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Newcastle owners considered Inter and Milan before £305m takeover

By Sports Desk November 12, 2021

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  • Lukaku's profligacy frustrates Inter coach Inzaghi Lukaku's profligacy frustrates Inter coach Inzaghi

    Simone Inzaghi did not hide his frustration at Romelu Lukaku's struggles in front of goal after Inter lost 1-0 to Fiorentina on Saturday.

    Inter's losing streak in Serie A was extended to their worst in six years as Giacomo Bonaventura's second-half header proved decisive at San Siro.

    The Nerazzurri have now lost three straight top flight matches, with Bonaventura's winner coming shortly after a woeful miss from Lukaku.

    Having rediscovered his goalscoring touch while on international duty with Belgium, Lukaku was unable to transfer that form across to his club side as he failed to hit the target from close range with the goal gaping.

    No Inter player had more shots than his three, with Lukaku not managing to get any of them on target, despite accumulating 1.2 expected goals.

    While not pinning the blame entirely on Lukaku – who is reported to have confronted Inzaghi about a lack of opportunities while he has been fit this season – Inter's coach was quick to point out the importance of those misses.

    Speaking to DAZN, Inzaghi said: "If he had scored those chances, Lukaku's performance would be judged in a very different way.

    "His role is to create the opportunities, make the movements that the team needs.

    "He wasn't the only one who had chances today, so I wouldn't focus only on Romelu."

    Inzaghi also stressed he is ultimately responsible for turning Inter's fortunes around. 

    "There is great disappointment, we lost two consecutive home matches," he said. "We need to work more, starting with me.

    "At the moment, we need to be more determined, because we had so many chances to score and we should have done.

    "I cannot ask for more in terms of effort, as the players did everything I asked of them."

    Inzaghi is not wrong. While Fiorentina had more shots (19 to 16) and got the same number of attempts on target (three each), Inter finished with a 2.8 xG compared to the visitors' 1.2, suggesting the quality of opportunities that went their way was far greater.

    Lukaku's glaring miss came from by far the best opportunity of the match, with Opta's model estimating the chance would be converted 92 per cent of the time (0.92 xG).

    The 29-year-old's future is uncertain. He is on loan at Inter, but due to return to parent club Chelsea at the end of the season.

    Before the match, Inter chief Giuseppe Marotta told DAZN: "[Lukaku's] love for the Inter jersey is 10 out of 10, we'll evaluate the prospects with Chelsea."

  • Elche 0-4 Barcelona: Lewandowski double helps LaLiga leaders thrash rock-bottom hosts Elche 0-4 Barcelona: Lewandowski double helps LaLiga leaders thrash rock-bottom hosts

    Robert Lewandowski's latest Barcelona double helped take them another step closer to the LaLiga title with a 4-0 win over rock-bottom Elche on Saturday.

    The Poland international's goals either side of an Ansu Fati finish helped the Blaugrana cruise to a comfortable victory at Estadio Manuel Martínez Valero.

    Ferran Torres added a fourth as Xavi's visitors moved 15 points clear of second-placed Real Madrid in the table to further underline their domestic dominance this season.

    For Sebastian Beccacece, Elche's fourth different boss of the season, it was a chastening reminder of the task at hand.

    Barca pressed hard for an opener from the start and were duly rewarded 20 minutes in when Lewandowski turned in a Ronald Araujo header from Jordi Alba's free-kick.

    But Lewandowski missed a golden opportunity to double the visitors' lead before the break with a flying header, as did Jules Kounde when he saw Edgar Badia save his shot.

    The Blaugrana were more ruthless in the second half, though.

    Fati capped off a fluent breakaway move with a cool, low finish to put Barca two up in the 56th minute

    Lewandowski was then on hand 10 minutes later, latching onto a Gavi throughball and dispatching a neat finish, before Torres brought down the forward's looping pass outside the box for a fine strike of his own.

    That added a last touch of gloss to a dominant performance that edges Barca closer to silverware.

  • Juventus 1-0 Verona: Kean keeps Bianconeri rolling Juventus 1-0 Verona: Kean keeps Bianconeri rolling

    Moise Kean fired Juventus to a fifth consecutive victory in all competitions with a 1-0 win against Verona at Allianz Stadium.

    A relatively quiet game offered little in the way of clear-cut opportunities, Danilo hitting the frame of the goal in the best chance of the first half.

    However, Kean ensured the home fans would have something to celebrate after capping off a fine Juve move.

    Though far from a vintage performance, Juve have moved four points behind fifth-placed Atalanta and three behind sixth-placed Roma, who play on Sunday.

    Verona almost broke the deadlock after 15 minutes, Kevin Lasagna pulling a dangerous cross to the far post for Fabio Depaoli to smash a volley narrowly wide of Wojciech Szczesny's goal.

    Danilo came closest before the break, his free-kick clipping the top-left corner of the crossbar.

    Juve got their winner in the 55th minute. An excellent move culminated in Manuel Locatelli playing in Kean, who smashed home to take his tally of league goals for the season to six.

    Massimiliano Allegri's side were not home and dry, however, with Szczesny charging off his line to push a loose ball away with Lasagna lurking after his defence left him in the lurch.

    Juve had Szczesny to again thank when he kept out Filippo Terracciano's fierce effort.

    Bremer squandered a golden opportunity to wrap up the points late on, somehow bundling an attempt over from inside the six-yard box, though fortunately for the defender, Verona could not make Juve pay for his miss.

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