Inter 1-3 Udinese: Nerazzurri Shocked as They Suffer First Defeat of the Season

San Siro Stadium plunged into a shocked silence as Udinese put an unexpected end to Inter’s unbeaten run by defeating the table leaders with an incredible 3-1 victory on Saturday night. 

The Nerazzurri were undefeated in 16 matches but had shown signs of weakness recently, struggling against Juventus last week and Pordenone in the Italian Cup fourth round. However, they finally succumbed to defeat in humiliating fashion against Massimo Oddo’s side. 

The hosts conceded the first goal of the match after less than 15 minutes, when Italian striker Kevin Lasagna gave Udinese. 

FC Internazionale v Udinese Calcio - Serie A

However, Inter fought back quickly and made it all square thanks to their leader, captain and top goalscorer Mauro Icardi, who bagged his 17th league goal just one minute later. 

But incredibly enough, the home side let slip two goals in 15 minutes as Udinese took the lead, in the second half, with Rodrigo De Paulo and midfielder Antonin Barak giving the visitors a memorable win.

Luciano Spalletti’s men still top the Serie A table but will have to wait for Napoli and Juventus’ results this weekend to know about their future.

FC Internazionale v Udinese Calcio - Serie A

Both sides contributed to playing an enjoyable first half during, during which Inter had most of the chances but still failed to impose themselves on their guests. 

The Nerazzurri went close to scoring after barely eight minutes. On this occasion, Icardi scooped an assist for Ivan Perisic from the right-hand side but the Croatian strike home for Inter. 

It was Udinese who managed to break the deadlock first, against the run of play, taking the lead over their hosts with striker Lasagna. The Italian edged past Samir Handanovic after receiving a marvellous cross, and drilled the ball across the six-yard box after stealing it to Davide Santon. 

The visitors’ lead lasted little more than one minute and Inter equalised to the surprise of no-one through Icardi.

The Argentine scored his 17th goal in 17 matches for the Nerazzurri, as he finished with composure strike from Candreva’s delivery. 

The game became even more enjoyable to watch following the two early goals and saw both sides try their best to get in front. However, stout defending meant the sides went into the break level.

FC Internazionale v Udinese Calcio - Serie A

Inter certainly had numerous occasions to take the lead but Marcelo Brozovic wasted probably one of the best of the home side’s chances, as he curled a powerful shot from outside the box which flew wide by inches. 

Udinese were often stuck inside their half, rarely managing to push out of their zone and to counter on Handanovic’s goal. During the few times when they did it, Oddo’s men never managed to create anything impressive and were often too imprecise.

However, deeper into the second half Udinese showed more grit and personality in the opening and saw Handanovic forced into them to save Inter’s blushes.

Udinese’s new leases of life caught Inter by surprise and the hosts found themselves once again one goal behind, as De Paul converted a penalty around 15 minutes inside the second half. 

The visitors were awarded the spot kick after Santon deflected a cross with his hand inside the box. The Argentine taker cannoned the ball towards the top-right corner to make no mistake for  for Udinese.

The Nerazzurri were all but happy and counterattacked as much as they could. The San Siro fans looked desperate when they saw Milan Skriniar hit the crossbar with a stunning header just before the half-hour mark.


Roberto Gagliardini too tried to head the ball home for Inter during a corner but his shot was parried by Bizzarri and ended wide outside. 

The hosts were left speechless when they conceded their third goal of the day with Czech midfielder Barak, who received a stunning cross from this year’s revelation Jakub Jankto and fired home for Udinese to seal a shocking victory.



8 Times a Club Made a ‘Now or Never’ Push for Their League Title

Speaking at the end of last month, Napoli talisman Dries Mertens was quoted as saying that this season may be now or never for the club to end their 27 year wait for a Serie A title.

Napoli aren’t the first club to have had a title challenge engulfed by that sense of now or never, so here are some more examples of clubs who in recent years have mounted a title challenge that had that same sort of feeling…

8. FC Rostov (2015-16 Russian Premier League)

Going into the start of the 15/16 season, Rostov had never before been considered a contender for top honours in Russia, and had had to come through a relegation playoff to keep themselves in the country’s top division at the conclusion of the previous season. 

But after a steady start to the season, the club went into the winter break second in the league following a flourish at the end of the year. 

