Man Who Parachuted Into Sassuolo vs Inter Game Claims He Didn’t Realise it Was a Football Stadium

​Police have started a procedure for issuing a banning order against a man who parachuted onto the pitch during Inter’s dramatic 4-3 win over Sassuolo at the Mapei Stadium on Sunday – despite the offender claiming he didn’t realise he was landing on a football pitch.

The 36-year old man from Milan took off in a wingsuit and a helmet featuring a camera from the nearby Reggio Campovolo airport and glided onto the pitch near the centre circle with the game poised at 2-1 to Inter, with Romelu Lukaku about to take a penalty.

He was removed from the field by stewards during a short delay. Fortunately, the surprise arrival of the parachutist caused no damage to any players or the pitch itself.

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​​​The man, according to reports in Italy, has been charged by Reggio Emilia Police for the unusual pitch invasion, with a statement claiming: “the action carried out could have caused serious risk to the safety of the numerous members of the public present and of the footballers.”

The reports, via ​Euronews.it, also claim that the man was an experienced parachutist. 

It is said, he had justified his entrance at the Mapei Stadium by telling the local press that he had ‘a slight screw problem’ after launch and had opted for an ’emergency landing’.

Bizarrely, the man also claimed not to have realised the the ‘green square’ was, in fact, a 20,000-seater football stadium, with a game going on.

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Antonio Conte’s ​Inter won the match 4-3, with ​Lukaku dispatching his penalty despite the unexpected interruption.

​Inter, who were 4-1 up in the second half, held off a late fightback from hosts Sassuolo to pick up all three points and keep up the heat on ​Juventus at the top of the ​Serie A table.

They face ​Borussia Dortmund in the ​Champions League on Wednesday before a home tie against Parma in Serie A on Saturday.

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Ranking All 10 of the Yachine Trophy Nominees 2019

​At last, an award designed specifically to recognise goalkeepers, to honour the universal lawbreakers of the beautiful game, who run around getting their grubby mitts on our balls.

Named after legendary Russian hat-wearer and goalkeeper Lev Yashin, ​the inaugural award from France Football will run alongside the Ballon d’Or. Why did no one think of this sooner?

So who’s going to scoop this shiny new prize? Let’s take a look at how the likely order of the ten candidates…


10 – Samir Handanović (Inter)

Samir Handanovic

Would you believe me if I told you that Inter stopper Samir Handanović is 35? Probably not. Would you believe me for saying there are at least nine goalkeepers who have had a better year than him? Probably.

This isn’t a slight against the Slovenian at all, who’s consistently been one of the top players in between the sticks this decade, but unfortunately for him, it wasn’t a standout season. 

Neither he or ​Inter did anything remarkable to warrant a higher place on this list, but a Scudetto could greatly help his chances next year.

Sorry, Samir, no hard feelings.


9 – Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea)

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Yeah, good one, France Football. Standing at 5ft 7in and aged 16 (citation needed), Kepa Arrizabalaga endured a questionable ​first year in the ​Premier League.

Often being caught out by goals just out of his reach, he was thrust into the spotlight when he refused to be substituted in the Carabao Cup final and was subsequently dropped by then-manager Maurizio Sarri.

He regained his place in the side and helped ​Chelsea win the Europa League, which is the only reason why he’s on this list.

Editor’s note: To be fair, he’s been pretty good in 2019/20 so far…


8 – Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)

Manuel Neuer

Ah, that liberating feeling of knowing that ​Manuel Neuer is no longer the consensus choice as the best goalkeeper in the world.

Despite his waning physicality, reaction time and decision making, Neuer remains a solid stopper and deserves a place on this list for his contribution in helping ​Bayern overhaul rivals ​Borussia Dortmund to win yet another ​Bundesliga title.

Uli Hoeness should probably tone down the threats of Bayern players boycotting the Germany national team if he doesn’t start over ​Marc-André ter Stegen, though. Just a thought.


7 – Andre Onana (Ajax)

Dutch Eredivisie"ADO Den Haag v Ajax Amsterdam"

What a year it was for Ajax, claiming their first Eredivisie title in five years and being seconds away from reaching the ​Champions League final.

The Cameroon international pulled off some incredible stops on ​a memorable campaign in Amsterdam, and while he signed a contract extension, the longevity of goalkeepers means a big move is surely near.

Sadly for him, his complicit role in allowing Lucas Moura’s memorable hat trick (notably spilling the ball several times for ​Tottenham’s equaliser) means the lasting image of him from this year is a negative one. Unlucky, Onana.


6 – Wojciech Szczesny (Juventus)

Wojciech Szczesny

An understated part of ​Juventus’ strong defensive core is their Polish goalkeeper, who has come on leaps and bounds since leaving England for Italy.

Szczesny has quietly become a reliable part of one of the world’s biggest sides, despite being labelled a flop after leaving ​Arsenal.

