In­ter suf­fer set­back at Torino

New Straits Times - - Sport -

ROME: In­ter Mi­lan’s Cham­pi­ons League qual­i­fi­ca­tion hopes suf­fered a set­back when they man­aged just a soli­tary point in a thrilling 2-2 draw at Torino in a thrilling Serie A clash on Satur­day, while AC Mi­lan made ground on their neigh­bours, beating Genoa 1-0.

An­to­nio Can­dreva’s equaliser res­cued In­ter, who re­main fifth, still five points off the Cham­pi­ons League places.

He slammed the ball into an empty net in the 62nd minute after a glar­ing er­ror from Joe Hart, who failed to claim Cris­tian An­saldi’s pin­point cross.

Afriyie Ac­quah had given Torino the lead after Daniele Baselli had can­celled out Ge­of­frey Kon­dog­bia’s fine solo opener be­fore the break.

“At this point, the Cham­pi­ons League is fur­ther away, be­cause the teams ahead of us are not slow­ing down,” In­ter coach Ste­fano Pi­oli told Ital­ian broad­caster Me­di­aset Pre­mium. “I ex­pected more to­day, per­haps more sharp­ness.

“We need to pre­pare for the fi­nal sprint, win as many matches as pos­si­ble and then see where we are at the end,” he added. “Get­ting third wasn’t go­ing to be easy, but we had the chances to win.”

In­ter trav­elled to Turin on the back of last week­end’s eye-catch­ing 7-1 vic­tory over Ata­lanta, and started brightly, tak­ing the lead in the 27th minute through Kon­dog­bia when he cut in from the right, out­mus­cled two de­fend­ers and slammed home past the cul­pa­ble Hart, who man­aged to get a hand to the ball.

While In­ter have im­proved sig­nif­i­cantly un­der Pi­oli, fa­mil­iar fail­ings re­main, and they were pegged back five min­utes later when Daniele Baselli prof­ited from some sloppy de­fend­ing at a cor­ner to head past Samir Han­danovic,

In­ter lacked the ur­gency and in­tri­cacy that char­ac­terised their mar­vel­lous dis­play against Ata­lanta, and Han­danovic was forced to make a series of fine saves be­fore Ac­quah fired the hosts ahead from the edge of the box in the 59th minute.

The point takes In­ter up to 55 points, but they re­main in fifth and five be­hind Napoli, who cur­rently oc­cupy the cru­cial third place ahead of their match at Em­poli late yes­ter­day. Lead­ers Ju­ven­tus were at Sam­p­do­ria, while Roma, in sec­ond, hosted Sas­suolo.

In­con­sis­tent Torino are in 10th on 40 points.

Mi­lan moved up to sixth and within two points of In­ter with a 10 vic­tory over Genoa. Mati Fernandez scor­ing his first goal for Vin­cenzo Mon­tella’s side — a de­li­cious lob after light­ning in­ter­play with Gian­luca La­padula in the 33rd minute.

Genoa re­main in 16th on 29 points. Reuters

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