Get breaking news alerts from myKhel

Notification Settings X
Time Settings
Done
Clear Notification X
Do you want to clear all the notifications from your inbox?
Settings X

Inter 1 Udinese 0: Icardi penalty gets lethargic Nerazzurri back on track

By Opta
Inters Mauro Icardi celebrates after scoring the winner

Milan, December 16: VAR came to Inter's rescue as Mauro Icardi's penalty ensured Luciano Spalletti's side bounced back from their Champions League exit with a 1-0 win over Serie A strugglers Udinese.

Results | Points Table

Spalletti was in bullish mood ahead of Saturday's clash, insisting that his side would not suffer the same mid-season crisis that beset them last term.

But his side failed to live up to expectations at San Siro, with a poor miss from Icardi seemingly summing up a dismal performance.

1
1011351

Icardi turned from zero to hero with 14 minutes remaining, however, as he lifted a delicate finish home from 12 yards after VAR was used to deem that Seko Fofana had handled in the area.

Joao Mario had Inter's first sight of goal, dragging wide from the edge of Udinese's area, before Icardi headed across the face of goal in the 22nd minute.

Icardi should have done better from Sime Vrsaljko's pinpoint cross as Inter toiled for an opener, but Udinese goalkeeper Juan Musso remained untested until he reacted sharply to tip Keita Balde Diao's crisp strike over.

Inter's profligacy nearly proved costly after the interval, Rolando Mandragora drilling over from Fofana's cut-back, with Hidde ter Avest firing wide moments later, though Inter should have been ahead in the 66th minute. Keita's cross was perfect but, with the goal gaping, Icardi failed to keep his header on target.

Fofana's error gave Icardi the chance to make amends, though, and the forward made no mistake with a perfectly executed Panenka to get Inter back on track. Icardi was flagged for offside as he found the net again with a late header, but Udinese never threatened to punish Inter with an equaliser.

What does it mean? Inter back to winning ways

Inter's Champions League campaign may be over for this season, but their hopes of appearing in it again next campaign were boosted as this win strengthened their grip on third place. They are six points ahead of city rivals AC Milan and seven ahead of fifth-placed Lazio, who face Bologna and Atalanta on Monday and Tuesday respectively. Udinese, meanwhile, remain just two points above the relegation zone.

Icardi to the rescue

Inter's striker has so often acted as their talisman, but Icardi was far from at his best, and his display looked set to be encapsulated by a dreadful miss midway through the second half. However, the Argentine made up for his mistake from the spot to secure the points.

Fofana's flap proves costly

Udinese would certainly have been worthy of a point, but Fofana's rash decision handed Inter a lifeline, and even though the referee missed it initially, VAR was used to punish the visitors.

What's next?

Lowly Chievo are Inter's next opponents in Serie A, while Udinese host fellow strugglers Frosinone.

For Quick Alerts
ALLOW NOTIFICATIONS
For Daily Alerts

Story first published: Sunday, December 16, 2018, 0:40 [IST]
Other articles published on Dec 16, 2018
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This includes cookies from third party social media websites and ad networks. Such third party cookies may track your use on Mykhel sites for better rendering. Our partners use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Mykhel website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more