A strong ​Serie A campaign saw Juve win another Scudetto, but Ajax’s brilliance saw them disappointingly fall at the quarter-final stage.


5 – Ederson (Manchester City)

Ederson

​Out of all the players on this list, Ederson will probably be seen as the most revolutionary, the most radical of modern goalkeepers, taking sweeping and distributing to a whole new level – youngsters will look to model their game after him.

So why is he only at number five on this list after winning an unprecedented domestic treble (not the quadruple) with Manchester City?

In truth, the most basic of goalkeeping qualities continue to underpin Ederson’s greatness – his shot-stopping. Many of the few goals City concede leave you wondering if the Brazilian could do better, and that remains a key flaw in his game.


4 – Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur)

Hugo Lloris

Before you get all worked up, we do not think Hugo Lloris is the fourth-best goalkeeper in the world – this is just a prediction of how France Football will judge him in this award.

His role in Tottenham’s run to the Champions League final often gets swept under the carpet because he can be a clown for them domestically. On the road to Madrid, he kept two huge clean sheets against Dortmund, saved a penalty from ​Sergio Aguero, and kept out Ajax late on in Amsterdam.

When you tally it up, he’s had a decent year.


3 – Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid)

Oblak

It doesn’t matter that ​Atletico Madrid may be the most defensive side in any sport that’s ever existed in human history – Oblak’s record of having more clean sheets than he has conceded goals at the club is out of this world.

You rarely see the Slovenian make an error, and has done a superb job of ousting Handanovic as the greatest goalkeeper their country’s ever had (sorry again, Samir).

A lack of tangible success and a comparable ineffectiveness with his feet finds Oblak just third on this list.


2 – ​Marc-André ter Stegen (Barcelona)

Marc-Andre ter Stegen

In nearly any other year, ter Stegen​ would clean up any and every goalkeeping award no matter of their prestige. He represents the perfect modern goalkeeper – he’s consistent, great on the ball, quick, and clutch in big situations.

Ranking him at second feels dirty, and if he were to actually win the award, few would have complaints. 

However, there’s clearly only one player that will win the award…


1 – Alisson (Liverpool)

Alisson Becker

Three out of three Golden Gloves​ picked up last year means you just can’t look past Alisson as the first winner of the Yachine Trophy.

Winning them in the Premier League, Champions League and Copa America (also winning the latter two competitions), the Brazilian has provided a calmness to Liverpool’s backline which would have been teetering on paranoia had Loris Karius remained in goal.

While only occasionally spectacular (see: Liverpool vs Napoli, 2018), Alisson is very rarely at fault for his club or country, while maintaining this consistency on winning sides. He is a worthy winner.


For more from Sean Walsh, follow him on Twitter!

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90min’s Definitive European Player Power Rankings: Week 10

Week 10. Blimey. This is, as they say, the thick of it. The thick of the season. Stuff is happening, all the time, across Europe, and when it’s not, it’s either Thursday (who cares about the Europa League) or a particularly pesky VAR interruption. 

In any case, this has also coincided with what I would call a sort of pivotal moment in politics. That’s right, we’re getting political here at EPPR. But not in that way. Nah, we’ve just teamed up with Armando Iannucci and Jesse Armstrong’s sweary tour de force, ‘The Thick of It’.

F*ckity Enjoy!


15. Radja Nainggolan (New Entry)

Radja Nainggolan

“Yeah, yeah. Andy Murray, Andy Pandy, f*cking Ghandi have a hand-shandy, whatever, just f*ck off out of my life.”

That is essentially what Inter said to Radja Nainggolan this summer. This Saturday’s thundertw*t of a goal was his response. If you haven’t seen it yet, your existence is pitiful and without meaning and I don’t want to know you. So, you know, watch it.


14. Jorginho (New Entry)

Jorginho

“I’d like to nail him to a tree through the head and watch lice slowly crawl over his body, eating off the flesh in a slow and painful death. But that rather bitter anomaly aside, most of the responses to the Warwick report press cuttings were pretty positive.”

And so went Jorginho’s first season in England. People weren’t happy. But the Italian is quietly reversing public opinion while exuding a greater and greater influence at Stamford Bridge. 

He’s certainly not an archetypal Chelsea midfielder, but with more puppeteering performances like the one against Newcastle and he might just be for the years to come. 


13. Jack Grealish (Re-Entry)

Jack Grealish

“I’ve got a to-do list here that’s longer than a f*cking Leonard Cohen song.”

Yes, Jack Grealish has a lot of responsibilities at Aston Villa, but boy does he realish it (lol). Against Brighton, he was everywhere and everything. 

Indeed, if we’re talking most impactful players for their clubs in the Premier League, he can’t be far off the Virgil van Dijk vortex of worship.


