Inter head coach Simone Inzaghi wants one more push from his side in 2021 before a short Christmas break and a seriously daunting run of matches.

The Serie A leaders breezed past Salernitana on Friday, Ivan Perisic, Denzel Dumfries, Alexis Sanchez, Lautaro Martinez and Roberto Gagliardini scoring in a 5-0 victory.

The result put Inter four points clear at the top with one match left before the mid-season break, while they also became just the fourth side in Serie A history to score 100 or more goals in a calendar year.

The champions are on a run of six consecutive victories, the past five of which have all come without the Nerazzurri conceding a goal, but an ominous run of fixtures lies in wait in early 2022.

After Torino on Wednesday and Bologna on January 6, Inter host Lazio in the league before facing Juventus in the Supercoppa Italiana, after which they head to Atalanta.

A home game with Venezia on January 22 is followed by the Milan derby at San Siro and a clash with title-chasing Napoli on February 12 – a game that takes place only four days before the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with Liverpool.

Inzaghi hopes for another strong showing against Torino before his players can take time to rest and prepare for the matches to come.

"These games look straightforward on paper, but that's not the case," he told Sky Sport Italia. "The boys had the right attitude from the start, I made changes and you couldn't even tell because everyone steps up the same way.

"We have our ninth game in 25 days coming up. It's the last push before the break for Christmas, and we need to grit our teeth.

"I thought we always played good football, but with our commitments in the Champions League, we dropped points along the way.

"We did well to keep our heads up, got back to the top of the table, and now we want to stay there. These boys never stopped, especially those who went on international duty and made long journeys. We need that break so everyone can recharge their batteries."

Inter head coach Simone Inzaghi said the Nerazzurri can be proud of their efforts after moving top of Serie A, but insisted there is plenty of work still to be done.

Defending champions Inter moved a point clear of city rivals Milan at the Serie A summit following a 4-0 rout of Cagliari at San Siro on Sunday.

Lautaro Martinez scored twice – and missed a penalty – while Alexis Sanchez and Hakan Calhanoglu were also on target for high-flying Inter.

It was a dominant display as Inter enjoyed a whopping 75.2 per cent of the possession, registered 24 shots and, but for the heroics of Cagliari goalkeeper Alessio Cragno, they could easily have extended their winning margin.

Inter are also through to the knockout stages of the Champions League and will discover their last-16 opponents in Monday's draw.

Inzaghi was pleased with the way his players responded from their midweek defeat to Real Madrid, but maintained they cannot afford to take anything for granted.

"The lads did really well. I had asked for concentration and focus, as I saw this weekend so many big clubs struggle after European games," he told DAZN.

"I knew Cagliari would be organised, and we needed the right approach. I congratulated them at half-time for their attitude as, although it was only 1-0, they had the right performance, and we just needed to convert more of those chances.

"We are top of the table; we reached the Champions League round of 16 after 11 years, so it's hard to do better."

Inter have won 18 home games in 2021 and have never done better in a single calendar year in Serie A.

Meanwhile, Inter scored 98 goals in Serie A this year, only in 1950 the Nerazzurri scored more goals (99) in a calendar year in the top flight.

"I knew we were playing well from the very start; that was 23 games ago, but there's a long road ahead. We've done well to put together a run of positive results," Inzaghi added.

"Now that we are top, naturally we want to stay there. However, we were seven or eight points off the top just a month ago, so we know it's a tricky and very open season.

"Our aim for Christmas was to reach the Champions League round of 16, because Inter deserved to be there after 11 years, and we did it with a game in hand. Now, we can focus on Serie A for the next few weeks."

Simone Inzaghi said Inter were made to regret failing to capitalise on a positive first-half display in their Champions League defeat against Real Madrid.

Inter were denied top spot in Group D after going down 2-0 to Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday.

Though already guaranteed a place in the knockout phase, goals from Toni Kroos and Marco Asensio ensured Inter will be drawn to play a group winner in the last 16.