Rostov pushed on even further after the turn of the year, and would lead the title race with just five games to go. Then, however, they suffered their only loss in the spring section of the season, a 2-1 defeat to eventual bottom side Mordovia Saransk courtesy of a penalty four minutes from time. 

That defeat would prove decisive, as they lost the title to CSKA Moscow by two points.

7. Bursaspor (2009-10 Turkish Super Lig)

Only seven league titles in Turkey belong to clubs outside the big three of Besiktas, Fenerbahce and Galatasaray. Six of those have gone to Trabzonspor, while the seventh, and most recent, belongs to Bursaspor, who lifted their one and only title in the 2009/10 season. 

That season saw The Crocodiles, as Bursaspor are known, lead for much of the closing stages of the season, only for a goalless draw at Galatasaray with four games remaining hand the advantage to Fenerbahce. 

All “Fener” had to do to win the title was take victory in their three remaining games and they would be champions. But on the final day, Fenerbahce were held to a 1-1 draw by Trabzonspor, and Bursaspor pounced with a 2-1 victory over Besiktas, sparking jubilant scenes as Bursaspor claimed the title by just a single point.

6. Feyenoord (2016-17 Eredivisie)

Going into the 2016-17 season, Dutch giants Feyenoord were without a title since the turn of the century, and had only even finished second on three occasions in that period. An explosive start that saw them go eleven games unbeaten at the start of the season, including nine straight wins, put them in pole position to end that long wait for a league title. 

Feyenoord were never off top spot in the whole of the season, but a 3-0 defeat to Excelsior in the penultimate game sowed the seeds of doubt and allowed Ajax to move within a point going into the final day. 

There would, however, be no second slip from Feyenoord, and club icon Dirk Kuyt hit a hat-trick in his final game before retirement in a 3-1 win over Heracles to seal the championship in perfect style.

5. Monaco (2016-17 Ligue 1)

With the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Bernardo Silva, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Benjamin Mendy having all moved on from Monaco as expected in the 2017 summer transfer window, it is perhaps little surprise that many felt Monaco’s 2016-17 Ligue 1 was the only chance that side full of young superstars would have to lift the French title as a group.

Indeed, European giants were circling around the principality’s squad long before a 2-0 win over St Etienne in the penultimate game sealed a first title in 17 years for a side that swept all before them, hitting a staggering 107 goals in an unforgettable season. 

4. Atletico Madrid (2013-14 La Liga)

It had been 10 years since a side other than Real Madrid or Barcelona had lifted the Spanish title, and eighteen since Atletico Madrid had done so, when the curtain was lifted on the 2013-14 La Liga season.

That, however, was all about to change. 

Diego Simeone’s side went head-to-head with both Barca and Real, and it was the combative style of Atletico that for once, won out. Atletico netted just 77 goals that season, compared to Barcelona’s 100 and Real’s 104, but going into a final day decider at the Nou Camp, Atletico’s resilience proved decisive. 

Trailing 1-0 to Barca, a result that would have given Martino’s side the title on the head-to-head record, it was the centrepiece of the Atletico defence, Diego Godin, who rose highest to head home an equalising corner, handing Atletico a famous triumph.

3. Liverpool (2013-14 Premier League)

When Philippe Coutinho swept home Liverpool’s third goal in a 3-2 win over Manchester City at Anfield on 13th April 2014, it seemed as though the club’s 24 year wait for a title was just weeks from its end.

That win meant that victory in Liverpool’s final four games would secure them the championship. What happened next, however, is one of the infamous stories in Premier League history. 

Steven Gerrard’s slip two weeks later against Chelsea let City back into the title race, and when a hunt for potentially crucial goal difference at Crystal Palace backfired and a 3-0 lead became a 3-3 draw, the title race was as good as over. A final day win over Newcastle was therefore rendered irrelevant as City beat West Ham to claim their second Premier League title by two points, having been seven behind Liverpool, albeit with two games in hand, following their defeat at Anfield.

2. Leicester City (2015-16 Premier League)

No list of unexpected championships will ever again be complete without recognition of Leicester City’s spectacular 5000-1 Premier League triumph in 2015-16. 

Unlike just about every other title challenge, this was not targeted or anticipated even within the club itself, but as every week passed that saw Claudio Ranieri’s take a step closer to that famous title, more and more people began to believe that the unthinkable might just happen.

In the end, it was a result that almost everyone was rooting for, if only to remind us that in football, absolutely anything will always be possible.