12. Luis Muriel (Re-Entry)

Luis Muriel

“All events are regional. Everything that happens in the world has to happen somewhere. Do you see? Even JFK’s assassination was a regional event. But it was also very important. Like this factory visit.”

Oh, you think this is about Luis Muriel going to Atalanta? No, no, this is about Atalanta visiting Lazio, because Atalanta are now definitively a bigger club than Lazio. Trust me. They’re the regional folk, while Muriel and co are traversing Europe, going global.

Anyway, the Colombian got another two goals in a cracking game and the Bergamo outfit are still sat in third place. Nice stuff, Luis. 


11. Arkadiusz Milik (New Entry)

Arkadiusz Milik

“Well it was a bit of a shock for us. In a good way. Like twins or a tax rebate.”

Having not scored since April and started the season with a groin injury that seemed to be still affecting him, Arkadiusz Milik surprised some Napoli fans with a return to scoring ways against Hellas Verona. Twin-scoring ways, to be precise. 

That 2-0 defeat kept Napoli in fourth place, and left their visitors straggling a point behind AC Milan. AC Milan!!! Hellis Verona, more like.


10. Raheem Sterling (Re-Entry)

Raheem Sterling

“Tomorrow, from broadsheets to wank rags, I want pages one, two and three to be a profile of Tom looking like a f*cking political colossus. Y’know: Tom meeting the Pope, Tom in an NHS hospital chatting to little, baldie kiddies. I want pages four and five to be a timeline of British politics with me at the centre looking f*cking indispensable and f*cking benign.”

After some bad press following the Wolves defeat and the, err, Bernardo Silva fiasco, Pep Guardiola wanted a no-nonsense three points against Crystal Palace. And he got it, nonsense and all. 

One of the better parts of this arty nonsense came from Raheem Sterling, with an assist for the ages. Luckily, a certain David Silva was on hand to salvage it with a no-nonsense wallop of a finish. 


9. Marcus Rashford (Up 5)

Marcus Rashford,Virgil Van Dijk

“I’m sensing a change in management styles. From touchy-feely to smashy-testes.”

No player represented Manchester United’s step up in performance against Liverpool like Marcus Rashford. The recently much-maligned marksman was at his effervescent best, besting Virgil van Dijk on more than one occasion, and providing United with the goal no one thought they could muster. 

And yet, even though the above quote might apply to the Red Devils, it remains the case that the below one could resurface at any time:

“Sacked after twelve months, looks like you’ve f*cked up. Sacked after a week, looks like he’s f*cked up.”


8. Lionel Messi (Re-Entry)

Lionel Messi

“Do you know 90% of household dust is made of dead human skin? That’s what you are to me.”

Yes, after a period of rest and recuperation, Lionel Messi is back. And he’s back on his mere mortal-humiliating bullsh*t. Now, the Argentine’s performance against Eibar was not a vintage one, but it still showed his complete and utter disdain for all those in his way. 

They’re just dust. Dead human skin. And he’s the hoover. 


7. Marco Reus (Re-Entry)

Marco Reus

“I think we should use the ‘carrot and stick’ approach. You take a carrot, stick it up his f*ckin arse, followed by the stick, followed by an even bigger, rougher carrot.”

Look, after three successive draws, Borussia Dortmund had to change their approach. Especially for a game as big as the one against league leaders Borussia Monchengladbach. 

And so they did, to great effect. They used Gladbach as the carrot and told Marco Reus to eat it. And he did. 

Oh, and the carrot from the quote is a different carrot. Just to be clear.


6. Tomas Koubek (New Entry)

Tomas Koubek

“From now on, it’s a proper fight. It’s a pub fight, Motherwell rules. And Tom is gonna get a pint glass in his f*ckin’ eye, and a pool cue up his arse, and another pool cue in his other f*ckin’ eye!”

Yeah, hardman Tomas Koubek brought the fight to Bayern Munich alright, stopping the Bavarians from getting a much-needed victory with a series of staggering saves.


5. David Silva (New Entry)

David Silva

“Look, people really like it when you go just a bit early! You know; steely jawed, faraway look in your eyes! Before you get to the point when they’re sitting round in the pub saying ‘Oh, that f*cker’s got to go!’ you surprise them! ‘Blimey, he’s gone! I didn’t expect that! Resigned? You don’t see that much anymore! Old school! Respect! I rather liked the guy! He was hounded out by the f*cking press!’ How about that, eh? What a way to go!”

Certain people have been questioning David Silva’s presence at Manchester City this season. Certain people were very, very wrong. 


4. Romelu Lukaku (Up 3)

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“Don’t you ever, EVER call me a bully…. I’m so much worse than that.”

Don’t you ever, EVER call Romelu Lukaku a flat-track bully. He’s so much more than that. And he’s proving that with each passing game under Antonio Conte at Inter. 

