Edin Dzeko has scored six goals in his first seven Inter league appearances, matching Ronaldo's haul from the 1997-98 season, and the striker is brimming with confidence after his fine start.

The 35-year-old came off the bench in the second half of the Nerazzurri's 2-1 Serie A away victory over Sassuolo on Saturday.

Inter were trailing, but Dzeko equalised less than a minute after his introduction and then earned the penalty that Lautaro Martinez converted to win the game.

Dzeko joined Inter in August to replace star striker Romelu Lukaku, who left to join Chelsea, but has more than made up for the Belgian's absence so far.

"Six goals after seven games, I know Ronaldo was the last to do it," Dzeko said after the game. "Inter signed me for this, I know what I can still give and they know it too."

Asked if Inter had already forgotten Lukaku, he added: "We look ahead, we are doing well, I don't think about the past. Let's continue like this."

The veteran forward praised the spirit of his new team to battle back.

Inter have now avoided defeat after going into the break behind in three consecutive Serie A games for the first time in their history.

But Dzeko admitted that the Nerazzurri made things hard for themselves.

"Surely we showed [character] again," Dzeko said. "But we always take the most difficult road by conceding goals.

"You can't always play well, in the end the result is what counts. We were also a little tired."

Inter boss Simone Inzaghi echoed his striker's comments, admitting that fatigue played its part in his side's slow start and praising the impact of Dzeko and his fellow substitutes in turning the game around.

"Sassuolo did better than us in the first half," Inzaghi said. "In the second half, even before the changes, I saw a different team.

"Playing every three days, I need to give the team a boost, because I saw so many players tired. After the seventh game in 20 days with little training, I knew [the substitutes] would help me and they were decisive.

"I knew Dzeko as an opponent, I was struck by his availability and how he trains, he never backs down. 

"I'm happy with how the team can suffer. We always stay in the game because I found a group with a great spirit. The last two games were technically not as good as the others but now we will try to recover."

Inter came back from behind to beat Sassuolo 2-1 thanks to second-half goals from Edin Dzeko and Lautaro Martinez at the Mapei Stadium on Saturday.

Domenico Berardi put his side in front from the penalty spot in the first half after Jeremie Boga was tripped by Milan Skriniar.

However, Dzeko equalised with a second-half header just a minute after being brought on, before winning the penalty that fellow striker Martinez converted to hand the Nerazzurri all three points.

The result lifts Inter into second place just one point behind Serie A leaders Napoli, who have a game in hand.

Nicola Barella flashed a strike past the top-right corner and Gregoire Defrel called Samir Handanovic into action inside the opening seven minutes.

It was Sassuolo who opened the scoring, as Boga was upended by Skriniar after cutting into the box from the left and Berardi emphatically dispatched the penalty, smashing into the bottom-right corner past Handanovic, who guessed the right way but could not get a touch on it.

The two goalkeepers had to be alert after the half-hour mark, with Andrea Consigli parrying Barella's powerful half-volley before Handanovic tipped Berardi's spectacular long-range effort over.

Just before the break, Stefan de Vrij's awful back-pass was pounced on by Defrel, who raced through on goal before going down as Handanovic jumped between him and the ball, but no foul was given, much to the ire of the hosts.

Inter levelled in the 58th minute, as Ivan Perisic's superb cross from deep was headed in by substitute Dzeko, who made an instant impact off the bench.

Nineteen minutes later, Dzeko was involved again as he raced onto a pass into the area and was barged over by Consigli, earning a spot-kick that Martinez coolly tucked into the bottom-right corner.

The Bosnia striker had a couple of chances to add to his tally, but had a goal chalked off for offside after a VAR check and then fired narrowly over.

Paris Saint-Germain continue to plan for Kylian Mbappe's potential departure. 

The Ligue 1 giants have been linked with several possible replacements. 

Robert Lewandowski is the latest rumoured target.

 

TOP STORY – PSG EYE LEWANDOWSKI AS MBAPPE REPLACEMENT

With seemingly everyone expecting Kylian Mbappe to depart Paris Saint-Germain after the season, the club have been linked with several potential attacking options. 

Robert Lewandowski is the latest, with Le10Sport reporting the Bayern Munich and Poland striker could make a lucrative move to PSG. 