1. Inter Milan (2017-18 Serie A)

Since Dries Mertens said that this was a now or never season for Napoli, Gli Azzurri have won just one of three league games, losing their unbeaten record to Juventus in the process.Thankfully for the neutral, however, Napoli are still far from out of it, and they aren’t even the only side looking to end the domestic domestic held by Juve in the past six years.

It has been six seasons without a top three finish for Inter, but with Mauro Icardi in seemingly unstoppable form and those around in looking just a formidable, a first Scudetto since 2010 could be on the horizon.


Mauro Icardi’s Wife and Agent Wanda Nara Refuses to Rule Out Argentine’s Move to Real Madrid

Mauro Icardi’s agent and wife Wanda Nara has added more fuel to rumours that would link him with a move to Real Madrid move, though claimed that his wish is to remain at Inter. 

The Nerazzurri’s captain has been at the Milan side for about four years and has finally earned his fans’ approval after becoming Serie A’s top goalscorer and leader of the squad. 

Inter have enjoyed an outstanding start to the new season as they top the league table above Juventus and Napoli and are still unbeaten. 

However, Real Madrid have recently shown their interest in bringing him to La Liga, with president Florentino Perez reportedly keen on offering Inter a staggering €92m in order to secure him. 

The saga has been going on for the past few weeks but was thought to have ended after the Argentine himself stated his wish to remain at Inter for the rest of his career. 

Yet during an interview with Italian TV programme Verissimo, his agent Nara could not fully rule out the chance for him to join Los Blancos.

She said: “I won’t say no and I won’t say yes. If it were up to Mauro he would stay at Inter all his life, but it depends on other things”. 

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As the transfer period approaches, the 23-year-old Argentine will have to face a tough decision and also consider that the World Cup is around the corner and he will need to shine in order to be called up for duty next summer.


Picking the Best Potential Inter Lineup to Face Udinese on Saturday

​Luciano Spalletti will be hoping his Inter side will pick up all three points in the league match against Udinese this Saturday, after only managing a draw against Juventus last weekend.

The 0-0 result meant that they remained at the top of Serie A, a point clear of Napoli who are in second place. It also kept Inter’s unbeaten record in the league this season, winning 12 and drawing four.  

Here’s who the manager could pick this weekend. 


  • Handanovic


​Expect Samir Handanovic to continue in goal for this game.


  • D'Ambrosio


  • Škriniar


  • Miranda


  • Santon


​Don’t expect there to be too many changes from the side that drew with Juventus last week, especially in defence. 

The back four are likely to remain the same with Danilo D’Ambrosio and Davide Santon starting on the sides and Milan Skriniar being paired with the experienced Miranda in the centre.

The majority of these four have played in most of the league games this season, in a side that has conceded just 10 goals in 16 games. 


​But their could be changes in the midfield for the league leaders. Roberto Gagliardini is likely to come back into the side after not starting the last league game against Juventus. He will perhaps join his more regular midfield partner Matias Vecino in the deep-lying positions. 

That may lead Borja Valero to move to his more regular advanced position in the centre of the park, after playing in a deeper position in their previous league game. Antonio Candreva and Ivan Perisic should complete the midfield lineup. 


  • Icardi


Mauro Icardi is Inter’s, and the league’s, top scorer with 16 goals. The captain is an influential player for his side and has been valuable in their unbeaten start this season.

He will more than likely start for his side on Saturday and will be the danger man as they attempt to keep their lead at the top of the Serie A table.


Inter vs Udinese Preview: Classic Encounter, Key Battles, Team News & More

League leaders Inter will host Udinese this Saturday as they look to maintain their lead at the top of Serie A. 

The Nerazzurri have yet to lose a game this season in the league, winning 12 and drawing four. One of those draws came last Saturday, as they were unable to beat third-placed Juventus away from home. 

Udinese head into the game 13th in the Serie A league table, seven points above the relegation places, but with a game-in-hand. Massimo Oddo’s side have hit some form though after winning their last three games, two of those wins came in the league, while the other was an emphatic 8-3 victory over Perugia in the fourth round of the Coppa Italia.

Here is everything you need to know ahead of the clash at the San Siro:

Classic Encounter

FC Internazionale Milano v Udinese Calcio - Serie A

In a fixture that has largely been dominated by Inter, the recent head-to-head record has been more even between the two teams. From the last 10 fixtures, Udinese have managed to win three times and draw one. One of those victories was particularly memorable as they managed to win 5-2 away from home back in 2013. 

