Inter maintained their 100 per cent record in Serie A as Antonio Conte's side recorded a 1-0 win over Lazio at San Siro on Wednesday.

The hosts, fresh from a 2-0 derby triumph over AC Milan at the weekend, opened the scoring with the first effort at goal when Danilo D'Ambrosio headed home after 23 minutes.

Lazio ought to have been level before the interval, with Joaquin Correa guilty of wasting two excellent opportunities against an in-form Samir Handanovic.

The second-half introduction of Ciro Immobile, benched after his adverse reaction at being substituted in the 2-0 win over Parma on Sunday, failed to prompt a Lazio comeback.

Conte's men have now won five from five to mark themselves out as the most likely challengers to Juventus' top-flight supremacy.

Inter dominated possession from the start but it was the visitors who threatened first. 

Felipe Caicedo ran into the penalty area but his heavy touch allowed the alert Handanovic - making his 300th appearance in all competitions for the Nerazzurri - to clean up the loose ball.

When the first attempt finally arrived it found the back of the net, D'Ambrosio leaping above Jony to nod in Cristiano Biraghi's cross.

Lazio sought a swift response and forced Handanovic into a superb save to tip Correa's curling strike over the crossbar.

With the game suddenly stretched, Romelu Lukaku drilled narrowly wide and Correa fluffed his lines when clean through on goal.

Handanovic again came to Inter's rescue with a reflex save from Correa's close-range shot to ensure his team were ahead at the break.

Correa was soon at it again in the second half, jumping to head a corner wide from just six yards, and Simone Inzaghi could wait no longer to bring on Immobile.

A fine double save from Thomas Strakosha, denying first Nicolo Barella then Matteo Politano, kept Lazio in the contest before the hour mark, while substitute Lautaro Martinez fired narrowly wide in added time.

Yet despite those reprieves, Inzaghi's side were unable to find an equaliser to put an end to Inter's perfect start to the Serie A season.

 

What does it mean? Inter have the stomach for a title tussle

Following a derby win over their city rivals, Inter could have fallen victim to a touch of complacency in this match. However, Conte's team produced another impressive showing, combining defensive solidity – they have still only conceded one league goal this term – with a calm and measured approach on the ball.

They face Juve early next month in what is shaping up to be an intriguing contest. 

A big hand for super Samir

That Inter kept their excellent defensive record intact was in large part down to Handanovic. On several occasions it was solely the Slovenian who stood between Lazio and a goal that would have changed the course of the game.

You must be Joaquin!

Creating chances was not really Lazio's problem; they had enough in the first half alone to have seriously troubled their opponents. Correa was more culpable than anyone in their failure to make a breakthrough. A little composure could have made a big difference.

What's next?

Both sides are in domestic action at the weekend before a return to continental competition, with Inter off to Sampdoria and then Barcelona, while Lazio have back-to-back home games against Genoa and Rennes.

The head of the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) has claimed diving is "more wrong" than racism.

Serie A has come in for widespread criticism after a series of reported incidents of racism at stadiums this season.

Monkey chants could be heard as Inter striker Romelu Lukaku scored a penalty in a 2-1 win at Cagliari, while Hellas Verona denied opposition midfielder Franck Kessie was racially abused by their fans during a 1-0 defeat to AC Milan.

Atalanta's game against Fiorentina was stopped for three minutes after Viola defender Dalbert, on loan from Inter, reported racist abuse from the crowd to the referee.

When asked about the incidents, CONI president Giovanni Malago acknowledged the issue but suggested diving is a bigger problem.

"The fans who jeer black players are wrong," he told Radio24.

"However, it's even more wrong when someone who earns €3million dives in the box and is then also happy to take the penalty."

Raheem Sterling's comments on racism will be seen as a milestone and have already affected media reporting, according to Fare executive director Piara Power.

Manchester City attacker Sterling's decision to speak out after he was racially abused in a Premier League game at Chelsea in December 2018 was praised by the chief of Fare, an organisation dedicated to combating inequality in football.

The England international argued the way the media reports about young black players contributes to racism in society, with Powar believing the point has been taken on board.

"I think what Raheem did there was very important," Powar told Omnisport. "He was racially abused at Chelsea and rather than go after the perpetrators, or focus on that incident, he knew the world had seen it and put out something, an analysis, which I think was quite stunning.

"And one of the wider reasons as to why, perhaps, he's being racially abused. And he linked it to the media and the differential treatment of two players because of their race. And, I think, what's happened there is that I've noticed that actually that's had an impact on the media.