The 33-year-old is under contract with Bayern through 2023, though, and could end up agreeing to a new deal to remain in the Bundesliga. 

 

ROUND-UP

Real Madrid are set to take another run at Manchester United's Edinson Cavani during the January transfer window, says El Nacional. 

Andrea Pirlo and River Plate's Marcelo Gallardo are candidates to replace Ronald Koeman if he is sacked by Barcelona in the coming days, the Express reports. 

PSG are eyeing midfield help, with Inter's Nicolo Barella a possibility, according to Calciomercato, along with N'Golo Kante, Paul Pogba and Franck Kessie.

Liverpool are interested in Bayer Leverkusen winger Moussa Diaby, according to Calciomercato. 

Timo Werner could look to leave Chelsea if he does not receive more playing time the rest of the season, says the Telegraph.

Arsenal are set for a shake-up after missing out on European football for the first time in 26 years.

Mikel Arteta's side started the new Premier League campaign slowly.

But three wins in a row have offered hope and rumours are swirling about transfer activity.

 

TOP STORY – ARSENAL PLOT SWAP FOR EN-NESYRI

Arsenal will offer Alexandre Lacazette as part of a deal to land Youssef En-Nesyri from Sevilla, according to La Razon.

Morocco international forward En-Nesyri has sparked Arsenal's interest after netting 24 goals in all competitions in the 2020-21 season.

Lacazette has only made one league appearance for the Gunners this term and was reportedly shipped around during the off-season.

ROUND-UP

– Fabrizio Romano reports Lorenzo Pellegrini is set to sign a new long-term contract with Roma, which will remove his €30million release clause. Pellegrini was previously pursued by Liverpool and Tottenham.

– Liverpool scouts kept a close eye on Villarreal's Arnaut Danjuma at Wednesday's Champions League game against Manchester United as they plan for Sadio Mane's successor, claims the Daily Mirror.

– Real Madrid midfielder Marco Asensio remains in Arsenal's sights, reports the Daily Star.

Inter are not considering signing Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno, with Ajax's Andre Onana their preferred acquisition, claims Fabrizio Romano.

Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno says there "is no clear reason" why he was dropped by Mikel Arteta in favour of Aaron Ramsdale.

Germany international Leno started Arsenal's opening three Premier League games of the campaign, conceding nine goals in defeats to Brentford, Chelsea and Manchester City.

Ramsdale, who was signed from Sheffield United last month for a fee that could reportedly rise to £30million, was brought into the side following the 5-0 loss against City.

The 23-year-old kept clean sheets in his first two games against Norwich City and Burnley before shipping one late on in Sunday's 3-1 win against Arsenal's bitter rivals Tottenham.

Not only does Ramsdale boast a better clean sheet record than Leno from the same number of league games this term, he also has a far higher save percentage (87.5 compared to 50).

That save percentage rises to 91.67 when taking all competitions into account, the second-best return of any keeper to have played at least three times for a team in Europe's top five leagues, behind only Paris Saint-Germain's Gianluigi Donnarumma (92.86).

Despite Ramsdale's steady presence between the sticks, though, Leno feels Arteta's decision to leave him out of the side was unjustified.

"There was no clear reason why I was out, but it had nothing to do with my performance," he told Bild. "He is the trainer, he decides. Of course, it's difficult for me."

Leno is in his fourth season with Arsenal since arriving from Bayer Leverkusen but has been linked with a move away from Emirates Stadium next year.

Serie A champions Inter are reported to be keeping tabs on Leno's situation and the 29-year-old may consider a move away should his playing time not improve.

"London is very nice; Milan is not bad either and closer to my home Stuttgart," Leno said when asked about the rumoured interest from Inter.

"But I'm not seriously thinking about that yet. I feel comfortable at Arsenal and in London.

"Only if nothing changes in my situation by winter would I have to think about things: what option do I have, how can I continue? 

"But I'm concentrating on my work in training; I can't commit to anything else at the moment."

Simone Inzaghi bemoaned Inter's inability to take their chances after they were held to a 0-0 draw at Shakhtar Donetsk.

Inter are still waiting for their first win of this season's Champions League after Tuesday's stalemate in Ukraine.

