Vincenzo Italiano urges Fiorentina to forget cup failure and focus on Inter

By Sports Desk January 27, 2024

Fiorentina boss Vincenzo Italiano has challenged his side to put their Supercoppa Italiana disappointment behind them by giving Inter Milan plenty to think about when they return to Serie A action.

I Viola were beaten 3-0 by Napoli in the semi-finals of the new four-team tournament held in Saudi Arabia last week, which Inter went on to win.

Italiano feels his squad can regroup to kick-start their domestic campaign as they look to maintain a challenge to finish in the top four.

“We won’t hide the fact that we’re disappointed by what we could have achieved, even if the team did what they had to do, apart from the unrepresentative result,” Italiano said.

“Now we have to project ourselves into the league with the desire, the anger and the determination to have an important journey, where we want to score points and do well, this is the objective.”

Italiano told Fiorentina club media: “What we did in the first half (of the campaign), no one can take that away from us – but the second half is always a different season.

“We need to continue to have fuel and push, facing the matches with determination because the objectives become decisive for everyone.

“We want to continue this important path in the second half also because we are in an important spot in the table and we want to stay there.”

Inter will be out to move back to the top of the table and capitalise on Juventus’ surprise 1-1 draw at home to struggling Empoli after seeing Arkadiusz Milik receive an early red card.

Italiano, though, feels Fiorentina can cause problems for Simone Inzaghi’s side at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.

“It is an important match for us, it will be difficult because Inter are doing good from all points of view,” he said.

“But we are playing at home and we had the opportunity to work throughout the week on our playing principles and think of something useful to put Inter in difficulty.

“I hope it was useful for tomorrow and we will be be ready to do battle against one of the strongest teams.”

Inter have a doubt over Alessandro Bastoni ahead of Sunday’s return to Serie A action.

The defender was left on the bench for the Supercoppa Italiana final against Napoli because of a muscle problem.

Inter midfielders Nicolo Barella and Hakan Calhanoglu will be unavailable through suspension, so Davide Frattesi and Kristjan Asllani are expected to be involved.

Related items

  • Inter seal Serie A title with win in ill-tempered Milan derby Inter seal Serie A title with win in ill-tempered Milan derby

    Inter Milan set the seal on a season of domestic dominance with an ill-tempered 2-1 victory over bitter rivals AC Milan to claim a 20th Serie A title.

    Simone Inzaghi’s side have lost just once in the league this season and secured the Scudetto with five games to spare thanks to goals from Francesco Acerbi and Marcus Thuram.

    Fikayo Tomori pulled a goal back with 10 minutes left to set up a potentially nervy finish, but the most notable action was a 93rd-minute melee – sparked by some needless pushing and shoving between Denzel Dumfries and Theo Hernandez – which saw both men sent off.

    And Milan’s miserable evening was compounded when Davide Calabria was also shown a red card for swinging an arm into the face of Davide Frattesi as they waited for a corner.

    The sides came into the game level on 19 titles each, but Stefano Pioli’s side were 14 points adrift of Inter and simply hoping to delay Inter’s title celebrations for a few days in the Derby della Madonnina.

    That looked a forlorn task with Inter having scored the most goals in Serie A this season while also boasting the meanest defence and, after Lautaro Martinez blazed an early volley well over, they duly took the lead in the 18th minute.

    Federico Dimarco’s outswinging corner was flicked on at the near post by Benjamin Pavard and Acerbi was somehow left unmarked to head home from close range.

    Inter should have doubled their lead in the 25th minute when a delightful flick from Thuram allowed Dimarco to get to the byline and pull the ball back for Martinez, but again he could only direct his shot high and wide of Mike Maignan’s goal.

    Milan briefly threatened on the counter-attack as Rafael Leao’s shot brought a decent save from Yann Sommer, but at the other end Thuram side-footed agonisingly wide after a neat exchange of passes with Nicolo Barella.

    Sommer was called into action again to save a goalbound effort from Calabria and the ball was quickly swept down field to allow Henrikh Mkhitaryan to test the reactions of Maignan, who proved equal to the task.

    Inter had to wait just four minutes after the interval to extend their lead however, Thuram taking full advantage of the Milan defence backing off to fire a low shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.

