Inter reduce the deficit to 15 points while AC Milan get a narrow victory 

Milan return to the top four with 1-0 win at Monza as Inter reduced the gap to 15 points to Napoli at the top of the Serie A standings
Inter win 3-1 against Udinese

(Football news) Inter Milan claimed a 3-1 win over Udinese, extending their unbeaten run in Serie A to four games. Second-placed Inter missed out on their fourth win in a row on Monday when they were held to a goalless draw at Sampdoria but they are still a whopping 15 points behind leaders Napoli but they are three points clear of AC Milan in third. Lukaku gave Inter an early lead through a retaken penalty in the 20th minute after the hosts were awarded a spot-kick for a foul on Denzel Dumfries.

The Belgium striker saw his first penalty saved by goalkeeper Marco Silvestri but he made no mistake the second time. It was the 29-year-old Chelsea loanee’s only second Serie A goal of the season which came after six months when he was on target back in August against Lecce. Udinese equalised with their first shot on target in the match as Sandi Lovric fired in just under the crossbar. Mkhitaryan could have restored the lead for Inter in the 65th minute but Silvestri pulled off a great save.

The Udinese keeper was finally beaten in the 73rd minute when Federico Dimarco set up Mkhitaryan for the Armenian to make it 2-1 with his first touch. Martinez came on to replace Lukaku in the second half as he sealed the win with an individual effort in added time. Inter take on Porto on Wednesday in the first leg of their round of 16 clash in the Champions League, next they travel to Bologna on Feb. 26. Udinese are without a win in their last four games and remain in ninth on 30 points.

“Playing against Udinese is always difficult, and we already saw that in the first leg,” Mkhitaryan told Sky Sport, referring to Udinese’s win in the reverse fixture by the same score in September. “[Tonight] before going ahead, we could have conceded a goal but we were lucky. At 2-1, it was already clear that we would win. We are a very strong team, we have shown the whole world that we are not to be messed with.”

Junior Messias scored the only goal as AC Milan grabbed a 1-0 win at Monza on Saturday, sending Stefano Pioli’s side back into a Champions League qualification spot. The win sees Milan climb provisionally to fourth in the standings on 44 points as they took a major step towards their first Champions League quarterfinal for 11 years with a 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday. Pioli will be feeling much better having won two consecutive league games for the first time since the season resumed after the World Cup break. They had collected only two points from the previous five matches.

Ciprian Tatarusanu denied forward Patrick Ciurria’s shot which was kept out from a close-range header from Andrea Petagna. Rafael Leao hit the post in the 19th minute as the 23-year-old had another chance six minutes later which saw a low shot from the edge of the box saved. But Messias put Milan in front just after the half-hour mark when he lashed home a ball that Di Gregorio could only touch with the tip of his gloves. AC Milan’s Theo Hernandez should have doubled their lead when he lobbed the goalkeeper in the 57th minute but his shot went wide. The loss brought to an end Monza’s longest unbeaten run in Serie A of eight games.

“When you need to defend you have to do it all together and we’ve been doing that for a few games now,” Pioli told DAZN. “We could have done even better because Monza played a great second half and it was a very demanding week for us.”

“We lacked the final touch but I can’t say anything to my boys. This match will make us grow a lot,” Monza coach Raffaele Palladino said.

Also read: Marcus Rashford scores twice as Manchester United defeat Leicester City


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