Each side had just two shots on target, with Shakhtar finishing with a slightly higher Expected Goals (xG) of 1.3 compared to Inter's 1.1.

Nicolo Barella was denied by the crossbar for the Nerazzurri, leaving Inzaghi to wonder what might have been.

"In some moments they did very well technically, while we did not take advantage of our chances," Inzaghi told Sky Sport Italia.

"We had five in a not brilliant evening and we could have won."

Despite failing to find the net, Inzaghi praised the performance of forwards Lautaro Martinez and Edin Dzeko.

"They had a great match, they sacrificed themselves," Inzaghi added. "Then I brought on [Joaquin] Correa and [Alexis] Sanchez who are starting to feel good.

"We knew it was a difficult away game: for once we didn't score a goal, but we were also good at not conceding it."

Inter struggled as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Shakhtar Donetsk in Tuesday's Champions League clash.

Nicolo Barella, who was denied by the crossbar, and Edin Dzeko spurned first-half opportunities, with Roberto De Zerbi's hosts also faltering with a multitude of chances at the Kiev Olympic Stadium.

Manor Solomon and Tete both went close for Shakhtar, but with neither able to beat Samir Handanovic, the Ukrainian outfit settled for a creditable goalless draw against the Serie A champions.

The teams are left on a point apiece in Group D as they suffer similarly timid starts and will need to make up early ground on Real Madrid and Sheriff, who meet later on Tuesday.

The opening chance of the contest saw Solomon surge inside and thrash his effort past the left-hand post before Barella blasted an effort against the bar from long-range at the other end.

Inter's carelessness in possession almost cost them, with Tete angling wide and Pedrinho smashing over either side of Lautaro Martinez's whipped effort failing to find the corner.

Dzeko should have opened the scoring after ghosting onto Federico Dimarco's corner but wastefully prodded over from close range as the two sides continued to trade first-half chances.

Milan Skriniar produced a vital last-ditch block after the break to deny Pedrinho following Dodo's cutback as the hosts boasted 66 per cent of the possession against their uncharacteristically sloppy opponents.

Mykola Matyvenko then gifted Martinez the chance to break the deadlock, but the forward could only skew over the bar when one-on-one with Andriy Pyatov before Dodo selfishly lashed high of Inter's goal.

Substitute Joaquin Correa offered Shakhtar a late scare as he drifted inside and curled towards the far corner, only for Pyatov to turn behind the post before denying Stefan de Vrij from the resulting corner as the match ended level.

Paris Saint-Germain will be out for revenge when they face Manchester City in a blockbuster Champions League clash. 

City reached their first Champions League final last season by beating PSG 4-1 on aggregate last season and they will meet again in a Group A clash at the Parc des Princes. 

PSG were held by Club Brugge in their opening game, while Premier League champions City hammered RB Leipzig 6-3. 

Milan face Atletico Madrid in their first home match in Europe's premier cup competition since 2014. 

Leaders Liverpool travel to Porto in the other Group B game with fond memories of their previous two trips, while Real Madrid entertain Sheriff in the battle between the top two in Group D. 

Here, Stats Perform look at the key Opta data ahead of the games taking place on Tuesday. 

 

Paris Saint-Germain v Manchester City: Messi could face another Guardiola reunion

Lionel Messi, who was linked with City before his sensational move to PSG, has been sidelined be a knee problem and it remains to be seen if he recovers in time for a reunion with his former boss Pep Guardiola.

PSG and City will meet for the sixth time, while the Ligue 1 side still looking for their first win in this fixture (D2 L3). Only against Juventus (8) have they played more games in European competition without winning.

City are unbeaten in 10 away Champions League away games (W8 D2), not losing in the competition outside of England since December 2017 (against Shakhtar Donetsk).

Milan v Atletico Madrid: Rossoneri eyeing happy homecoming

Milan and Atleti's only previous meetings came in the 2013-14 Champions League, with the Rossoneri losing both legs in the round of 16. The clash with the reigning LaLiga champions seven years ago was Milan's last at home in the competition. 

Antoine Griezmann is Atleti's all-time top scorer in the European Cup/Champions League (21 goals), and could also become their outright top scorer in away games if he finds the net in this game (currently on five). 

