Chelsea were un­able to force the lev­eller. It was a sec­ond de­feat on the spin af­ter los­ing 3-2 to Bay­ern Mu­nich in Sin­ga­pore. — AFP

SIN­GA­PORE: Chelsea’s Wil­lian (L) fights for the ball with In­ter Mi­lan’s Joao Mi­randa dur­ing their In­ter­na­tional Cham­pi­ons Cup foot­ball match in Sin­ga­pore yes­ter­day. — AFP

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