Big Rom is on a Big Mission. 


3. Cristiano Ronaldo (-)

Cristiano Ronaldo

“This is a f*cking joke. Chancellor? He goes into debt every time he passes a sweet shop!”

Despite scoring his 701st career goal (like a kid in a sweet shop), Cristiano Ronaldo stays third. Again, he wasn’t happy. 


2. Robert Lewandowski (Down 1)

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“F*ckity bye!”

Another week, another goal, NOT ANOTHER TOP SPOT FOR ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI. 

I hope our relationship can stay strong through this testing time, Your Royal Highness the Best Goalscorer in Europe.


1. Antoine Griezmann (Re-Entry)

Antoine Griezmann,Arthur,Frenkie De Jong,Luis Suarez

“I’m cooking now! I’m f*cking Delia Smith! I’m cracking eggs! I’m pouring in baking powder! I’m using f*cking vanilla extract! It’s fantastic!”

In what could be described as a Norwich yellow, Antoine Griezmann channelled his inner Delia Smith to cook up a stormer at Eibar.

Having heard the disparaging ‘let’s be ‘avin ya’ calls, he played some of the best fursberl of his life, performing a vital role in all three goals, and showing his critics – a certain Leo Messi among them – that he can play the Barça way, that he can be a useful muse to both Messi and Suarez, whilst maintaining a certain goalscoring standard himself.

Good on ya, Grizi. 


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Barcelona Make Lautaro Martinez Top Transfer Target But Inter Eye Contract Extension

​Barcelona have reportedly decided to make Inter striker Lautaro Martinez their number one target to replace Luis Suarez at the Camp Nou.

While Barca don’t want to sell Suarez, the 32-year-old is nearing the end of his career with the Catalan side seeking an adequate replacement.

Luis Suarez

Martinez has been in fine form for both Inter and Argentina lately with the 22-year-old attacker having provided five goals and an assist so far this campaign, most recently scoring twice in a 4-3 victory over Sassuolo. 

The Argentine also impressed at Copa America, helping ​Argentina to the semi-finals with two goals. He also scored a hat-trick against Mexico in an international friendly in September, and ​Calciomercato report that he is very much on ​Barcelona’s radar.

However, ​Inter have no plans to sell. Aware of his potential, the ​Serie A side are looking to offer Martinez a new deal, one which would see his current €111m release clause removed.

The Nerazzurri are challenging ​Juventus for the ​Scudetto under Antonio Conte, and will be desperate to hold on to their new talisman. 

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The Camp Nou could prove to be too tempting a proposition and is a stadium that Martinez has already scored at earlier this season in a 2-1 ​Champions League defeat to ​Barca

Any potential transfer could hinge on the form of Barcelona’s latest addition, ​Antoine Griezmann, whose early season form has been far from scintillating. If Griezmann fails to live up to expectations, and ​Suarez’s form dwindles, then Martinez will become even more desirable.

Lautaro Martinez

Barcelona will have to be patient in attempting to capture the Argentine’s signature but past evidence shows that Barcelona are willing to wait for their targets, as was seen in the signings of Griezmann and ​Philippe Coutinho.

In the meantime, Martinez will be looking to push Inter towards a first league title since 2010, as well as the possibility of a ​Champions League run. 

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Inter vs Dortmund Preview: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News

​Inter welcome Borussia Dortmund to San Siro on Wednesday night as the Italians look to earn their first Champions League victory of the season.

Antonio Conte’s men needed a stoppage-time goal from Nicolo Barella to snatch a draw at home to Slavia Prague in their opening fixture of Group F.

In the following round, a Luis Suarez double sunk I Nerazzurri in Barcelona, the Uruguayan overturning a second-minute lead given to the visitors by Lautaro Martinez.

Luis suarez

​Dortmund were able to keep the Catalans at bay when the pair clashed at Signal Iduna Park, though a stirring performance from ​Blaugrana keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen ensured the Germans were likewise goalless. However, they did manage to sink Slavia in the Czech Republic thanks to a brace from Achraf Hakimi.

Here’s our preview of the mouth-watering match-up.


Where to Watch

When is Kick Off? Wednesday 23 October
What Time is Kick Off? 20:00 (BST)
Where is it Played? San Siro
TV Channel/Live Stream? BT Sport ESPN
Referee? Anthony Taylor

Team News

​​Inter will be without loanee forward Alexis Sanchez after he damaged tendons in his right foot, with the Chilean not due to return until January. Summer signing Stefano Sensi and defender Danilo D’Ambrosio are also unavailable for Conte.

Fortunately for the ​Serie A side, £74m striker Romelu Lukaku recovered swiftly from the muscle injury that ruled him out of the Barça encounter, playing in the 2-1 loss to Juventus and scoring twice against Sassuolo on Sunday.