In the loss at Anfield, Brahim Diaz (22 years 43 days) became the youngest player to score on his Champions League debut for Milan since Yoann Gourcuff in September 2006 (20 years 64 days v AEK Athens). 

Porto v Liverpool: Reds to cut loose again?

This will be the fifth time Liverpool have faced Porto in the Champions League since Jurgen Klopp became the club's manager – they have won more games (3), scored more goals (11) and kept more clean sheets (3) against them than any other opponent in the competition.

Porto have only scored once in those four previous meetings (D1 L3), despite attempting 45 shots. In contrast, Liverpool's 11 goals have come from 54 attempts. 

Sadio Mane has been directly involved in five goals against Porto, scoring four times and providing one assist. Mane's four goals are the joint-most by a Liverpool player against an opponent in the competition, along with Steven Gerrard v Marseille and Philippe Coutinho v Spartak Moscow. 

Real Madrid v Sheriff: Madrid on brink of century

Madrid are one short of becoming the first team to record 100 home victories in the Champions League. Their win percentage of 73 is the highest for any team in the competition's history with at least 10 home games played (99/136). 

Sheriff won 2-0 on their Champions League debut last time out against Shakhtar Donetsk - they are looking to become the first team since Leicester City in 2016-17 to win their first two games in the competition. 

Sheriff's Cristiano scored twice on his Champions League debut against Shakhtar, becoming the first Brazilian to score a brace in his first game in the competition since Chelsea’s Oscar in September 2012 (v Juventus). 

 

Other fixtures:

Ajax v Besiktas

4 - Ajax striker Sebastien Haller scored four goals on his Champions League debut against Sporting CP. If he gets another against Besiktas, he would move clear of a tie with Marco van Basten, Diego Simeone, Didier Drogba and Erling Haaland for the most by a player in their first two appearances in the competition.

2 - Besiktas have conceded at least two goals in each of their previous four games against Ajax (10 in total).

Shakhtar Donetsk v Inter

1 - Shakhtar have only scored one goal in their previous five meetings with Inter and have failed to find the back of the net in the three most recent encounters.

32 - Inter and Shakhtar played out two goalless draws in the Champions League last season despite the Serie A champions attempting 32 shots, with an expected goals total of 3.1 across the two games.

RB Leipzig v Club Brugge

10 - Club Brugge have not won any of their past 10 games against German opponents in European competition (D3 L7).

4 - Christopher Nkunku scored a hat-trick for Leipzig against City, but became just the fourth player in Champions League history to score at least three goals and still end on the losing team. 

Borussia Dortmund v Sporting CP

100 - Dortmund have a 100 per cent win record at home to Portuguese opposition in European competition, winning all six of their previous games by an aggregate score of 17-2.

63 - Erling Haaland has averaged a goal every 63 minutes in home games for Dortmund in the Champions League. His seven goals at Signal Iduna Park is the most of any player at a single stadium in the competition since he joined the club.

Is the end nigh for Aaron Wan-Bissaka at Old Trafford?
 
Wan-Bisakka joined Manchester United in a big-money deal in 2019 but the Red Devils are reportedly ready to replace the Englishman.
 
A talented RB Leipzig defender could be the team's next right-back.

 

TOP STORY – NEW RIGHT-BACK SET FOR OLD TRAFFORD?

Manchester United are eyeing RB Leipzig right-back Nordi Mukiele, according Fichajes.net.

United are reportedly keen to sign a replacement after losing patience with Aaron Wan-Bissaka at Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is believed to be interested in Leipzig's 23-year-old star Mukiele.

 

ROUND-UP

- Calciomercato claims Milan and Juventus are interested in United States and Dallas sensation Ricardo Pepi. The 18-year-old has also been linked with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

- Inter are willing to let Alexis Sanchez leave the Serie A champions, reports Calciomercato. Marseille, Real Betis and Sevilla are among the possible options for the 32-year-old Chilean.

Tottenham are weighing up a move for Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins, per Fichajes. It comes amid continued uncertainty over Spurs star Harry Kane, who has been linked with Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus as well as United.

 

Simone Inzaghi revealed it was his decision for Federico Dimarco to take a penalty after the full-back's late missed spot-kick prevented Inter from beating Atalanta in a thriller.

