Inter to test Juve’s title defense claims

Updated 03 November 2012
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Inter to test Juve’s title defense claims

Milan, Italy: Champions Juventus face a test of their title-defending credentials today when a resurgent Inter Milan travel to Turin with a real chance of reducing their four-point deficit to the leaders.
Juventus extended their unbeaten streak to 49 matches after a late Paul Pogba header helped secure a 2-1 win away to Bologna Wednesday as Napoli slipped up at Atalanta and Inter moved up to second with a 3-1 win at home to Sampdoria.
A 50th match without defeat — Juve’s last reverse came against Parma in May 2011 — will be expected by fans of the Old Lady, but Inter’s resurgence has slashed the odds.
Inter’s sixth win on the trot came in convincing and timely fashion ahead of a fixture billed as the ‘Derby d’Italia’.
Indeed, Inter have peaked so well for this game conspiracy theorists might suggest that canny 36-year-old coach Andrea Stramaccioni, who recently waved off comparisons with Jose ‘The Special One’ Mourinho, had timed it deliberately.
Argentine midfielder Esteban Cambiasso admits Juve’s “good run” deserved applause, but said Inter’s good form is a reflection of their high expectations.
While Inter seem to be relishing the challenge, Juve could be suspected of feeling the pinch ahead of a possible 50th match without defeat.
On Thursday it was announced coach Angelo Alessio, the caretaker in the absence of the suspended Antonio Conte, would not be talking to the press prior to the game — the second such decision this week on the part of the club.
Juve defender Andrea Barzagli was not scared to admit Stramaccioni’s Inter, boasting the attacking talents of Diego Milito, Antonio Cassano and Rodrigo Palacio, have made them sit up and take notice.
Fixtures (all times GMT)
Saturday: Milan v Chievo (1600), Juventus v Inter Milan (1845)
Sunday: Perscara v Parma (1030), Bologna v Udinese, Catania v Lazio, Fiorentina v Cagliari, Sampdoria v Atalanta, Siena v Genoa, Napoli v Torino (all 1300), Roma v Palermo (1845).



Juventus’s defense has leaked only five goals, the meanest in the league, in 10 games, to Inter’s nine.
On Saturday Milan, 12th at 17 points adrift of Juve, host Chievo at the San Siro with only one thing on their minds: “We have to beat Chievo if we are to start climbing up the table,” said midfielder Kevin Constant.
Napoli, who dropped to third at six points behind Juve, could yet be without top striker Edinson Cavani when Torino visit on Sunday, the Uruguayan having missed the trip to Bergamo due to an injury niggle.
After a sluggish start to the season Fiorentina are enjoying a purple patch and moved up to fifth thanks to a 1-0 win away to Genoa Thursday, three days ahead of hosting Cagliria.
Zdenek Zeman’s Roma, meanwhile, host Palermo in Sunday’s late match hoping to put their recent setbacks behind them.
Two consecutive 3-2 defeats, to Udinese then Parma on Wednesday, have left the Giallorossi seventh, 14 points adrift of Juve and for many their defense is to blame.
While Roma, along with Juventus, have scored a league-topping 22 goals they have conceded the most goals, at 19.
Fixtures (all times GMT)
Saturday:
Milan v Chievo (1600), Juventus v Inter Milan (1845)
Sunday: Perscara v Parma (1030), Bologna v Udinese, Catania v Lazio, Fiorentina v Cagliari, Sampdoria v Atalanta, Siena v Genoa, Napoli v Torino (all 1300), Roma v Palermo (1845)


Manchester United inflict more semifinal misery on sorry Spurs

Updated 21 April 2018
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Manchester United inflict more semifinal misery on sorry Spurs

  • Manchester United come from behind to make FA Cup final.
  • Mauricio Pochettino yet to win a trophy as manager.

A third cup final with Manchester United for Jose Mourinho. More FA Cup semifinal misery for Tottenham.
While Mauricio Pochettino wins admiration for his style of football, the manager has yet to actually win a trophy in management.
A 2-1 collapse to United at Wembley Stadium on Saturday left Tottenham reeling from an eighth successive loss in the FA Cup semifinals.
Pochettino is responsible for two of the setbacks, having also fallen short against Chelsea last season.
At the stadium where Tottenham have been playing their home matches this season, Dele Alli's goal gave the 1991 FA Cup winners hope of turning around their miserable record in world football's oldest knockout competition.
But Alexis Sanchez leveled in the 24th minute and Ander Herrera struck the winner in the second half. It ensured Mourinho, who won the League Cup and Europa League in his first season at United, has a chance to also end this campaign with silverware against Chelsea or Southampton in the FA Cup final.
"We're getting used to being in finals," Herrera said. "This club is all about titles and finals."
While Mourinho has fallen short in the English Premier League behind newly crowned champion Manchester City, United are second and on course for their highest finish since Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.
Tottenham would settle with holding onto fourth place to secure a third season in a row in the Champions League.
Liverpool missed a chance to considerably stretch its advantage over Tottenham in one of Saturday's two league games. Juergen Klopp's side threw away a two-goal lead to draw with last-place West Bromwich Albion 2-2 and move only three points ahead of Tottenham.
Chelsea, who plays Southampton in the other FA Cup semifinal on Sunday, are five points behind Tottenham with four games remaining.

POGBA TRANSFORMED
When United fell behind to Tottenham, Paul Pogba was culpable.
A high ball was launched forward by Tottenham, a lethargic Pogba didn't try to break sweat in an attempt to prevent it reaching Eriksen. It allowed the Dane to whip in a cross for Alli to slide onto at the far post and strike past David De Gea in 11th minute
Had Harry Kane made a connection at the far post with Son Heung-min's cross three minutes later, Tottenham might have extended their lead.
Instead, United were able to draw level. Pogba made amends for his earlier inertia by dispossessing Mousa Dembele and delivering a cross that Sanchez headed past static goalkeeper Michel Vorm.
Sanchez did the hard work to create the winner in the 62nd, holding off Kieran Trippier and rolling the ball into the penalty area where Jesse Lingard teed up Herrera to shoot past Vorm.