Lega Calcio Serie A TIM"FC Internazionale v SS Lazio"

BVB coach Lucien Favre only has to account for the absence of two members of his first-team. The 61-year-old was boosted by comebacks for full-back pairing Nico Schulz and Lukasz Piszczek on the weekend, both of whom had been struggling with fitness issues.

An Achilles problem means last year’s to scorer Paco Alcacer joins them on the sidelines, with make-shift forward Mario Gotze also out of Wednesday’s clash due to influenza. 

As a result, Favre could potentially play Julian Brandt in a slightly unfamiliar role up front. The youngster partnered Marco Reus at the head of Dortmund’s attack during the 1-0 victory over Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday, though the latter is expected to begin as the lone striker.


Potential Lineups

Inter Handanovic; De Vrij, Godin, Skriniar; Candreva, Vecino, Brozovic, Barella, Asamoah; Lukaku, Martinez.​
Borussia Dortmund ​Burki; Piszczek, Akanji, Hummels, Guerreiro; Witsel, Delaney; Sancho, Brandt, Hazard; Reus.

Head to Head Record

It was over a quarter-century ago when the clubs last locked horns, Inter progressing to the semi-finals of the 1993/94 UEFA Cup, despite losing 2-1 at San Siro.

Dortmund’s current sporting director Michael Zorc had given his side the advantage as the break loomed, the midfielder piercing through the Nerazzurri defence, before side-footing a fine volley over the onrushing goalkeeper.

Moments after the restart, Lars Ricken struck a crucial goal for Ottmar Hitzfeld’s team that levelled the aggregate score, though Inter remained ahead on away goals, having triumphed 3-1 in North Rhine-Westphalia a fortnight prior.

Ottmar Hitzfeld the Head Coach of Bayern Munich

Desperately chasing that tie-winning score, the ​Bundesliga outfit began to flood forward in numbers. They rattled the bar in the closing stages, but their hopes went up in flames on 81 minutes as Antonio Manicone clipped a cute finish over Stefan Klos in the BVB net.

Evidently, that deft stab over the young shot-stopper was not enough for them to claim victory on the night – not that it mattered to the Italians – meaning the overall record stands at two wins for Inter and one for Dortmund, with a single draw also thrown in.


Recent Form

Having won six of their first seven fixtures under Conte, Inter could have been derailed by a testing period in early October.

Consecutive defeats in heavyweight match-ups left them with plenty of work to do in order to reach the ​Champions League knockout stages, and saw the side lose their grip on top spot in Serie A.

However, the Nerazzurri responded to those defeats by Juve and Barça in defiant fashion, Lukaku and Martinez grabbing a brace apiece as the San Siro side saw off the challenge of lowly Sassuolo.

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Prior to the slender victory over Monchengladbach, Favre’s recruits had drawn four games in five. They got back on track against the Bundesliga leaders courtesy of a well-drilled performance from the backline, plus Thorgan Hazard’s defence-splitting pass that was tucked away by Reus.

BVB have looked fearsome in the majority of their matches this term, though they do occasionally lack a cutting edge, meaning they could be caught cold by their opponents in midweek.

​Here’s a look at the two teams’ last five results:

Inter Borussia Dortmund
​Inter 1-0 Lazio (25/9) ​Eintracht Frankfurt 2-2 Borussia Dortmund (22/9)
​Sampdoria 1-3 Inter (28/9) ​Borussia Dortmund 2-2 Werder Bremen (28/9)
​Barcelona 2-1 Inter (2/10) ​Slavia Prague 0-2 Borussia Dortmund (2/10)
​Inter 1-2 Juventus (6/10) ​Freiburg 2-2 Borussia Dortmund (5/10)
​Sassuolo 3-4 Inter (20/10) ​Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Borussia Monchengladbach (19/10)

Prediction

​Dortmund returned to winning ways as they downed Die Fohlen at Signal Iduna Park, and they will no doubt take heart from that hard-earned triumph. However, the confidence they’ve gained remains fragile and a strong start from Inter could be damaging for the visitors.

Lautaro Martinez

Despite conceding three times versus Sassuolo, the Nerazzurri defence is often a difficult lock to pick. Getting past them will prove a frustrating task for BVB as the likes of Lukaku search for a goal at the other end.

If it comes early, don’t expect a strong reaction or comeback from the Germans – the opposite is far more likely.

Prediction: Inter 2-0 Borussia Dortmund


For more from Ed Alexander, follow him on Twitter!

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Why Inter Are So Much More Than The Usual Blood & Thunder Under Antonio Conte

Let’s try an exercise together. Close your eyes, clear your mind. Now, I want you to imagine an Antonio Conte side. ​What do you see? It’s attritional, blood and thunder, bodies on the line stuff isn’t it? Oh, and with a back three. 