The champions were held to a 2-2 Serie A draw following high drama late on at San Siro on Saturday.

Lautaro Martinez put them in front and Edin Dzeko equalised 19 minutes from time after first-half goals from Ruslan Malinovskyi and Rafael Toloi put Atalanta in front.

Substitute Dimarco struck the crossbar from 12 yards out late on after Merih Demiral had been penalised for handball.

There was more drama when Roberto Piccoli found the back of the net at the other end, but the goal was ruled out as the ball had gone out for a corner in the build-up.

Dimarco had never taken a penalty in Serie A before, but Inzaghi revealed he had put his faith in the 23-year-old to step up.

The Inter boss told DAZN: "The decision was mine, our penalty takers are Lautaro and [Hakan] Calhanoglu, who were not on the pitch. I had Dimarco and [Ivan] Perisic, Federico seemed fresher and this morning he had kicked well in training.

"He would have deserved the winning goal at San Siro because he made a great start to the season, but this is football."

A point for Inter ended their run of 18 consecutive home wins in Serie A and left them in third place, two points behind leaders and city rivals Milan, who won at Spezia.

But Inzaghi felt the Nerazzurri deserved to win a pulsating contest.

He said: "People without doubt were entertained, but we feel a bitter taste from this draw, as we feel that we could've had more.

"We fell apart a little after the missed penalty, but saw an excellent Inter in much of the first half and the second too against a very strong Atalanta."

Roberto Piccoli had a late goal ruled out after Federico Dimarco missed a penalty in a dramatic finale to a 2-2 Serie A thriller between Inter and Atalanta at San Siro.

Lautaro Martinez opening the scoring for the champions in a pulsating contest, but goals from Ruslan Malinovskyi and Rafael Toloi gave Atalanta a deserved half-time lead.

Malinovskyi also struck the post before Inter rallied and Edin Dzeko equalised with just under 20 minutes to play courtesy of his fifth goal in six Serie A games for the club.

There was much more drama to come, though, as Dimarco struck the crossbar from the spot with three minutes of normal time remaining and Piccoli then had what Atalanta thought was a winner chalked off as the ball had gone out for a corner in the build-up.

A draw leaves Inter in third place, two points behind leaders Milan, and with a run of 18 straight home league wins having ended.

Erling Haaland is the name on everyone's lips.

Europe's elite are reportedly queuing up to sign the Borussia Dortmund and Norway sensation.

If Haaland leaves Dortmund, the Bundesliga outfit have a replacement in mind.

 

TOP STORY – HAALAND OUT, CHIESA IN AT BVB?

Borussia Dortmund see Juventus forward Federico Chiesa as a replacement for in-demand star Erling Haaland, according to Calciomercato.

Haaland is tipped to leave Dortmund at the end of the season amid links with Real Madrid, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Barcelona, Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain.

Should Haaland depart, Dortmund are eyeing Juve and Italy star Chiesa, who has previously caught the attention of Chelsea and Liverpool.

 

ROUND-UP

- Calciomercato reports Juve, Inter and Milan are interested in Madrid forward Luka Jovic, who has been linked with a January exit.

- A contract extension for Liverpool's Naby Keita is not as close as previously thought, claims Bild. It comes as Liverpool reportedly eye Dortmund sensation Jude Bellingham.

Tottenham will make a January move for Fiorentina star Dusan Vlahovic, according to Calciomercato. The Serbia international forward has also been linked with City, Arsenal, Juve and Atletico Madrid.

Simone Inzaghi insisted Inter can still improve after their 3-1 comeback victory over Fiorentina maintained their unbeaten start to the Serie A season.

The defending champions completed a remarkable second-half turnaround after going behind to Riccardo Sottil's opener to extend their top-flight undefeated run against Tuesday's opponents to nine.

It was also their 1,500th win in the competition as the Nerazzurri equalled a club-record 24-match scoring streak in league games, previously achieved way back in 1949-50.

Despite expectations already being on the previous term's champions, Inzaghi is enjoying the winning environment Inter are developing, while calling for improvements.

"I arrived in a winning group, I had also won something," Inzaghi told DAZN post-match.

