MILAN, Italy, May 2 – Inter Milan still have a say in the Serie A title race this season after winning 2-1 at Udinese on Sunday to stay two points behind league leaders AC Milan.
Ivan Perisic and Lautaro Martinez ensured the champions bounce back from Wednesday’s traumatic defeat at Bologna and stay on the heels of Milan who were sacked earlier for a 1-0 win over Fiorentina by Rafael Leao.
Milan need seven points from their last three games to snatch the Scudetto from their local rivals as they have the best of two league derbies with Inter, meaning the seven-time European champions would remain ahead of the league. ‘Inter if they end up being stuck on the same. points.
“No, no, we just have to do our job. Now we have to move on to the next game and win,” Martinez said after being asked if Inter were feeling the pressure.
“We are all here for the same goal. We have to win our games and hope they lose points.
Sunday’s match was the toughest of Inter’s encounter, while Milan face Verona and Atalanta in their bid to claim the crown.
And Simone Inzaghi’s side handled a tricky side well which had scored 17 goals in six games in April, taking the lead in the 12th minute thanks to Perisic’s header and doubling their advantage seven minutes before half-time.
After Martinez was disallowed, Edin Dzeko made the most of contact from Pablo Mari’s tackle and earned his side a penalty, which was smashed into the post by Martinez before the Argentine nodded in the rebound via a deflection of the arm of goalkeeper Marco Silvestre.
Ignacio Pussetto pulled one back for the hosts after Gerard Deulofeu’s free kick was well saved by Samir Handanovic, but Inter held on to claim the points.
– Leao keeps Milan in mind –
Portugal striker Leao scored eight minutes from time against Fiorentina to ensure Milan are still favorites for a first Scudetto since 2011.
“It’s the best moment of my playing career,” Leao told DAZN after his 10th league goal of the season, which sparked a wave of relief in a crowded San Siro.
Until Leao scored it had seemed like a frustrating day for the hosts, with Olivier Giroud missing the first of a series of good chances with 15 minutes on the clock when he somehow missed his dinked finish after being perfectly slipped by Franck Kessie.
Nerves began to get to the home fans after a series of misplaced passes from good positions dampened promising attacks, and the huge crowd had their heads in their hands two minutes after the break when Leao crashed at close range after being fed by Giroud.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic was introduced in the 65th minute to try and force the winner, and after Mike Maignan saved Arthur Cabral’s header in the 76th minute, Leao celebrated.
He collected Viola goalkeeper Pietro Terracciano’s terrible kick, charged towards goal and scored home a finish that could be crucial for a thrilling title race.
– Juve in the Champions League –
Leonardo Bonucci put Juve in the Champions League next season with a brace in their 2-1 win over Venezia, which also dealt a blow to the Serie A bottom side’s survival hopes.
Italian defender Bonucci scored in each half at the Allianz Stadium to put Juve 10 points ahead of fifth-placed Roma, who drew 0-0 with Bologna ahead of the second leg of their semi-final the Europa Conference League with Leicester City. Thursday.
“We needed the win to make sure the last three games weren’t too difficult,” Bonucci told Sky Sport Italia.
Venezia are six points behind Cagliari, who sit just outside the relegation zone,
They have a game in progress on Thursday at in-form Salernitana, who are making a bold bid to retain their Serie A spot after three straight wins and are at Atalanta on Monday.