"Many of the media now are also taking on the point that they're not diverse enough. You see now some new appointments being made in newspapers, sports rooms, the newsrooms of sports sections. You see now many of the broadcasters are also keen to make sure that they have diversity.

"And it is interesting. I think Raheem's comments will be seen as a milestone in the future - that doesn't meant that things have been resolved overnight, or that they are perfect, but I think that is fundamentally a big point."

Inter striker Romelu Lukaku was a victim of alleged racist abuse this season, with the Belgium international subjected to monkey noises as he prepared to take a penalty in a Serie A game at Cagliari.

The Sardinian club has a record of similar such incidents but avoided punishment from the league.

"I would say 10 years ago, maybe 15, 20 years ago the Romelu Lukaku incident would have been just another one that takes place every week," Powar added.

"But that's quite correct, we should have a sense of crisis around these incidents, just because of the nature of them, what people are saying, what it means, what the message means.

"We've never been clearer in our understanding of what to racially abuse someone in that way means to them individually and to their community.

"In Italy they've always had a problem because there's never been a systemic way of addressing it, there's never been a systemic programme to address the problems they have. They have a heavy-handed policing approach, which puts fans on the defensive.

"They have crumbling stadiums, so people are going to stadiums which are not very welcoming, where they don't feel like they're being treated as human beings. And then you have a lack of understanding generally, which has been exacerbated by the government they have for the last two or three years.

"In Italy there's a very big public debate about African migrants in particular, because of the Mediterranean crossings from North Africa. And much of that debate has been very negative, led by the government.

"Again, that's going to end up being felt inside stadiums and the response to it until now has been characterised by the administrators – [the] FA, Serie A – really not understanding what they should do and then being frightened of upsetting the government, being seen to take a counter-position to the government. So very complicated things in Italy that go back a long way.

"I've got friends who play high-level football in Italy and they say 10, 15, 20 years ago it was exactly the same. It just doesn't seem to have caught up with other countries in the top five leagues in western Europe, and it's causing us quite a lot of problems at the moment."

Alexis Sanchez is still not ready to start for Inter, according to coach Antonio Conte.

Sanchez has made one brief substitute appearance in Serie A since joining Inter on loan from Manchester United.

The Chile international did not have a full pre-season with United due to a hamstring injury sustained at the Copa America.

With Inter top of Serie A and yet to drop a point, Conte is in no rush to push Sanchez into his side.

"For him it is worth the words I give for everyone else," he said ahead of Wednesday's home game against Lazio.

"When I see ready players, they will be inserted [into the XI].

"I have to work in the interest of Inter, not of individuals."

While Sanchez has made a slow start at San Siro, ex-United team-mate Romelu Lukaku is thriving.

The Belgium international has hit three goals in four Serie A games to fire the Nerazzurri to a perfect record.

Conte tried to take Lukaku to Chelsea earlier in his career, but the Italian opted against adding to his previous praise for the striker.

"Of Lukaku, I have said far and wide what I think, it seems to me superfluous to repeat it again," Conte added.

"For the midfielders, on the other hand, I am happy: beyond those who score, the more arrows we have available to our bow, the better.

"But even in the past, this is a department that has always played a fairly important and decisive role in my teams.

"When you start a new project, the hope is that it is long and lasting. The more you stay in a club, the more it means that your ideas are being assimilated.

"Surely for a coach to stay long is the best thing. I've never been able to coach the same team for more than three years, and change means starting from scratch.

"It's not easy, because you have to find people who can support you in every context."

Romelu Lukaku hailed his relationship with head coach Antonio Conte after scoring in Inter's 2-0 derby victory over city rivals AC Milan.

The former Manchester United striker discussed the extra motivation he has been given by Conte, who has guided Inter to four consecutive victories in Serie A.

Inter were comfortably the better side in Saturday's derby, Marcelo Brozovic's deflected effort early in the second half being followed up by Lukaku's impressive header 12 minutes from time, which led to a celebration between him and the ex-Chelsea boss.

Conte's men also hit the post on three occasions and found Milan keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma in inspired form on a night that could easily have produced more goals.

For Lukaku, the convincing win was a perfect answer to a poor Champions League draw against Slavia Prague on Tuesday.

"My relationship with Conte is very strong," Lukaku said to DAZN.

"He is a coach who really helps me. At the age of 26, I want a coach like this, who motivates and helps me every day.

"I am very happy to be here and to be working with him. This match is very important for us and we are pleased with the three points.

"The game with Slavia Prague was difficult, but we prepared well and gave a strong reply."