Inter were on top of large periods of the first half; with 13 shots, 14 open-play crosses and 54.9 per cent of the possession.

But for all their positive play, visiting Inter could only register a single shot on target and their task was made more difficult after the break following Nicolo Barella's dismissal.

Despite a 10th defeat in 12 European matches against Spanish opposition, Inzaghi insisted the experience will stand his side in good stead heading into the knockout stages.

Inter have lost each of their last four European meetings with Madrid, and have now lost each of their last seven away games against the LaLiga giants.

"Clearly, we wanted to get a different result, but it will be very useful for our future," the head coach said. 

"There are a lot of regrets with the first half because, in my opinion, we played very well and with personality. 

"Unfortunately, we created a lot of situations where the numbers were in our favour, but we went into the interval a goal down.

"It was an open match; we were close to scoring the equaliser after the break. When it became 10 against 11, it was more difficult.

"We are growing; I can say very little to my players in terms of performance. 

"We played well in both games against Real Madrid, but lost them both. Obviously, we have to do something more."

Jose Mourinho congratulated Inter and accepted Roma were deservedly beaten by a "much stronger" side as he suffered a humbling 3-0 defeat against his former team.

Roma were three goals down inside 39 minutes at Stadio Olimpico and failed to muster any sort of response as they slipped to their seventh defeat in 16 Serie A games – their most at this stage since 2008-09.

The defeat was Mourinho's second in eight home league matches as Roma boss, having previously gone 38 without losing at home in Serie A as Inter head coach.

Saturday's contest was the Portuguese's first league meeting with Inter since guiding them to a famous treble in 2009-10 in the second of two successful campaigns at the club.

 

Roma were without a number of players due to suspension, coronavirus and injuries, with key attacking pair Lorenzo Pellegrini and Tammy Abraham among those absent.

Mourinho had no complaints about the scoreline, with his side registering just one shot on target despite Inter backing off in the second half.

"Inter are stronger than us in normal conditions. In non-normal conditions, they are much stronger than us," he told DAZN.

"Last season, they were 29 points ahead of Roma. Today, with COVID, injuries and suspended players, it was very, very difficult.

"Our attacking potential was practically nil. It was very important to score a goal, because we would only have two or three chances. We had three and didn't score.

"When you play with a defence that has Ibanez and various others in positions that are not their usual ones, you still cannot concede the first and third goals. You just can't.

"Congratulations to Inter. I wish them good luck for their next match."

 

Hakan Calhanoglu scored directly from a corner to give Inter the lead – the sixth player to do so in Serie A since 2011-12 – before teeing up ex-Roma striker Edin Dzeko.

Denzel Dumfries added a third for Inter before half-time with his first league goal for the club and that is how it remained in a one-sided affair in the Italian capital.

Inter have scored in each of their last 18 away league matches to equal a club record set in 1951 and have won four games in a row in the league, keeping three clean sheets. 

The victory would have been particularly sweet for Inter boss Simone Inzaghi, who spent more than two decades playing and coaching Roma's city rivals Lazio.

"Naturally, returning to the Olimpico is not normal for me, as it was my home for 22 years," he told DAZN. 

"But I was fully focused on the game as we needed this result. Despite their problems, Roma still had a very competitive first XI.

"I don't know if it was our best performance, but we faced a Roma side that had lost at home only once, so to come here and win like this really boosts our self-esteem.

"It's a great signal and I think the many fans who came to Rome for the game will go home happy."

Simone Inzaghi has challenged Inter to strive for more following their 2-0 win over Spezia.

Goals from Roberto Gagliardini and Lautaro Martinez gave the Nerazzurri a third successive Serie A win for the first time under Inzaghi.

It was a dominant performance at San Siro by the hosts, who registered 31 shots on goal – the most by any side during a single match in the Italian top flight this season.