Conte has never been known for his free-flowing, fluid football during any spell in his managerial career, and his style strikes more resemblance to that of Diego Simeone rather than Pep Guardiola. 

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So you’d be forgiven for thinking that the former ​Chelsea boss is following his usual blueprint at Inter, replicating his fool-proof system at the top-end of Serie A once again. 

Inter brought in warrior Diego Godin on a free transfer from ​Atletico Madrid over the summer and bolstered their midfield with the combative Nicolo Barella, and Conte appeared to be up to his old tricks again, to the surprise of no one.

And as the curtain rose on the new Serie A campaign, Conte’s debut provided no shocks when his side lined up with a three-man defence, wing-backs and the vim and vigour of a group of men who had shared an intense dressing room with the fiery Italian for the past few months. 

But this team is no ordinary Conte side. 

Lautaro Martinez,Matthijs de Ligt

I Nerazzurri ended Sunday second place in the league, one point behind Maurizio Sarri’s ​Juventus, but the table only tells half of the story thus far. 

​Inter have won eight of their opening nine matches, and bar a late fightback from Sassuolo this weekend, Conte’s men have rarely looked troubled during any fixture this season. The Milan club have swaggered and swashbuckled their way through the opening two months of the season, and were favourites in some pundits’ eyes going into their recent clash with Juventus. 

I Bianconeri came out on top in a tight affair, and it’s the former Italy manager’s only blot on the Inter copybook after nine games. Whilst the Italian giants will not want to get carried away, something substantial is bubbling away under the surface of San Siro. 

Much was made of Conte’s ruthless approach towards their summer transfer policy, particularly the Mauro Icardi dilemma, whom he froze out of the side without a second thought, and replaced with the confidence-sapped Romelu Lukaku. Another masterstroke from the ex-Juve coach.

Mauro Icardi

Icardi possesses endless talent but his ability is outweighed by the abundance of controversies that follow him, and Conte had no doubts over selling last season’s talisman for the good of team morale. 

Ivan Perisic and Radja Nainggolan were also casualties of Conte’s cleansing, as the new boss sniffed out the bad eggs and assembled a group of players who shared his driven, no surrender mentality. 

Lukaku’s arrival, along with the signing of ​Alexis Sanchez soon after, was met with mockery in some sections of the media and the footballing world, unable to comprehend the vision which Conte was instilling at Inter. 

The Belgian forward has been partnered with Argentine youngster Lautaro Martinez, whose sensational start to the new season has forced the Icardi saga to the back of I Nerazzurri supporters’ minds, like an unpleasant but distant dream. 

Lautaro Martinez,Romelu Lukaku

Martinez and Lukaku have struck up a sensational partnership, and their combination of strength, pace, power and clinical finishing is proving too hot to handle for most Italian defences. The pair compliment each other wonderfully, and their desire to work for the team embodies everything that a Conte team stands for. 

Even Sanchez looked in inspired form until suffering an unfortunate injury on international duty with Chile, which has halted his undoubted progress. 

Conte has also re-invigorated the career of Antonio Candreva, who cut a figure of derision for Inter supporters last season, but is thriving in his new-found right wing-back role in their 3-5-2 formation. 

Stefano Sensi

New signing Stefano Sensi has arguably been the best player in Serie A this season, taking his box-to-box style to another level, adding goals to his already well-rounded game. And it goes without saying, that defensively Inter have looked very resolute this season, their 4-3 victory over Sassuolo an anomaly over the course of this campaign. 

Conte has never struggled to organise a team, and has an extreme affection for hard-working, down-to-earth players who will run through walls for their cause. But it seems that the task-master has adapted his style to accommodate stars with the X-factor, and is looking to take his system to a new, attractive level, which guarantees entertainment as well as his usual success. 

Juve are still in pole position to regain the Serie A title, but you can count on Conte to push them all the way this season. 

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Sassuolo 3-4 Inter: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Nerazzurri Win Despite Late Collapse

Inter maintained the pressure on league leaders Juventus with a thrilling 4-3 success over struggling Sassuolo at the Stadio Città del Tricolore.

Antonio Conte’s side got the ball rolling after just 67 seconds, as Lautaro Martinez was fed on the edge of the box before cutting inside and bending a fine effort into the far bottom corner. 

The hosts hit back in fine style, however, as Domenico Berardi fired a fizzing low strike across goal and beyond Samir Handanovic to level matters.

Domenico Berardi

There were disallowed strikes for both sides after that, before the visitors seized control before half-time thanks to a brace from ​Romelu Lukaku, the second converted from the penalty spot.

Martinez made it four from a second penalty conceded by Sassuolo substitute Filip Duricic, before the hosts threatened a dramatic comeback with two late goals. First, Duricic made up for his error by stroking home from inside the penalty area, before Jeremie Boga’s weaving run culminated in a superb low finish.