The Little Zebras stormed to a 2-0 lead in the first 10 minutes with goals from Giampiero Pinzi and Maurizio Domizzi. But Inter struck back in the 12th minute when Juan Jesus managed to squeeze a low strike past Udinese goalkeeper Zeljko Brkic. 

However, the away side pulled away quickly again, with two goals coming either side of half-time. Antonio Di Natale’s fantastic curled effort from the left-hand side of the box and Gabriel Silva’s chip over the goalkeeper saw Udinese take a 4-1 advantage. 

A 63rd minute strike from Inter’s Tommaso Rocchi gave his side some hope, but that only lasted a few minutes until a mistake from the home side’s defense allowed Luis Muriel to score Udinese’s fifth goal and seal the game.

Key Battles

Mauro Icardi vs Danilo 

FC Internazionale v AC Chievo Verona - Serie A

Inter captain Mauro Icardi is not only his sides top scorer, he is also Serie A’s leading finisher. He has netted an impressive 16 goals from as many games, and is one of the key reasons why his side are at the top of the league table. 

This sets up an interesting battle with Udinese’s skipper Danilo. The Brazilian has played 12 times for his side this season and has helped keep a clean sheet on four occasions. 

The away side will need their captain to be on top form if he is to help add another clean sheet against the league leaders. 

Matias Vecino vs Jakub Jankto

FC Crotone v Udinese Calcio - Serie A

Jakub Jankto has been in fine form this season for Udinese, getting three goals and two assists in 13 league appearances this campaign. One of those assists came last Sunday as the midfielder helped his side to a 2-0 win over Benevento.

Inter midfielder Matias Vecino may be the player who is tasked with stopping Jankto in this Saturday’s game. Vecino signed for Inter in the summer and has featured in all but one of their 16 league games so far, helping his side keep seven clean sheets from his deep central midfield role. 

The winner of this battle could prove to have an influential effect on the outcome of the game. 

Team News

SSC Napoli v FC Internazionale - Serie A

Inter are expected to make many changes from the team that beat Pordenone on penalties in the Coppa Italia on Tuesday. 

Joao Mario could miss out again with tonsillitis, as could Eder who has muscular fatigue. 

Udinese have no new injury concerns heading into this Saturday’s game, with Valon Behrami potentially still out with inflammation.

Potential Inter Starting Lineup: Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, Skriniar, Miranda, Santon; Vecino, Gagliardini, Candreva, Valero, Perisic; Icardi.

Potential Udinese Starting Lineup: Bizzarri; Larsen, Danilo, Nuytinck; Widmer, Adnan, Barak, Fofana, Jankto; Lasagna, Lopez. 


FC Internazionale v Pordenone - TIM Cup

With the 0-0 draw against Juventus, Luciano Spalletti’s Inter remained unbeatan in Serie A this season. This emphasises the great form the league leaders are in. 

Udinese have hit a good patch of form themselves, winning three games on the bounce and scoring 13 goals in the process. You would still perhaps expect Inter to take the three points but it could prove to be a tough game for them. 

Prediction: Inter Milan 3-1 Udinese

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Bayern’s Superstar Stalwart Jerome Boateng Refuses to Rule Out Serie A Switch to Juventus & Inter

Bayern Munich’s star defender Jerome Boateng has refused to rule out a move in the future and fully commit to the Bundesliga champions, amid reported interested from Serie A powerhouses Juventus and Inter Milan.

The German international has spent his entire career in his native country bar a single season with Manchester City in 2010. However, he has unexpectedly put potential suitors on red alert, revealing to Bild (via Calciomercato) that he would be willing to leave the Bavarians in the future:

“Future with Bayern Munich? To play in a foreign league has always been on my mind. It will depend [on] the situation but let’s see.”

The 29-year-old is currently enjoying his seventh campaign at the Allianz Arena and has firmly established himself as one of the finest central defenders in world football.

Juventus are still reeling from the loss of Leonardo Bonucci to AC Milan in the summer and are extremely interested in acquiring Boateng’s services. The Italian international was a crucial figure with the Turin giants and thus far, new loan-signing Benedikt Howedes has been unable to match his impact.