Victory ensured that Inter remained in third place and maintained pressure on Napoli and Milan.

Though full of confidence and 10 matches unbeaten heading into Saturday's showdown with Roma, Inzaghi has urged his players not to rest of their laurels.

"It was an important game," he said. "The guys were amazing, they entered immediately with the right attitude, and I am very satisfied.

"Closing the game without conceding a goal is a reason for satisfaction. 

"We played a careful game without disuniting, despite the fact that we had in front of us a team all closed and ready to start again. 

"I'm very, very satisfied with the guys, but we know we haven't done anything yet and on Saturday, we have another challenging match ahead of us.

"We are growing. Difficult matches await us but with this union and with this desire, we can do even better."

Gagliardini's first goal of the season set Inter on their way; the midfielder becoming their 13th different scorer this term.

The Italy international has found the net in 13 different Serie A matches for the Nerazzurri, who have gone on to win on each occasion.

"I always try to score goals when I have the opportunity. I'm glad I did it again tonight," he said.

"I am the 13th scorer of the season: it is the testimony that we always plays well, we always have many scoring opportunities. Victories come thanks to everyone's work.

"We are a solid group, we are the reigning Italian champions and this thing gives us great awareness. 

"The match in Rome is very important for our path; we will have to put in all the necessary energy and concentration."

Simone Inzaghi scoffed at the idea of this being a "transition year" for Inter as the reigning Serie A champions showed they are firmly in the title hunt again.

Wholesale change at San Siro has not affected the Nerazzurri's ambition, and a 2-0 win at Venezia ramped up pressure on early front-runners Napoli and Milan.

Inzaghi arrived in the close season to replace Scudetto-winning boss Antonio Conte, while star men Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi left in big-money transfers. Christian Eriksen has been unavailable since suffering a cardiac arrest at Euro 2020 while on Denmark duty.

Inter appear to have chosen shrewdly by bringing in Inzaghi from Lazio as head coach, while players such as Hakan Calhanoglu and Edin Dzeko have been acquired too.

Calhanoglu's fourth goal of the season – matching his Serie A haul for previous club Milan last term – put Inter on their way against Venezia, before Lautaro Martinez made sure with a stoppage-time penalty.

For Calhanoglu, this was the third successive Serie A game in which he has scored, the first time he has achieved that feat.

Inter duly moved within a point of Napoli and Milan, who are in action on Sunday, and Inzaghi said: "Some people said this was supposed to be a transition year to rebuild. I came in and the club helped me in everything. These players are magnificent and I think we're getting better by the day. We have to keep going like this.

"I'm coaching a group of great players and great men. We got straight down to work in the summer and despite losing Lukaku, Hakimi and Eriksen, we brought in players suited to the way we want to play. Now we're continuing to grow one step at a time."

 

Inter were dominant and deserved winners at Stadio Pier Luigi Penzo, capping a week in which they made sure of their place in the Champions League knockout stage by beating Shakhtar Donetsk. They also beat Napoli last weekend, inflicting a first league defeat of the season on Luciano Spalletti's men.

"It's a great period for us and this was a big week," Inzaghi said, quoted on Inter's website.

"We played some lovely football and the only downside was we couldn't get the second goal to put it to bed earlier. Leaving the game open against a dangerous, well-drilled side like Venezia is always risky. But it was our third game in a short space of time and the lads did a fantastic job."

There were drawbacks to the win in Venice, with Inzaghi reporting Matteo Darmian suffered a "twinge in his thigh".

"Hopefully it's nothing serious. He's a very important player for us," Inzaghi said.

And Calhanoglu came off early in the second half having needed a thigh massage during the interval.

Inzaghi said the Turkish midfielder was "doing brilliantly" for Inter, adding: "After three consecutive games I didn't want to risk him so I took him off 10 minutes into the second half."

Head coach Simone Inzaghi warned Inter not to rest on their laurels after continuing their impressive form with victory over Shakhtar Donetsk.