Conte, meanwhile, believes there is still much more for Lukaku to give, and he felt Inter's European struggles drove his team on.

"He is 26 years old and arrived here thanks to his potential," Conte said of Lukaku, who reportedly clashed with Brozovic in the dressing room on the night of the Slavia match.

"If we work with him properly, he can become extremely important. He can give even more and I told him that too.

"Brozo and Lukaku are exceptional lads and if anything, I get cross with them because they are too nice. They need to be more clinical on the pitch.

"Quarrels mean there is blood in the veins and a desire to improve. I've been a player, I've argued with team-mates many times and then gone out to dinner with them afterwards. It's not a big deal and they enjoy being together."

Conte added: "We were coming off a performance in the Champions League that left a bitter taste in the mouth and fired us up even more to go into the derby in the right way.

"The lads played a good game in every aspect. It's a deserved victory, I am happy for our fans, because derbies are special games and never easy to win.

"I am happy with our Serie A start, less so in the Champions League, but I do also believe that setback can help bring us back on to the right path.

"A commander can have his plans, but he needs the foot soldiers to go out and execute the orders, so I am fortunate to have very good, disciplined players."

Inter head coach Antonio Conte believes Italian football's "hate" culture has worsened since he returned to Serie A.

Cagliari fans subjected Inter striker Romelu Lukaku to monkey chants before he took a penalty when the sides met in Serie A on September 2.

On Monday Italian television station TopCalcio24 dropped pundit Luciano Passirani and apologised after he made a racist comment about Lukaku.

Conte resumed his management career in his homeland when he joined Inter in May following two seasons in the Premier League with Chelsea.

The 50-year-old was speaking at a news conference on Friday ahead of their San Siro clash with city rivals AC Milan, which has been called the 'Derby Against Racism'.

"I came back after three years and found everything worse," Conte said.

"A lot of hatred, resentment. It is only to insult and foment hatred. This is very bad. This exists in Italy and is getting worse and worse.

"I had the luck to have an experience in England, where they throw them [supporters] in jail and throw away the keys, they don't come to the stadium anymore.

"We need to improve. That's why in England you see families at the stadium. I repeat: we have to improve everyone.”

Conte also took a swipe at the media and claimed they perpetuate the problem to a large degree by stoking up rivalries.

He continued: "I found an Italy worsened to the nth degree and we are all guilty. Including you [the media] who are sitting there. We are not exempt.

"It is easy to make articles after something has happened and to put yourself on the side of reason. 

"They are articles that foster lack of respect. We will all have to do an examination of conscience. I repeat: I had been absent for three years, I found something multiplied many times. 

"I think it is anti-educational towards the generations that are coming because they are born in front of the keyboard reading hate and violence.

"The solution would be to send positive messages. Do not stir up violence and accentuate the rivalry.

"I think that communication has a very important role in this because the reader can read hatred or positive things and can continue on a certain wave."

AC Milan are set to launch an anti-racism task force to tackle discrimination in Italian football.

Milan's initiative had been several months in planning but, following several high-profile incidents in Italian football, they accelerated matters to launch at the Derby della Madonnina against bitter rivals Inter on Saturday.

The contest has been rebranded the "Derby Against Racism", as the Rossoneri aim to "demonstrate solidarity with some of the most high-profile targets of the negative behaviour".

The decision to bring the announcement forward comes in the wake of Milan midfielder Franck Kessie and Inter forward Romelu Lukaku suffering alleged racist abuse during matches in September.

An Italian football pundit was also suspended from television show TopCalcio24 for using a racist remark when praising the performances of Lukaku.

Announcing the campaign, Milan CEO Ivan Gazidis said: "Italian football needs to wake up and take a strong stance against racist behaviour.

"AC Milan will take a leadership position on this issue, promoting basic human values that are relevant to us all. Football provides a powerful example of the strength of unity and teamwork.

"Diversity, inclusion and tolerance enhance the strength of the team, the club and of society as a whole. We believe that we have a moral obligation to do everything we can to address this issue.

"This first significant step aims to visibly demonstrate that we will be proactive in our efforts to tackle racism in football. These values transcend football rivalries and we are delighted to have the support of Inter for this initiative."

Inter Miami have found their star signing, set to land Manchester City playmaker David Silva.

The MLS side, set to start playing next year, have been linked with numerous big names, with Barcelona star Lionel Messi among them.

But they appear to have found the man to lead them into their debut campaign.

