'I never stopped trying' – Persistence pays off for Correa after Udinese brace

By Sports Desk October 31, 2021

Joaquin Correa felt his persistence paid off after scoring both goals in Inter's 2-0 win over Udinese.

Despite controlling possession in the Serie A clash, Simone Inzaghi's third-placed side had to be patient for the breakthrough at San Siro on Sunday.

It finally arrived on the hour mark courtesy of Correa's marvellous strike and the Argentina international doubled the lead with a clinical finish just eight minutes later.

On just his third start for the club - and first at San Siro - the Lazio loanee took his tally to four for the season since arriving from the Biancocelesti.

And the forward believes he and his team-mates reaped the rewards for their patience.

"It was a very complicated game and it was so important to get the three points," he told Sky Sport Italia.

"There were very few spaces, but we never stopped playing our football.

"Unfortunately, injuries slowed my progress this season, but I am getting back in shape and will try to help the team any way I can.

"Things weren't going well for me in the first half today either, but I never stopped trying. 

"Now, we have to continue along this path, because everyone in the team wants the same thing."

Following a second successive clean sheet, head coach Inzaghi feels that was testament to the balance within his side.

"This was not a simple game, as we know Udinese are a physical side who closed down the spaces," he said.

"The lads didn't have much time to prepare, but we worked really hard and must continue after two consecutive victories with clean sheets.

"We have excellent defenders, but a clean sheet depends on balance throughout the team and not just the defenders."

Related items

  • Lamar's 2022 form 'a natural next step' – Harbaugh Lamar's 2022 form 'a natural next step' – Harbaugh

    Lamar Jackson's sensational start to the 2022 season is "a natural next step", according to Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh, who always believed the quarterback could be "everything he is".

    The Ravens improved to 2-1 with a 37-26 win over the New England Patriots on Sunday, in which Jackson threw four touchdown passes and rushed for 107 yards and a further score.

    The fifth-year QB became only the second player in NFL history with at least four TD passes, 100 rushing yards and a rushing TD in a game after the Philadelphia Eagles' Randall Cunningham – also against the Patriots – in Week 9 of the 1990 season.

    But Jackson also had three TD passes and 100 rushing yards in Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins.

    Only seven other QBs (including Cunningham) have previously enjoyed such a performance, and none of them have done so more than once. Jackson has achieved that feat in consecutive games and four times across his career.

    Surely a contender again this year, Jackson was the MVP in 2019 when he led the league in passing TDs (36), as he does now (10).

    The failure to agree a new Ravens contract in the offseason would likely have made Jackson more determined to bounce back from an injury-hit 2021, but Harbaugh has never doubted his star man.

    "No one has to tell me about Lamar Jackson," the Baltimore coach said.

    "I believe in him. I love him. I just believed him the first day we drafted him, the first day we talked about drafting him. I felt like he could be everything he is.

    "I just think it's a natural next step in terms of like finding his rhythm during the week, what he's looking at, how he studies defenses, how he breaks defenses down.

    "It's not a lightbulb thing; it's an evolution of studying the game that you see quarterbacks go through."

    Jackson offered his own take on his development, adding: "I'd just say [it is down to] maturity, just because of my age, just knowing the game of football just basically inside out.

    "You've just got to stay locked in. That's probably the thing, just being locked in no matter what's going on during the game."

  • Maldini confident Leao wants Milan renewal Maldini confident Leao wants Milan renewal

    Milan technical director Paolo Maldini is confident Rafael Leao wants to sign a new contract with the Serie A champions.

    Leao joined Milan three years ago in a €35million deal that reportedly also includes a 20 per cent sell-on clause.

    He made only 12 Serie A starts in his first season, but that increased to 22 the following campaign and then reached 31 last term as Milan won the title.

    Leao played a crucial role in Milan winning a first Scudetto since 2011, scoring 11 goals and setting up another eight – his 19 goal involvements was five more than anyone else for the Rossoneri, while only Theo Hernandez (51) laid on more chances than the Portugal international (45).

    The forward's improved productivity has unsurprisingly seen links to other clubs emerge, with Chelsea reportedly keen on him.

    But Maldini is optimistic about extending Leao's contract beyond its current expiry in 2024, despite a dispute with former club Sporting CP – whom the player reportedly owes €16.5m after unilaterally terminating his contract in 2018 – threatening to cause a distraction.

    "Leao has a difficult situation deriving from the move to Lille, this is affecting him a lot and has meant that our dialogues have often changed," Maldini told Gazzetta dello Sport.

    "But Rafa is grateful to us, and I'm interested in what he tells us. He understands that the path in the coming years must be at Milan, he understands it and tells us [this].

    "Then there will be a negotiation, but we know that strong players must be paid their worth. If the team continues to grow, Leao will have everything to compete to the fullest.

    "But of course, there is no non-transferable [player] for all the teams in the world."

    Maldini was then asked if he was confident some form of arrangement could be found with Leao and Sporting, as the player reportedly wants Milan to help fund any future payments to the Primeira Liga side.

    "Yes, with [Leao's contract], yes [but] we have nothing to do with Sporting."

    Leao has already scored three times in six Serie A appearances this season, with Milan sitting fifth and three points off the summit after seven matches.

  • 'I wish it was one thing' – Brady says failing Bucs offense 'just got to do a better job' 'I wish it was one thing' – Brady says failing Bucs offense 'just got to do a better job'

    Tom Brady acknowledges there have been problems with "execution" right throughout the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' offense this season.

    The Bucs ranked second in both total touchdowns (63), yards (6,901) and points (511) in 2021, trailing only the Dallas Cowboys in each category.

    But after losing 14-12 to the Green Bay Packers in Week 3 this year, Tampa Bay rank joint-27th in total TDs (four), 25th in yards (892) and joint-21st in points (51).

    Never has Brady thrown fewer TD passes through his first three starts of a season (three), while only in four seasons has he had fewer passing yards at this stage (673).

    "We've just got to do a better job," said Brady, who insisted a finger injury had "zero" impact on the Packers result.

    "I wish it was one thing; we're not running as good as we're capable, the passing game hasn't been very good, our screen game. There are a lot of things."

    He added: "Our job is to go out there and score points, so we're just not doing it. We're not going to score points if we don't execute well.

    "They [the Packers] did a better job than us – good defense, good, physical defense, I give them a lot of credit.

    "They forced us to make a lot of good plays, and we just didn't do a great job in execution."

    Still, Brady is not panicking, saying: "We're 2-1. There's a lot of football left. We'll keep working at it.

    "It doesn't get any easier next week, going up against the Chiefs, but no one feels sorry for us, nor should we. We've just got to go back to work."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.