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Inter beats Spal 2-0 to stay close to Milan ahead of derby

Inter beats Spal 2-0 to stay close to Milan ahead of derby
2019-03-12 08:53 Shenzhen Daily

INTER Milan managed a confidence-boosting win ahead of next weekend’s derby against AC Milan but its misfortunes continued Sunday.

Matteo Politano and Roberto Gagliardini scored in the second half to help Inter to a 2-0 win over relegation-threatened Spal.

Inter had earlier seen a goal ruled out on video review and penalty appeals waved away, while Marcelo Brozovic and Joao Miranda went off injured.

The Nerazzurri remained fourth, a point behind AC Milan. The top four from Serie A qualify for the Champions League next season.

Fifth-placed Roma is six points behind and hosts Empoli the next day.

“It was important to get back to winning ways, there wasn’t much space but we found the goals in the end,” Inter midfielder Joao Mario said. “We did well today, the prospect of overtaking Milan by winning the derby needs to spur us on.”

Inter was still without Mauro Icardi, who has not played since being stripped off his captaincy amid protracted contract negotiations. Icardi has said he has a knee injury.

“I’m not going to talk anymore about Icardi, whatever I say becomes taken in a different way,” Inter coach Luciano Spalletti said. “Will he play in the derby? I’m not going to respond to questions about Icardi, otherwise we won’t talk about football.”

Lautaro Martinez thought he had given Inter the lead after a half-hour but the referee ruled it out for handball following a pitchside review.

Inter appealed for a penalty on the hour mark but the referee opted not to review Kevin Bonifazi’s nudge on Antonio Candreva.

The hosts broke the deadlock in the 67th as Lautaro’s pass was deflected to Politano who smashed the ball into the back of the net. (SD-Agencies)

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