The Nerazzurri moved to the brink of qualification for the Champions League last 16 as Edin Dzeko scored both goals in a 2-0 win at San Siro.

After making it two wins from two following the hard-earned 3-2 victory over Napoli on Sunday, the reigning Serie A champions are now unbeaten in their last eight matches in all competitions.

And Inzaghi urged his players to ensure they continue their momentum.

"We needed this victory," he said. "We had created a lot in the first half and a bit of tension had built up, so Dzeko's first goal was a release. 

"Qualifying for the knockout stage would be a great achievement.

"I think that we played a great game and let's not forget that we are just over 48 hours away from a match [against Venezia on Saturday] like the one with Napoli in which we have spent a lot of energy, including mental energy. 

"We are in a good moment, but we must continue on this path."

Dzeko's brace secured the points on Wednesday, the striker netting his 50th European goal along the way.

Inter previously had two goals disallowed with Ivan Perisic and Lautaro Martinez denied, but Dzeko believes the hosts were rewarded for their patience and perseverance.

"Inter signed me to score goals and I'm trying to make my contribution," the former Manchester City forward added.

"In the first half, we made a lot of mistakes, but their goalkeeper was also good. 

"We earned three crucial points.

"The ball did not want to go in in the first half, but also the second half seemed cursed with the goals disallowed.

"You have to be patient, without conceding a goal, and then in the second half, we finally managed to score two."

Simone Inzaghi urged Inter to build on their strong performance against Napoli after ending the Serie A leaders' unbeaten start to the campaign.

Piotr Zielinski netted Napoli's first away goal in four league games against the Nerazzurri to open the scoring with their first strike at San Siro since April 2017.

However, Hakan Calhanoglu equalised from the spot before teeing up Ivan Perisic's header to put Inter 2-1 up at half-time, the Turkey international recording at least a goal and an assist in a Serie A match for the 10th time since his debut in 2017-18.

Lautaro Martinez seemed to have put the game out of Napoli's reach, though substitute Dries Mertens' pulled one back to overtake Antonio Vojak as the club's leading scorer in the Italian top flight with his 103rd goal.

The defending champions managed to hang on to end Napoli's 21-game unbeaten league run, taking them within four points of the top two, and Inzaghi wants more from his side ahead of a crucial Champions League clash with Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday.

"It was a key game for the season, although the most important one will be in three days' time," Inzaghi told DAZN.

"We beat a very strong Napoli side and we did it deservedly too. It's always going to be a struggle against Napoli, especially as they have on average the highest possession statistics in Serie A this season with 60 per cent.

"We must continue like this. We've got to focus on the Champions League next because it's been too many years that Inter haven't got past the group phase and we have a big opportunity to achieve it.

"Wednesday we have a great chance, we have some injuries but it's a moment like this for everyone. We have to move forward match after match. We have left some points because the Champions League is very important for us."

Inter had Samir Handanovic to thank for the three points after his stoppage-time save against Mario Rui in which he tipped onto the crossbar from the left-back's header at the back post.

Mertens then blasted over during a chaotic eight minutes of additional time and Inzaghi admitted he was concerned in the closing stages while explaining why Calhanoglu got to take the first-half penalty.

"We had been a whisker away from winning several of the other head-to-head clashes, so a little fear was inevitable towards the end during eight minutes of stoppages," he added.

"We had tests in training, Perisic, Calhanoglu and Lautaro took three penalties each and scored all three, so I said just decide between yourselves! Hakan is in great shape at the moment and I wouldn't have taken him off if he wasn't on a yellow card today."

Inter handed Serie A leaders Napoli their first defeat of the campaign as Hakan Calhanoglu recorded a goal and an assist in a 3-2 home victory on Sunday.

Napoli had not scored in any of their past four away league games against the Nerazzurri but Piotr Zielinski netted their first since April 2017 after 17 minutes to open the scoring at San Siro.