    Milan offered little in the way of an attacking threat until 10 minutes from the end when substitute Samuel Chukwueze’s cross was headed back across goal by Leao, Matteo Gabbia’s header was turned on to the post by Sommer and Tomori was ideally placed to head into the empty net.

  • Real Madrid and England midfielder Jude Bellingham wins Laureus award Real Madrid and England midfielder Jude Bellingham wins Laureus award

    Jude Bellingham joined Novak Djokovic and Aitana Bonmati as the big winners at the Laureus World Sports Awards as the England midfielder won the World Breakthrough of the Year prize in Madrid.

    Bellingham became the first footballer to claim the honour the day after scoring Real Madrid’s late winner in their 3-2 El Clasico victory over Barcelona.

    The 20-year-old has had an outstanding first season at Real since joining from Borussia Dortmund last summer, scoring 21 goals in all competitions.

    Djokovic was named Laureus World Sportsman of the Year for a record-equalling fifth time after winning the Australian Open, French Open and US Open to lead the way with 24 grand slam men’s singles titles.

    “I am incredibly honoured to have won my fifth Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award,” said Djokovic.

    “I think back to 2012, when I won it for the first time as a 24-year-old. I am very proud to be here 12 years later, reflecting on a year that brought me and my fans a lot of excitement and success.

    “It was thrilling to return to Australia last January and win my 10th title. It is a tournament that is so dear to my heart and set me up for an incredible 12 months.

    “I could not have achieved so much success without an incredible team behind me, and inspirational rivals who have always pushed me to be the best version of myself.”

    Bonmati took to the stage twice to collect two awards – the first footballer to win the Laureus Sportswoman of the Year trophy and also represent the Spain team which won the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

    She said: “It is humbling to see the list of previous winners of this award.

    “From Serena Williams to Simone Biles, Lindsey Vonn, Naomi Osaka and last year’s winner Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, they are all incredible athletes who have not only excelled in their chosen sports, but been incredible role models for younger generations of young women and girls.

    “As the first women’s team to win the Laureus, we are proud of our status as pioneers and as a group we are as committed to equality and representation as we are to what we do on the football pitch.”

    American gymnast Biles, a three-time winner of Sportswoman of the Year, won the World Comeback of the Year Award.

    Biles collected four gold medals at the World Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, her first global event since leaving the Tokyo Olympics due to mental health issues and entering a near two-year break from the sport she had dominated.

    Other award winners were Rafael Nadal (Sport for Good), Diede de Groot (World Sportsperson of the Year with a disability) and Arisa Trew (World Action Sportsperson of the Year).

    :: The 25th Laureus World Sports Awards took place on Monday 22 April in Madrid, celebrating the leading names in sport from across the globe. To find out more, visit www.laureus.com.

  • FA seeks ‘formal observations’ from Forest trio over comments about officiating FA seeks ‘formal observations’ from Forest trio over comments about officiating

    Nottingham Forest face the threat of Football Association and Premier League charges over their extraordinary attack on the officiating of their match against Everton on Sunday.

    Three Forest members of staff – head coach Nuno Espirito Santo, referee analyst Mark Clattenburg and full-back Neco Williams – have been asked by the FA to explain comments they made about the refereeing at Goodison Park, while the Premier League is also examining the club’s social media post which appeared to question the integrity of VAR Stuart Attwell.

    The statements from the authorities came within hours of Forest demanding the release of VAR audio related to the rejection of three penalty appeals during their 2-0 defeat.

    Forest first issued a club statement on X on Sunday, minutes after the final whistle, in which they said they had “warned” referees’ chief Howard Webb that Attwell “is a Luton fan” but that no change was made to the match appointment.

    The club went further on Monday evening and called on Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) to change its rules on officials’ allegiances to account for “contextual rivalries in the league table”, not just local rivalries.

    The Premier League said it was “extremely disappointed” by the statement issued on Sunday and added: “It is never appropriate to improperly question the integrity of match officials, and the nature of these comments means the Premier League will also be investigating the matter in relation to the league’s rules.”

    Sources have since told PA that Clattenburg did contact Webb on Friday to share that he thought Nuno might be asked about Attwell by the media, but that Forest did not raise Attwell’s appointment as a concern or make a request to change the appointment.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.