Goal hungry Higuain and Icardi cross swords in classic Inter-Juve tie
ARGENTINE strikers Gonzalo Higuain and Mauro Icardi are level on three goals from as many games when they lead the attacks of Juventus and Inter Milan on Sunday in a classic Serie A encounter.
Both scored a brace last weekend when reigning champions Juve defeated Sassuolo 3-1 to go alone at the top on a maximum nine points, while the Nerazzurri rallied to a last-gasp 2-1 win at newcomers Pescara for a four-point tally.
Things were not as rosy for Juve in a Champions League opener they drew 0-0 at home to Sevilla yesterday, with Higuain nodding his best chance against the bar and most Bianconeri playing below par.
“For me we could have been better in the way we moved the ball, and often the pass to split the defence was missing,” coach Massimiliano Allegri said.
“I’m not too concerned, I’m confident we’ll improve in the necessary areas in time.”
Inter began Europa League action yesterday at home to Hapoel BeerSheva and are again at the Giuseppe Meazza against the Bianconeri as the season gets busy with a midweek round set for Wednesday.
“It’s only natural to look forward to the Juventus game,” team captain Icardi said, “but we’re professionals and need to focus on this one (against the Israeli champions).”
New coach Frank de Boer savoured his first win and now prepares for his first big match at the Nerazzurri’s helm.
“It’s a fascinating game. We’ll be up against a great side but we can cause them problems,” the Dutchman said.
“We need to improve in some areas because at times we lose the ball too easily.
“(Juve) are a quality side so we need to raise our game. That said, we fought hard (on Sunday in Pescara) and that’s why we got the three points.”
A tough round opener awaits the Devils today at in-form Sampdoria, who battled with Roma only to be edged 3-2 by a late penalty last time.
The Rome Giallorossi close the weekend late Sunday with a centralItaly derby at Fiorentina after both play in the Europa League.
Lazio and Pescara meet tomorrow before Napoli take on Bologna. Still bitter over Higuain’s departure, the Neapolitans seem to have found a replacement in Arkadiusz Milik, a Pole who got a brace in domestic action and repeated the feat on Tuesday in the Champions League, sealing a 2-1 rally at Dynamo Kiev. – dpa