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HomeSerie AInter take next step towards Scudetto decider late on

Inter take next step towards Scudetto decider late on

On the way to the Scudetto decider, Inter Milan picked up an important three points at Udinese Calcio. The Nerazzurri only turned the game around in the fifth minute of stoppage time

Inter coach Simone Inzaghi made three changes to his starting eleven for the away game in Udine following the 2-0 win against Empoli. In addition to Carlos Augusto and Dumfries, who replaced the injured Bastoni (not in the squad) and Darmian (bench), the recently ankle-injured Sommer returned to the Milan goal for Audero (bench).

Dominant Inter desperate for Okoye

The Nerazzurri – unbeaten in 24 Serie A games before the start of the game – took control early on against the hosts, who remain in the relegation battle. The absence of top scorer Lucca (7 goals) meant that Udinese, who had recently failed to get past Sassuolo in a 1-1 draw, rarely developed any attacking threat.

Instead, Inter lived up to their role as favorites for the time being, but were too imprecise in front of the opponent’s goal and found their master in goalkeeper Okoye on several occasions. The Düsseldorf native twice drove Calhanoglu to the brink of despair (21st/30th).

Samardzic with the lead out of nowhere

The visitors went into the final phase of the first period with 75 percent possession – and suddenly they were behind. Out of nowhere, the ball bobbled into the back of Milan’s net after neither Dumfries nor Sommer were able to get in the way of Samardzic’s deflected left-footed shot (40′).

The favored Milan side went into the locker room with a deficit, but it would not last too long. After a supposed goal by Carlos Augusto in the 49th minute was conceded by the referees for offside, Udine goalkeeper Okoye gave the visitors the opportunity to level the scores at 1-1 with a penalty just a short time later. Calhanoglu did not have to be asked twice and converted with ice-cold precision (55′).

Mkhitaryan saves, Frattesi decides

Despite the equalizer, Milan did not play with much more compulsion, and in the 65th minute they had Mkhitaryan to thank for intercepting the lurking Thauvin just outside his own five-yard box.

The leaders continued to control the game in the closing stages, but rarely found a way past the Udinese goal. However, the designated champions did not want to write off their 26th win of the season completely – and finally converted their still high share of the game into the lucky punch. Martinez’s shot from the second row was deflected onto the inside of the post by Okoye’s fingertips, from where the ball rebounded right into the path of the alert Frattesi, who only had to slot home (90.+5).

The late away win restored Inter’s 14-point lead over rivals and city rivals AC. The Nerazzurri will face Cagliari Calcio on the next matchday (Sunday, 8.45pm). At 6 p.m. on the same day, Udinese Calcio will face another team from the top of the table when AS Roma visit Udine.

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