Calhanoglu soon levelled from the penalty spot before assisting Ivan Perisic's header that put Inter into the lead before the interval.

Lautaro Martinez added a third just after the hour mark and, despite a wonderful strike from substitute Dries Mertens, the reigning champions triumphed to close the gap on Milan and Napoli to four points at the summit, ending the visitors' 21-match unbeaten Serie A run in the process.

Martinez headed over as the highest scorers in the division looked to strike first against a defence that had conceded just four goals this term.

However, it was Napoli who took the lead when Zielinski arrowed into the top-right corner from the edge of the area following Lorenzo Insigne's offload.

That advantage lasted all of eight minutes as Calhanoglu rolled his spot-kick into the bottom-left corner after VAR deemed Kalidou Koulibaly to have handled Nicolo Barella's effort.

Calhanoglu turned provider for Inter's second as Perisic flicked the Turkey international's corner past David Ospina a minute before half-time.

Napoli's task mounted further when Martinez drilled into the bottom-left corner after Joaquin Correa's pass on the counter.

Inter seemed set for a comfortable victory until Mertens fired into the top-left corner after Koulibaly dispossessed Edin Dzeko, though the hosts managed to cling on thanks to Samir Handanovic tipping Mario Rui's late header onto the crossbar.

Simone Inzaghi is hopeful that Inter can reach an agreement with midfielder Marcelo Brozovic over a new contract.

Croatia international Brozovic is due to become a free agent at the end of the season and has been linked with the likes of Manchester United, Tottenham and Newcastle United.

While Nicolo Barella and Lautaro Martinez have recently signed new deals, fresh terms have yet to be reached with Brozovic as the January transfer window draws nearer.

According to reports from Italy, Inter directors Giuseppe Marotta, Piero Ausilio and Dario Baccin met with the 29-year-old's representatives earlier this week.

Inzaghi was unable to provide an update on Brozovic's future at a news conference on Saturday, but the Inter head coach says his bosses are aware of his thoughts.

"Marcelo is a great footballer," Inzaghi said ahead of Sunday's home clash with Napoli. "He's been here for many years and he's always doing great things.

"Our managers are here every day and they are the ones who discuss these issues. They know what I feel about the player."

Brozovic's importance was clear to see in last term's Scudetto-winning campaign when featuring in 33 of Inter's 38 Serie A games.

He has started all 12 league games this term and ranks first among Inter players for passes (755) and successful passes (696), while only Barella (17) has won more tackles than Brozovic's 11.

 

The former Dinamo Zagreb midfielder is in line to start again when Inter welcome Napoli to San Siro.

Napoli entered the weekend top of Serie A after going unbeaten through their opening 12 matches, with their last league loss coming 22 games ago against Juventus in April.

Reigning champions Inter are seven points behind their opponents and are winless in four league games this season against sides that finished in the top seven last time out.

"It'll be a very important game for our position in the table," said Inzaghi, who has lost seven of his previous 10 managerial matches against Napoli.

"Courage and motivation can make the difference. We have done well in Serie A and the Champions League. 

"We're only two points off our position at this stage last season, but it's also true that Milan and Napoli are having the kind of start we hadn’t seen in Serie A for 40 years.

"We deserved more against Atalanta, Juventus and Milan, only getting three draws, so we need to do more from tomorrow in the head-to-head clashes. The time has come to win these games."

Simone Inzaghi believes Inter deserved all three points in their 1-1 derby draw with Milan on Sunday.

Hakan Calhanoglu – who joined the blue half of Milan from the red side on a free transfer in July – won and then converted an early spot-kick to put the Rossoneri ahead.

The Turkey international became the fourth player to score in his first Milan derby in Serie A after having played the previous encounter with the opposing team (since 1994-95), after Hernan Crespo (2006), Ronaldo (2007) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (2010).

Inter were pegged back soon after as Stefan de Vrij scored an own goal – the first in a Milan derby since Samir Handanovic's in December 2017.