 

TOP STORY – DAVID SILVA SET TO JOIN MLS SIDE INTER MIAMI

David Silva is likely to join Inter Miami at the end of the 2019-20 season, according to the Independent.

The 33-year-old has previously said this campaign would be his last with Manchester City, the club he arrived at in 2010.

David Beckham is a co-owner of Inter Miami and it seems they are set to land the star they have been chasing.

ROUND-UP

- Unsurprisingly, Erling Haaland's Champions League exploits have led to interest from a couple of Europe's biggest clubs. The RB Salzburg forward, 19, scored a hat-trick against Genk on Tuesday. Barcelona have watched Haaland previously, according to Mundo Deportivo, while The Sun reports Manchester United have also joined the race for the Norway international.

- Barcelona may be busy in January, but only with departures. Marca reports the LaLiga giants are not planning to make any signings despite continued interest in Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar, but are considering selling first-team players Ivan Rakitic, Samuel Umtiti and Arturo Vidal.

- Mason Greenwood is set to re-sign with Manchester United. The Sun reports the forward, who scored his first senior goal for the club in the Europa League on Thursday, will sign a new contract before his 18th birthday on October 1, taking his wages from £800 to £25,000 per week.

- Antoine Griezmann made the move from Atletico Madrid to Barcelona in the close season and the forward received quite the bonus. The France international landed a €14million commission to sign for Barcelona, according to El Mundo.

- Like Haaland, another RB Salzburg player is being chased by a Premier League club. Arsenal have made a fresh approach for playmaker Dominik Szoboszlai, according to The Sun, having also chased the 18-year-old Hungarian during the close season.

- There appears to be some tension at Inter. Romelu Lukaku and Marcelo Brozovic exchanged words in the dressing room and had to be separated by team-mates after a 1-1 Champions League draw at home to Slavia Prague on Tuesday, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Cagliari will not be punished for racist abuse aimed at Inter striker Romelu Lukaku, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has confirmed.

Lukaku was subjected to monkey chants as he prepared to take a penalty in the Serie A meeting between the sides earlier this month.

Cagliari subsequently vowed to ban the supporters responsible but rejected "silly stereotypes" about the behaviour of their fans, while Lukaku called on football authorities and players to "unify" in the fight against racism.

The FIGC said it would investigate the incident but on Tuesday its Giudice Sportivo panel ruled Cagliari would not be punished over the abuse aimed at the Belgium international.

"The head of the public order stated that police of Cagliari had spotted that in the phases preceding the penalty kick, and only on that occasion, from the sector "Curva Nord", usually occupied by the home supporters, there were chants, shouts and arguments against the athlete Lukaku, who was preparing for the penalty," said a statement. 

But it was concluded the club would not be punished due to the "size" of the chanting and the perception that there was too much shouting and whistling to identify its "discriminatory" nature.

Cagliari, however, were fined €5,000 after fans launched plastic bottles on to the pitch against Inter.

The abuse aimed at Lukaku is the fourth high-profile occasion Cagliari have been involved in such incidents in just over two years.

In May 2017, Pescara's Sulley Muntari was booked for complaining to the referee about racism and was later given a one-match ban for walking off the pitch, while Juventus midfielder Blaise Matuidi claimed in January 2018 he was abused.

Last season Matuidi's then club-mate Moise Kean was targeted with the Sardinia club escaping punishment as Serie A felt the chants "had an objectively limited relevance to race".

Meanwhile, Italian sports pundit Luciano Passirani, who was suspended by television channel TopCalcio24 after saying the only way to stop Lukaku was to give him "10 bananas", has denied being racist.

He told Corriere dello Sport: "I have been in the world of football for 40 years and have never received a suspension for behaviour in any of the roles I have held, but I accept the decision made against me.

"I would not like to pass for a racist. My partner who has lived with me for 17 years is black, I have two black grand-daughters. I am not a racist and I believe I am an educated person in every respect.

"In my career I met so many black players and I never had any problems."

Antonio Conte is committed to building a "special" Inter side but has called for patience from fans and media alike ahead of the Nerazzurri's Champions League meeting with Slavia Prague.

Inter have won all three of their opening Serie A fixtures under Conte and sit top of the table.

Head coach Conte, though, has insisted patience will be required throughout the campaign, conceding the Champions League will make it more difficult for him to pin down Inter's new style of play.

"It will be hard to play on more than one front. The more time you have the easier it is for the coach and also for the players to recover," Conte told a news conference.

"The Champions League is a great source of motivation, we all want to do well and go far for the fans too, but it is not easy for me in my goal of creating a side with an identity.