The visitors held on, though, to close the gap to Maurizio Sarri’s Juventus at the top of Serie A to just one point. Here’s 90min’s review of the game.


SASSUOLO

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Player Ratings

Starting XI: Consigli (6); Muldur (4), Marlon (5), Peluso (6), Tripaldelli (6); Duncan (6), Magnanelli (6), Obiang (6); Berardi (7), Caputo (6), Traore (7)

Substitutes: Boga (7), Duricic (7), Toljan (6)


INTER


​Key Talking Point

Its fairly evident where ​Inter’s issues lie.

The visitors conceded plenty of opportunities to their struggling opponents, with the gaps between midfield and defence being exploited on a number of occasions throughout the afternoon. 

Granted, they showed a clinical edge in front of goal, but the miscommunication in the centre of the park will have worried Conte as his side surrendered possession in midfield far too frequently.

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Seemingly heading for a comfortable victory with the score at 4-1, the lapses in concentration that followed were inexcusable. With victory all-but assured, the collapse from there was inexplicable and it was backs against the wall stuff for the remaining ten minutes. 

There are a number of areas of concern for the former Chelsea boss, who knows more defending like he saw on Sunday will have them fighting for a European place, rather than challenging for the league title.

While such deficiencies will be ironed out over the course of the season, up front there will be no extra coaching sessions needed. Martinez and Lukaku seem a force to be reckoned with in ​Serie A this season, with the pair netting a brace apiece on a solid display for the Nerazzurri’s forward line.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Handanovic (6); De Vrij (6), Bastoni (5), Skriniar (7); Candreva (6), Barella (6), Brozovic (7), Gagliardini (6), Biraghi (6); Martinez (8), Lukaku (8*)

Substitutes: Politano (5), Lazaro (5), Vecino (N/A)


Star Man

His first touch still needs work, but at least his second and third touches tend to do the business. A fit and firing Romelu Lukaku will be crucial to Conte if he intends of giving Juventus a run for their money this season in Serie A.

He answered his manager’s call once again with two goals against Sassuolo, as the Belgian quickly becomes of the most, if not the, most important member of this Nerazzurri squad.

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Looking Ahead

Next Friday sees Sassuolo take on Verona for a late kick-off in Serie A, while Inter will turn their attentions towards their next ​Champions League match, as they play host to Borussia Dortmund in the group stages on Wednesday evening.

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Sassuolo vs Inter: 6 Key Facts & Stats to Impress Your Mates Ahead of Serie A Clash

​After being bested by Juventus last time out, in a game known as the “battle of the former Chelsea managers” (by nobody other than himself),  Antonio Conte’s Inter will be hoping for more luck against lowly Sassuolo on Sunday.

However, they will be dealing with a wounded animal. Last time out, I Neroverdi were humiliated in a 4-1 defeat to Atalanta and they will desperate to bounce back in front of their home fans. 

US Sassuolo v FC Internazionale - Serie A

Sassuolo also seem to have knack for frustrating Inter as they demonstrated in this fixture last season. Roberto De Zerbi’s side triumphed 1-0 over I Nerazzurri in August 2018 courtesy of a Domenico Berardi penalty that Samir Handanović definitely should have saved.

Will history repeat itself this season? Let’s delve into the stats and find out. 


Bogey Team

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​Sassuolo’s victory over Inter last season was not an isolated event. Further examination of the evidence suggests that they are Inter’s bogey team. 

Antonio Conte’s side are winless in their last five Serie A meetings against Sassuolo, having drawn once and lost four. I Neroverdi will be hoping that this terrible record is extended on Sunday.


Peaked Too Early 

Perhaps ​Inter peaked too early? In their first ever meeting with Sassuolo during the 2013/2014 season they had no such problem dispatching of I Neroverdi, winning 7-0. Obviously that is a very tough act to follow, possibly explaining their dire record since that result.


Hot Shots

Lega Calcio Serie A TIM"FC Internazionale v SS Lazio"

​Incredibly, despite their lowly league position of 15th, Sassuolo are the best Serie A shooters on paper. They are currently registering a shot accuracy of 57% just edging out Lazio, who have a rate of 56%, to the top spot. 

And third place? Inter of course. Don’t expect to see a lot of shots flying wide of the mark in this one. 


Unwanted Records

Roberto De Zerbi

​Sassuolo’s start to the season has been underwhelming to say the least. They tasted defeat in four of their opening six Serie A games and have also lost their last two on the bounce. 

If they lose against Inter on Sunday it will be the first time that I Neroverdi have registered three defeats in a row since November 2017. Probably not a stat that Roberto De Zerbi wants on his record. 


Loving Life On The Road

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​Antonio Conte’s Inter are very comfortable on their travels. They’ve recorded victories in each of their opening three Serie A away games so far this season.