The Nerazzurri were handed a second penalty in the first half, but Ciprian Tatarusanu saved Lautaro Martinez's strike from 12 yards to keep his side level. 

Martinez has now missed three of the last six penalties he has taken in all competitions for Inter.

"The glass is half-empty because we had so many chances and missed a penalty, so in my view we deserved far more," Inzaghi told DAZN.

"We were up against a great team who are deservedly [joint-] top of the table. We're behind them in terms of progress, but there is time to get back on track and performances like this will give us confidence.

"Over the past six games we drew with Juventus and Milan when we probably deserved to win. Milan and Napoli are keeping up a remarkable tempo, but there's a long way to go and we are up there.

"We wanted to give our fans a victory and I feel we did enough to deserve it. The tempo was very high and both teams probably could have done a lot better on a technical level, but it was intense.

"Milan are a very technical side, so you have to tire them out, make them move. We did well in the opening 20 minutes and generally I think we deserved more, we only struggled a little in the final 15 minutes."

 

Despite Calhanoglu having already scored from the spot, Inzaghi said he had no issues with Martinez stepping up to – unsuccessfully – take Inter's second penalty of the game.

"Our penalty takers are Martinez and Calhanoglu, while Ivan Perisic can take them too," the head coach added. "Hakan asked to take the first, Lautaro took the second.

"It's between them to decide, we know how those moments work."

Inzaghi also provided an update on Nicolo Barella, Edin Dzeko and Alessandro Bastoni, who were substituted with apparent injuries in the second half.

"Barella felt a twinge and asked for the substitution," he explained. "I had a few issues with Dzeko and Bastoni in the first half, so naturally playing with this tempo and so often, the muscles are under strain. Hopefully they are nothing serious."

Simone Inzaghi says Inter's "destiny is in our hands" after a 3-1 victory over Sheriff moved them up to second in Champions League Group D. 

Marcelo Brozovic, Milan Skriniar and Alexis Sanchez were on target for the Serie A side at the Bolshaya Sportivnaya Arena, while Adama Traore scored a late consolation for the hosts. 

The result meant Inter leapfrogged the Moldovan side into second, two points adrift of leaders Real Madrid. 

After victory over Sheriff at San Siro a fortnight ago, Inter have now recorded back-to-back Champions League wins for the first time since winning their opening two of the 2018-19 campaign. 

"Let's say that this evening we improved our position in the group, now our destiny is in our hands and we must go into the last two games with great concentration," Inzaghi told Mediaset Infinity. 

"There was the risk after 10 or 12 chances that we'd get frustrated and frenetic, but instead the lads were always sharp and focused. We made it seem simple, but don't forget Sheriff beat Real Madrid in Madrid and also Shakhtar Donetsk. This gives us more confidence." 

Inzaghi's attention now turns to his first Derby della Madonnina against Milan on Sunday, with Inter looking to inflict a first Serie A defeat of the season on their rivals. 

"We know what awaits us, it means a lot to our fans and the club," he added. "We must prepare it in the best way with just three days to get ready. 

"It's a long flight back to Italy, but we will try to recoup that physical and above all psychological energy." 

Brozovic shared Inzaghi's sentiments, saying going back to Italy with maximum points was all that mattered. 

"Now we control our own destiny," Brozovic, who scored his first Champions League goal in his 27th appearance in the competition, told Sky Sport Italia. 

"The only thing that mattered today was winning. We played really well, attacked and did not allow any counter-attacks. 

"The coach said a few things [at half-time], we needed to move the ball quicker and then we'd 100 per cent score a goal." 

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."

Danilo D'Ambrosio and Federico Dimarco were on target as Inter returned to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over 10-man Empoli on Wednesday.

Simone Inzaghi's side had stuttered in Serie A in recent weeks, losing to Lazio and drawing with Juventus before this trip to Empoli.