Germany v Argentina: 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final

Inter currently have a capable partnership in the centre of defence in Brazilian veteran Joao Miranda and rising talent Milan Skriniar. However, the prospect of signing one of the world’s finest is incredibly alluring for the Nerazzurri and they will look to pursue the stalwart, should he become available.

The 2014 World Cup winner’s contract is set to expire at the end of the 2020-21 campaign, giving Bayern time to tie the superstar down and to attempt to quench his thirst for travel.

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Out of Favour Inter Striker Gabriel Barbosa Wanted Back by Brazilian Club Santos

Inter Milan’s Gabriel Barbosa – also known as Gabigol – is wanted back by the club that let him go, Santos, who are in talks to bring back the Brazilian forward as the player seeks more playing time. 

Barbosa arrived at Inter from Santos in the summer of 2016 for the fee of €33.5m, but has struggled to establish himself in the Italian team.

According to Globoesporte (via ​Football Italia), Brazilian club Santos are willing to take back the striker, but will require for Inter to cover the large proportion of his wages. 

Since his arrival, Barbosa has yet ​to start a single Serie A game, which prompted a loan move to Benfica. However, even at Benfica he has faced the same struggles to find playing time, only clocking 43 minutes across competitions for the Portuguese side. 

Santos v Internacional - Brasileirao Series A 2015

it is likely that Benfica are to cut Barbosa’s loan contract short in January, meaning that he’ll have to return to Inter Milan. Though, Luciano Spalletti will struggle to find a place for him in his competitive side who currently leads the Serie A. 

The only way out for the 21-year-old Brazilian is for another loan move, but this time to a more familiar place, Santos. Chinese side Jiangsu Suning are also vying for Barbosa, though the player isn’t keen on a move to China.

Before his big move to a European team, at Santos Barbosa scored 24 goals across 83 appearances for the Brazilian side, and will hope to return to recapture the form that once sent European clubs sniffing for his talents.

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Bologna Winger Dispels January Exit Rumours Amidst Inter & Napoli Interest

Bologna winger Simone Verdi has assured fans that he won’t be leaving Bologna in January, a statement set to disappoint Inter and Napoli, who have a registered interest in the Italian.

The winger has been showing his talents this season, including his ability to use both feet equally well, a feat he proved by scoring a free-kick with each in the same match against Crotone in November.

Bologna FC v Spal - Serie A

“I am definitely not leaving Bologna in January, as I want to end the season here,” Verdi told Sky Sport Italia, as reported by ​Football Italia.

“That doesn’t necessarily mean I’m staying for several more years, but I am happy here.”

Having progressed through the Milan youth academy, the 25-year-old has two senior caps for Italy due to his performances for Bologna, having accumulated five goals and four assists so far this season in the Serie A.

His statement will be disappointing to Inter and Napoli fans, who would want the talented winger at their club, as the two clubs battle it out for the top spot in the Serie A alongside Juventus.

However, whilst Inter and Napoli are vying for Verdi’s signature, Verdi’s eventual destination may hinge on other factors simply that his own talent. 

First of all, Inter already have two capable set-piece taking midfielders in the form of Antonio Candreva and Marcelo Brozovic.

Genoa CFC v SSC Napoli - Serie A

Napoli could be the more likely to acquire Verdi, as Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne, both of which would compete with Verdi in the Napli side, have been linked with moves away from Naples and would prompt the club to bring in a replacement.

Whether he leaves the club in January or the summer, it’s likely that Simone Verdi is destined for a place in the side of a top European club eventually.

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No Way, Jose! 5 Excuses Mourinho Has Given for His Teams’ Failures Over the Course of His Career

Jose Mourinho loves pointing fingers at the end of a match that hasn’t gone his way and has an almost compulsive tendency to do so whenever he is asked to respond for his actions. 

Throughout his long and successful career as a manager, the self-styled ‘Special One’ has proved to have plenty of good qualities – from his visionary strategies to his ability to establish a personal connection with his players – but taking the blame isn’t really one of them. 

As his Manchester United suffered one of the most painful defeats of the season, hosting Manchester City at the Old Trafford for the derby, a reasonable person would think he would show up at the post-match presser with the tail between his legs. 

But he’s Mourinho, and we should bare in mind that the ‘Special One’ is never at fault. This weekend it was Michael Oliver who caught most of the blame, while the footballing Gods almost got a mention. 

Here’s a throwback to some of Mourinho’s most unusual and hilarious scapegoats.

