Inter Milan lose unbeaten record with shock Udinese defeat

Inter Milan’s Mauro Icardi celebrates scoring their first goal with Marcelo Brozovic, Dec.16, 2017. (REUTERS)
Updated 16 December 2017
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Inter Milan lose unbeaten record with shock Udinese defeat

MILAN: Inter Milan lost their Serie A unbeaten status after a shock 3-1 home defeat by Udinese on Saturday that put their position at the top of the league under threat.
Inter stay temporarily top on 40 points after their first loss of the season, which came thanks to a Rodrigo De Paul penalty and Antonin Barak tap-in, adding to Kevin Lasagna’s opener after Mauro Icardi had equalized for the hosts.
But they can be overtaken by Napoli, who are one point behind in second, if they win at Torino later on Saturday.
The loss for Luciano Spalletti’s side also gives third-placed Juventus, themselves just two points back, the opportunity to leapfrog their old rivals Inter at Bologna on Sunday.
“We work for a win the whole week, so when you achieve that aim, it means you’ve done well and that you had a bit of luck on your side as well,” said Udinese coach Massimo Oddo.
Inter looked like they were set to maintain their unbeaten record and momentarily extend their lead at the top when hot-shot Icardi levelled the scores with his 18th goal of the season, a smart volley just 71 seconds after Lasagna’s 14th-minute opener.
But despite dominating, the hosts could not find the breakthrough, and were punished just after the hour mark.
Inter defender Davide Santon compounded a poor display by handballing Silvan Widmer’s cross, and after referee Maurizio Mariani consulted the video assistant referee to check that the ball had not gone out before the Udinese right-back reached the ball, he awarded the penalty from which De Paul gave the away side the lead.
Inter continued to push and almost levelled in the 68th minute when Milan Skriniar thumped Antonio Candreva’s cross off the bar, but were punished when Barak finished a lightning break with 13 minutes left to sink the home side.
“We did much better in the second half. Inter caused us problems but eventually we settled and improved considerably,” added Oddo, after his side made it three wins in a row.
“We played on the counter-attack a lot, but that is a wise tactic against a side like Inter.”


Mohamed Salah named Premier League’s best player of the year at PFA awards

Updated 23 April 2018
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Mohamed Salah named Premier League’s best player of the year at PFA awards

  • Egyptian superstar currently has 30 Premier League goals this season
  • Salah beat the likes of De Bruyne and Kane to the award

LONDON: Mohamed Salah was crowned the Premier League’s Players’ Player of the Year on Sunday, with his incredible 41-goal debut season at Liverpool beating out strong competition from Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne.
“It’s a big honor. I’ve worked hard and I’m very happy to win it,” Salah said at the ceremony on Sunday evening.
Salah matched a Premier League record tally for a single season by scoring his 31st league goal of the campaign in a 2-2 draw at West Brom on Saturday.
“You’re comparing your name with some great names,” he said, on the prospect of breaking the record. “To break the Premier League record is something huge in England and all over in the world.
“There are still three games to go. I want to break this record.”
Salah has also netted seven times in eight Champions League games, including in both legs of Liverpool’s 5-1 quarter-final thrashing of City, to carry his side to a first semifinal for a decade.
De Bruyne showed why he had been many people’s early-season favorite for the prize with an incredible long-range strike for his 12th goal of the season to go with a league-high number of assists as champions City thrashed Swansea 5-0 on Sunday.
“From my point of view when you are analizing 10 months, there is no player better than him,” said City manager Pep Guardiola of the Belgian midfielder.
“Maybe there are numbers better but for me he was the best. But it is my opinion, the opinions of the players could be different. But in the end, in summer time he will be at home being champion.”
City did pick up a prize from the PFA gala in central London on Sunday, though, as Leroy Sane won the Young Player of the Year.
Sane, another City team-mate David Silva, De Bruyne, Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea and Tottenham striker Harry Kane were the other five nominees for the main prize.