If they can defeat Sassuolo it will be only the fifth time in their history that they’ve won their opening four away fixtures. It previously happened during the 1966/67, 1997/98, 2002/03 and 2012/13 campaigns. 

In each of these seasons Juventus won the title … so maybe it’s best to lose this one lads. 


First Half Will Be Key

No side has conceded more (nine) than Sassuolo in the first half in Serie A this season and no side has conceded less than Inter (one).

By this logic, expect it to be 4-0 to Antonio Conte’s side by half time.


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Atletico Madrid & Juventus to Rival Man Utd in Race to Sign Edinson Cavani in Cut-Price Deal

​Manchester United will have to fend off interest from Atlético Madrid and Juventus if they want to sign Edinson Cavani next summer.

The Uruguay international is entering the last year of his contract at Parc des Princes and will be free to talk to new clubs in January if he wants to leave on a Bosman, although Cavani could also be available at a cut-price if the deal is brought forward.

90min understand that ​Cavani is on Manchester United’s list of targets who could offer some short-term relief at Old Trafford during the winter transfer window, while Croatian striker Mario Mandžukić has also been linked.

Edinson Cavani

Manchester United have also lined up Lyon’s Moussa Dembélé and teenager Erling Braut Haaland as long-term options to their attacking problems this season.

But with Cavani among United’s newest targets, a new report in L’Equipe (via the Daily Mail) confirms that Atlético Madrid will also consider making a move for Cavani as soon as the transfer window re-opens.

Italian champions Juventus, as well as Inter and his former club Napoli, are also interested in luring Cavani back to Serie A before the end of the 2019/20 season.

Although Cavani still hasn’t decided on his future at the club, Paris Saint-Germain manager Thomas Tuchel has spoken in glowing terms about the Uruguay international and insists he wants to keep him at the club.

I don’t know Edi’s ideas exactly at the moment. I count 100 per cent on Edi this season,” Tuchel said, quoted by the Daily Mail. 

“He’s been missing for several weeks and the main thing for me is to push Edi on the pitch, so we’ve got a fit and in-form Edinson Cavani.

“He’s got the most goals for the club. Edi is very important.”


For more from Ben Carter, follow him on Twitter!

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Inter Would Be Foolish to Sell Gabriel Barbosa to Any Interested Premier League Side

​The Brazilian talent factory churns out wonderkids more than Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola claims to want to play Phil Foden (hint – that’s a lot), and one player who has been lost in the sea of talent is Inter striker Gabriel Barbosa.

Touted as the next superstar back in 2016, the young striker left Santos to head to Inter for a hefty fee, but things really didn’t work out. He struggled to impress in Italy, before flopping on loan with Benfica.

Gabriel Barbosa

Now back in Brazil on loan with Flamengo, the man they call Gabigol has been in outrageous form, racking up 24 goals in 29 outings. His mojo is back, and plenty of ​Premier League sides have noticed.

​West Ham and ​Crystal Palace are thought to be keen, with ​Inter even said to be ​eager to sell for around €25m. He may have underwhelmed at San Siro, but Inter would be crazy to let him go.

Still only 23 years old and back as part of the Brazil squad again, Gabriel’s best years are (probably) ahead of him. He has plenty of time to learn and grow, which is a frightening prospect for any team who doesn’t have him on their books.

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Inter, now fully committed to Antonio Conte’s revolution at the club, need players like Gabigol to take them to the next level. The 3-5-2 system which has been favoured this season needs two strikers (obviously), but Inter aren’t exactly blessed with huge depth in that role.

Big-money signing ​Romelu Lukaku will command one of those places, whilst young Lautaro Martínez gets the other. However, given the latter has been linked with clubs all over Europe in deals which could cost in excess of €100m, it would be wise for Inter to start thinking about alternatives.

​Alexis Sánchez is only on loan and is set for a ​lengthy spell on the sidelines anyway, whilst young Sebastiano Esposito is probably a few years away from being ready. Inter clearly need more strikers, and it just so happens that they have one of the world’s most in-form forwards at the club already.

Antonio Conte

With pace, power and determination, he is the epitome of Conte’s style of play. He brings everything, including the goals which Martínez often struggles to provide.

Not only could he rival Martínez for a place in the team, but he could easily replace him if he continues this current vein of form.

Gabriel looks nothing like the youngster who laboured to one goal in just ten appearances for I Nerazzurri during the 2016/17 campaign. The fire beneath him has been lit once more, and he looks like a man with a point to prove.

Gabriel Barbosa

The 23-year-old will return to Inter in January 2020 once his loan comes to an end, and a decision needs to be made. However, for Inter, this should be a no-brainer. Gabriel deserves a place in the squad, and he could help fire them towards the top of the ​Serie A standings.


For more from Tom Gott, follow him on Twitter!

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