5. Fans

During his years at Real Madrid, Mourinho had two main things to complain about: Barcelona being favoured by the referees and Los Blancos’ own fans who, sometimes, did not show as much support as he would want. 

Only 300 supporters followed the Spanish giants on the short away trip to Rayo Vallecano – an unforgivable decision by Mourinho’s standards.

“If, like me, you have been here for two and a half years, you are used to the cold atmosphere here,” he groaned.

4. Floodlights

The Portuguese boss had one of his more memorable rants in the aftermath of Chelsea’s tough win over QPR in 2014 – calling into question the way the lighting system was handled.

Mourinho, who, let’s make this clear, had won the game, still had something to complain about when asked for. comment.

“I think the man responsible for the lights was in the same mood as the crowd, because everybody was sleeping,” he grumbled. “He took 20 minutes to understand that it was dark.”

3. Doctor Eva Carneiro

A furious Mourinho had Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro and her first-team physio in his sights, for daring to go onto the pitch to treat Eden Hazard during Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Swansea back in 2015.

However, the fallout of the incident may have surprised even Jose. Carneiro left her job shortly after being castigated by Mourinho and received a large settlement from Chelsea in a tribunal.

Mourinho who appeared to argue with Gibraltarian Carneiro during the Swansea game, said after the match: “My medical department left me with eight fit outfield players in a counter attack after a set piece and we were worried we didn’t have enough players left.

“If you go to the pitch to assist a player, then you must be sure that a player has a serious problem. I was sure that Eden didn’t have a serious problem. He had a knock and was very tired”.

To compound the scandal for Mourinho, the Portuguese boss was sacked half way during the season and Chelsea ended tenth.

2. Journalists, TV Pundits & Critics in General

The list is long. Mourinho has always loved to use the media as the scapegoat for his mistakes. 

Last February, for example, he told a journalist: “Well if you don’t know football, you shouldn’t be with the microphone in your hand.”

Another time, he was interviewed on Sky Sport, and claimed that the broadcasting channel had no pundits supporting Chelsea and way too many on Liverpool’s side. 

1. Referees

Just like on Sunday, Mourinho tends to often point his finger towards the match officials, in order to distract from his own team’s failings.

During his first months at Manchester United he was fined £58,000 for questioning a referee during a draw with Burnley and has still hasn’t moved on. 

He told cameras after another game: “I don’t want to speak more about refereeing decisions because if I speak, I’m punished and I don’t want to be punished.

“You know clearly that I’m different. I’m different. The rules for me are different.”

In recent times, here’s what he said after losing to Real Madrid earlier this summer: “I think we did well. We lost 2-1 which, I think, shows the result was really short, and one of the goals was offside so with a good VAR it would be 1-1 and extra time.”


‘Embarrassed’ Inter Boss Luciano Spalletti Urges Media to Stop Comparing Him With Jose Mourinho

Luciano Spalletti has done a laudable job as Inter’s new coach this season as his side are topping the Serie A table and still unbeaten. 

The Italian took over the Milan outfit last summer after the team failed to qualify for the Champions League and struggled to reach top levels. 

Inter have continued their unbeaten run thanks to a precious 0-0 draw with Juventus this weekend and have two games left to confirm themselves as winter champions. 

Spalletti’s numerous successes in the league have quickly linked his name with current Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, whose wonders at Inter are still remembered fondly. 

The Italian and the Portuguese have often been put in comparison, although neither of them has appreciated it, with Mourinho claiming on Monday: “Luciano’s got his story, I’ve got mine.

“I’m obviously happy but Luciano has his own identity, his own story and way of working. I’m just an Inter fan who, from a distance, hopes that everything goes well for them.”

Spalletti too had something to say about the ongoing parallelisms between the two as he declared himself embarrassed by the comparison: “I’ve been here two days, he made history.

“This juxtaposition with Mourinho embarrasses me. You have to stop it, it forces me to emphasise the distance between me, who has been here for two days, and someone who made history with Inter.

“I can’t come close, so do me a favour: don’t put me close to him. Mourinho knows too that it doesn’t stack up.”

He continued: “I’ll defend the work of the squad though. When you see it from outside that’s one thing, but when you’re on the inside and see it every day you realise the work the players are doing.

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“I had some certainties against Juventus, because we were compact and solid. We have a unique soul but we didn’t play a perfect game, so there are some things we can improve.”