"We are working and growing: we had a great start to the season, but we can still grow.

"In the first half-hour we suffered from their pace, but then we proved to be in a good position, we scored three goals and it could have been more. But it's an important victory, not an easy one, for a great team."

Inter lost Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea and Achraf Hakimi to Paris Saint-Germain in the transfer window, while the absence of Christian Eriksen was also set to be a concern.

However, Inzaghi's side have made an emphatic start to the new campaign to sit a point ahead of Napoli, albeit having played a game more, and the head coach is delighted with his team's efforts so far.

"After what happened in the summer we have to continue," he added.

"I am fortunate to have a club that has lost three key players, such as [Romelu] Lukaku, [Achraf] Hakimi and [Christian] Eriksen, but has not broken down, we have brought important and functional players.

"We were convinced of our work, more than our strength. I chose the players together with the club, which was very good. We have to work day-by-day: five starts have passed, it's very early to make predictions.

"I started with great ambitions and desire, but we know that securing the club was the main thing. We did it, very strong and functional players were taken, we want to stay at the top."

Inter completed a remarkable second-half turnaround with two goals in three minutes to defeat Fiorentina 3-1 in Tuesday's Serie A clash.

Riccardo Sottil deservedly opened the scoring after wonderful play down the left flank by Nicolas Gonzalez to edge Fiorentina into a deserved lead at the Artemio Franchi.

However, Matteo Darmian's driven strike restored parity after the interval and equalled a club-record 24-match scoring run in league games, only previously achieved way back in 1949-50.

Edin Dzeko and Ivan Perisic then netted either side of Gonzalez's needless two yellow cards in the space of a minute as defending champions Inter consolidated their position at the summit.

Samir Handanovic produced two early stops in a frantic opening 10 minutes, first to deny Dusan Vlahovic's poked effort towards the top-right corner and then Cristiano Biraghi's low drive.

Joseph Alfred Duncan blasted a speculative long-range attempt, which sailed narrowly over, before Gonzalez created the opener by sliding across goal for Sottil to tap-in.

Hakan Calhanoglu's free-kick almost found the visitors an equaliser against the run of play but Bartlomiej Dragowski parried away before Inter thought they had levelled through a Marco Benassi own goal, only to be denied by an offside in the build-up.

After the break, Vlahovic wasted an opportunity to double Fiorentina's lead and was made to pay for blazing over when Darmian arrowed into the bottom-left corner after a smart offload from Nicolo Barella.

Inter inflicted another blow through Dzeko, who climbed above Biraghi to head home from Calhanoglu's outswinging corner, before Lautaro Martinez spurned a glorious chance as he dragged wide from Barella's cutback.

Substitute Alexis Sanchez should have sealed the game, but he could only curl over before Gonzalez received his marching orders for two bookable offences, both for dissent.

Perisic then completed the comeback as he tapped into an empty net after being set up by Roberto Gagliardini's pass across goal.

Bukayo Saka only turned 20 earlier this month but he is a player on the rise.

The Arsenal forward was part of England's side that reached the Euro 2020 final in July.

Saka has put in plenty of eye-catching displays for the Gunners too.

 

TOP STORY – JUVENTUS AND ATLETICO KEEN ON SAKA

Calciomercato claims that Juventus and Atletico Madrid  are both monitoring Arsenal's England international forward Bukayo Saka .

The Gunners are believed to want £43million (€50m) to sell the 20-year-old, who signed a four-year deal in July last year.

Saka has become a key player at Arsenal, making 32 Premier League appearances last term.

 

ROUND-UP

- Everton's Colombia international James Rodriguez has reached a verbal agreement to join Qatari club Al Rayyan according to Argentine journalist Cesar Luis Merlo. Rodriguez has not played yet this season and almost joined Porto in the off-season.

- Inter are homing in on a move to sign Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek reports Calciomercato. The 24-year-old Dutchman has had a tough time at Old Trafford since joining United for £35m from Ajax in 2020.

- Calciomercato also claims that Jose Mourinho wants to lure Manchester United right-back Diogo Dalot to Roma . The Argentine spent last season on loan with Milan.

- Andreas Christensen is set to sign a new deal with Chelsea worth £120,000-per-week claims The Sun.

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