"There is real desire to create something special, we are laying solid foundations for something important.

"It is vital we keep our feet on the ground, but the enthusiasm must come from the results, from our hard work and our aims, so time and patience is needed.

"I played in three Champions League finals and coached Juventus in the Champions League too, my record there was good.

"At Chelsea too, I coached in the Champions League, this is my fourth season as a coach in the Champions League, but it takes time to win it, you need experience, you need to create a side with an identity.

"In the past I have coached sides still being built. It has not been easy for me."

The arrival of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez have boosted Inter's attack, while Conte's side have scored seven and conceded just once in their three league matches so far.

Lukaku has scored twice so far, though had to be taken off with an injury midway through the second half against Udinese on Saturday.

"Lukaku will train today," Conte said when asked if the forward was fit.

"He had a back injury against Udinese but we will see and evaluate his fitness."

An Italian sports programme has suspended pundit Luciano Passirani after he made a racist remark on air about Inter striker Romelu Lukaku.

Passirani made the comment on TopCalcio24 on Sunday while praising Lukaku's performances for Inter this season after the Nerazzurri earned a third win from as many Serie A games by beating Udinese 1-0.

A clip was subsequently shared on social media and Passirani has now been banned from appearing on the show.

"Mr Passirani is 80 years old and to compliment Lukaku he used a metaphor that turned out to be racist," programme director Fabio Ravezzani, who also confirmed Passirani had apologised, stated.

"I think it was a terrible lack of momentary lucidity. I cannot tolerate any kind of errors, even if momentary."

Lukaku made the switch to Inter from Manchester United in the August and has scored twice in three Serie A outings thus far.

Lukaku was the target of abuse in Inter's win over Cagliari last month.

Monkey chants could be heard as the Belgium striker converted a penalty in the 2-1 win, with Lukaku posting on Instagram afterwards: "Football is a game to be enjoyed and we shouldn't accept any form of discrimination that will put our game in shame.

"Ladies and gentlemen it's 2019 – instead of going forwards we're going backwards."

Antonio Conte has called on Inter to be more clinical after they only managed a 1-0 victory over 10-man Udinese on Saturday.

Inter moved to the top of Serie A, two points clear of Juventus, as their third win in as many matches was secured by Stefano Sensi's first-half header.

Sensi's goal followed Rodrigo De Paul being shown a red card, after referee Maurizio Mariani reviewed footage of him striking Antonio Candreva on the head away from the ball.

Romelu Lukaku failed to have a single shot at goal, while Alexis Sanchez was brought on for his debut with just 10 minutes remaining as the Nerazzurri scraped through.

"I congratulated the lads because it was a very difficult match against a strong team and these three points are important. We deserved them but must also recognise Udinese did well to stay in the game until the end," Conte told DAZN.

"We should've been more clinical and finished it off earlier, but instead we were always just hanging on.

"We know we have to fight. I read too much rubbish in the papers. We must go our own way without thinking about anything or anyone else. The truth is nothing is easy and we will never take anything for granted.

"I had warned the players that Udinese would take a very defensive approach and we had to be careful on counter-attacks. We've got to start moves from the back and we achieved that against a team that will cause problems for many opponents this season.

"We've got a long road ahead of us, we have a lot of work to do and won't get caught up in the euphoria, we are laying the groundwork. We want to be a tough team."

Stefano Sensi's goal was the difference as Inter retained their 100 per cent record in Serie A by comfortably beating 10-man Udinese 1-0 on Alexis Sanchez's debut at San Siro.

A nine-minute spell before half-time proved decisive as Rodrigo de Paul was shown a red card for striking Antonio Candreva on the head following the intervention of VAR and Sensi nodded Inter ahead.

Romelu Lukaku endured a disappointing outing and made way for Lautaro Martinez in the 65th minute, before Sanchez replaced Matteo Politano to make his first appearance for the Nerazzurri against one of the forward's former clubs.

While Inter were unable add to their tally, they had already done enough to pick up a third straight win under Antonio Conte and move two points clear of Juventus at the top of the table.

Politano went close to putting Inter ahead in the fourth minute when his low drive from 25 yards struck the outside of the post.

Sensi saw a fine volley from the edge of the box pushed aside by Udinese goalkeeper Juan Musso, before Walace was kept out by Samir Handanovic at the other end.

Udinese were reduced to 10 men after 35 minutes when De Paul was shown a red card after referee Maurizio Mariani reviewed footage of his retaliation to Candreva appearing to touch his face.

