Serie A: Inter Milan Beat Juventus To Boost Title Hopes

By Ibrahim Taiwo , The Nigerian Voice Sports
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Inter Milan beat champions Juventus 2-0 to move level on points with Serie A leaders AC Milan on Sunday, boosting their hopes of a first league title since 2010.

Arturo Vidal got his head to a Nicolo Barella cross in the 12th minute for his first league goal for Inter Milan against his former club.

Barella added the second seven minutes after the break as Inter claimed a first win over Juventus since September 2016, ending a series of seven matches without a win.

Inter are equal on 40 points with local rivals Milan, who travel to Cagliari on Monday, with Juventus seven points behind the top two in fifth.

"We've shown that we're up to fighting for the Scudetto," warned Vidal, who won four league titles in as many years with Juventus.

"It was an important goal against the best team in Italy. We think we can go all the way."

For Inter coach Antonio Conte it was a first win in four meetings against the club he led to the first three of their current run of nine consecutive league titles.

The defeat for Andrea Pirlo's Juventus was just their second this season and ended their run of three wins.

"Our attitude was wrong, right from the start," said Pirlo after losing his first clash with his former Juventus coach.

"We were too passive. When you lack aggressiveness, you expose yourself to these kinds of matches.

"We were too timid, we were afraid of the game, of the Inter attack.

"It's a bad defeat, we couldn't have had a worse match than this."

Cristiano Ronaldo looked to have broken through for the away side after 11 minutes but Federico Chiesa was ruled offside in the build up.

And Chilean Vidal made no mistake for the hosts two minutes later off Barella's perfect cross.

Romelu Lukaku then forced a save from Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny on 24 minutes, with Lautaro Martinez spurning the chance to score on the rebound.

Omnipresent midfielder Barella created another chance for Lukaku which Szczesny cleared, and the Polish keeper also denied Barella before punching the ball off Lukaku's head at full stretch.

A superb Alessandro Bastoni through ball to Barella paid off in the 52nd minute, with the pacy Italy midfielder shaking off Gianluca Frabotta and Giorgio Chiellini to blast home the second.

Pirlo made a triple change just before the hour with Weston McKennie, Federico Bernardeschi and Dejan Kulusevski coming off the bench.

But Inter 'keeper Samir Handanovic was rarely threatened, clearing a McKennie header on 61 minutes, and a Chiesa effort three minutes from time.

"It's a slip-up, but our ambition remains the same, there is still a long way to go," warned Pirlo.

"Now we have to react because we have a final on Wednesday."

Juventus play Napoli in the Italian SuperCup.(AFP)