However, D'Ambrosio broke the deadlock in the first half, scoring in a seventh consecutive top-flight campaign, and Samuele Ricci's dismissal for a reckless challenge after the break eased Inter's task.

Dimarco capitalised to make sure of the points and consolidate the Nerazzurri's third-place position.

Petar Stojanovic's speculative long-range effort had brought the first save of the contest from Samir Handanovic, before Dimarco tried his luck from a similar distance and was denied by Guglielmo Vicario.

The Empoli goalkeeper was powerless 11 minutes before the break, when D'Ambrosio headed into the bottom-left corner following Alexis Sanchez's dinked pass.

Nicolo Barella almost doubled Inter's lead on the stroke of half-time but blasted against the woodwork, before Ricci received a straight red card for a dangerous sliding challenge on the Nerazzurri midfielder after the interval.

Roberto Gagliardini then headed onto the left-hand post and Martinez was denied by a wonderful Vicario stop, either side of Sanchez's close-range finish being chalked off for offside.

Dimarco eventually added a second in the 66th minute, tapping in Martinez's low cross at the back post, although the visitors could have won by more, with two more goals ruled out. Gagliardini was penalised for handball and Stefano Sensi was flagged in the closing stages.

Inter head coach Simone Inzaghi claimed a penalty was the only way Juventus were going to score against his side after Sunday's 1-1 draw in Serie A's first Derby d'Italia of the season.

Inter were held by rivals Juve at San Siro, the first time since April 2019 the two teams have shared the points in the league as Massimiliano Allegri's fast-improving side earned another point in their recovery after a poor start to the 2021-22 campaign.

Edin Dzeko's first-half strike – his seventh goal in nine top-flight outings, as many as he scored in 27 appearances last term – was cancelled out by Paulo Dybala's late penalty, his 18th converted spot-kick in his last 20 attempts.

Inter substitute Denzel Dumfries was adjudged by VAR to have fouled Alex Sandro for Juve's 89th-minute penalty, a decision that infuriated Inzaghi so much he was sent off by referee Maurizio Mariani for throwing the ball away.

After the game, Inzaghi was still furious as he felt defending champions the Nerazzurri deserved all three points but did offer his apologies for his reaction.

"It was the only way in my opinion we could concede," Inzaghi told DAZN with Inter third and seven points behind Napoli and Milan, while Juve are three pointers further back. "We led the game from start to finish, we didn't concede anything to Juventus.

"They are two points thrown away that do not please me. The referee is there two metres away, he says that everything is fine and then he is called back. Sorry for the fans, we deserved more."

Inzaghi was then asked if Dumfries' infringement was avoidable and added: "I think so because we were clearly in numerical superiority close to the ball.

"We were never under pressure, we controlled from start to finish. I admit my gesture was not a good image to portray, but I felt in that moment it was not a VAR incident.

"As a coach, at the 89th minute of a game like that, with the referee right there waving play on, it's natural you’re going to get a bit angry the way I did."

Meanwhile, Allegri – who had previously won all three away league meetings against Inzaghi – was satisfied with a point as his side extended their unbeaten run to 10 games across all competitions.

"Before the draw, we had some actions where we didn't close and they were situations where we could have done better," Allegri started to DAZN post-match.

"We played with more confidence against Inter, it's an important point and allows us to have the possibility - even if we have to win - to increase the streak and then to nibble a few points before the break.

"But on Wednesday against Sassuolo we need to win. The match was beautiful, fought on a physical level and with good technical plays. We must improve in closing the action."

However, Allegri still implored Juve to improve after conceding 11 times in their opening nine Serie A matches – the first time they have done so since 1992-93.

"It depends on the first three games where we left eight points out of nine and it influenced us a bit," Allegri responded about Juve's form.

"We had to start from the basics, or rather from a good defensive position.

"We need to work on this, it's a matter of self-esteem. if we are aggressive in front, they play with a pipe in their mouth in the back."

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