Inter took advantage a minute before half-time, Sensi getting across Rodrigo Becao and heading a fine delivery from Diego Godin – making his first start since joining from Atletico Madrid – in off the underside of the crossbar.

Kevin Lasagna overpowered Godin but was thwarted by Handanovic, before Musso denied Politano and Roberto Gagliardini – a half-time replacement for Nicolo Barella – before the hour mark.

After Musso kept out a Sensi free-kick, an awkward fall for Politano paved the way for Sanchez to enter the fray to a great ovation with 10 minutes remaining.

Sanchez went close to marking his debut with a goal when Candreva's square pass fell to him in the six-yard box, but a scrambling Musso kept him at bay and Inter coasted to the final whistle.
 

What does it mean? Advantage Inter

With Juventus held to a 0-0 draw at Fiorentina earlier on Saturday, Inter opened up a gap over the reigning champions at the top of the table.

There is still a long way to go, but they are the only team to possess a 100 per cent record after playing three matches, though Torino could join them by beating Lecce on Monday.

Sensational Sensi

Lukaku and Sanchez were the headline arrivals at San Siro this season but Sensi continued to show he is a valuable addition. The midfielder, on loan from Sassuolo, provided great support to the strikers and took his goal brilliantly.

Lukaku off the boil

After scoring in each of his first two matches and finding the net for Belgium during the international break, Lukaku failed to get into the action in Milan. He had no shots, created no chances and had a passing accuracy of 61.1 per cent in a disappointing outing.

What's next?

Inter will be in Champions League action at home to Slavia Prague on Tuesday, while Udinese are not in action until the visit of Brescia next Saturday.

Players subjected to racist abuse are powerless and football must do more to protect them, according to former England striker Emile Heskey.

The start of the 2019-20 season has been marred by incidents involving black players, with Romelu Lukaku targeted during a Serie A game and Tammy Abraham, Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford all subjected to abuse on social media after missing penalties.

Lukaku called on football authorities and players to "unify" in the fight against racism after monkey chants could be heard during Inter's win away at Cagliari prior to the international break.

Heskey, who played for Premier League clubs including Leicester City and Liverpool, suggested it will be tough to stop people abusing players online - and insisted points deductions are not the solution.

"They're all conducting themselves well [racially abused players]. But there is nothing they can do," Heskey told Omnisport. 

"They're calling for people to help, as in authorities, to do something to stop it.

"Because it's not fair, it's not right. You've got lads who are having their family members in the stadium, and they're being abused. It's not right.

"For what? For what reason? Because you're black or because you're different to someone else?

"No. So there's something that's got to happen but we haven't really sussed out what we need to do.

"They would have to implement a lot of things. You have to know who actually owns this account or that account, so you'd need I.D.

"Honestly, I'm not too sure where they're going to go with it but they need to do something because it's just too easy to go and attack someone now. You can't start deducting points."

Antonio Conte has pledged Inter will help Alexis Sanchez recapture his best form.

Sanchez has joined the Nerazzurri on loan after losing his way at Manchester United, where he scored three goals in 32 Premier League appearances.

The Chile forward, described by former United boss Jose Mourinho as a "sad man" this week, is in line to make his Inter debut in Saturday's Serie A game at home to Udinese with Conte expectant over the 30-year-old.

"Sanchez is a strong player, he has shown in the past the quality that he possesses," Conte told reporters.

"We need to help him recapture the form that he lost at Manchester United. He has to adapt to our game and that is what he is doing."

Sanchez will at least have a familiar face at Inter in the form of another ex-United player, striker Romelu Lukaku.

"He has entered the world of Inter with great humility and has shown a real willingness," Conte said of Belgium international Lukaku. "The rest of the group understood that immediately and have welcomed him in the best possible way.

"He has great qualities as a human and is a true team player. His fitness has improved. We hope he scores as many goals as possible for the team – he has always scored goals."

Inter have two wins from two since Conte arrived at San Siro, but the former Chelsea, Juventus and Italy coach is judging progress by other metrics.

"An important foundation is being built irrespective of results," Conte added. "Enthusiasm shouldn't depend on the results we achieve but the way we obtain them. It should depend on what the team manage to transmit to the fans.

"With today's Inter, you can see that there's a team and club with clear ideas. We're trying to work to find a clearly defined tactical identity on a daily basis: when those who have played less up to this point come into the team, they’ll know exactly what they have to do.

"We are the team that have undergone the most change. It is inevitable that there will be a period of adjustment, but we want to turn the question marks around us into exclamation marks."

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