Monday, January 24, 2022

Inter 2-1 Juventus (aet): Sanchez snatches Supercoppa Italiana glory for the Nerazzurri

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 12 Jan 2022

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Alexis Sanchez struck a last-gasp extra-time winner as Inter defeated Juventus 2-1 to claim the Supercoppa Italiana in the most dramatic fashion.

The annual clash between the winners of the previous season’s Serie A and Coppa Italia appeared to be heading for a penalty shootout at San Siro.

Lautaro Martinez’s spot-kick had earlier cancelled out a Weston McKennie header for Juventus, who were making their 10th successive appearance in the Supercoppa.

However, there was to be one late twist as substitute Sanchez controlled on his chest, before sliding past Mattia Perin with 121 minutes on the clock to snatch victory for the Nerazzurri.

Playing their first Supercoppa since 2011, Inter began brightly with Edin Dzeko heading over from Ivan Perisic’s cross and Martinez firing wide.

But it was Juventus who took the lead in the 25th minute, the unmarked McKennie heading home Alvaro Morata’s inviting cross inside the six-yard box.

The Nerazzurri responded well and were level 10 minutes later after Dzeko was fouled by Mattia De Sciglio in the area.

Martinez clinically thumped home from the spot for his fourth goal in five appearances at San Siro across all competitions.

Both sides went close to edging in front before the hour. Federico Bernardeschi shot just wide, before Mattia Perin saved Denzel Dumfries’ header from a tight angle.

Inter turned up the pressure, with Martinez and Perisic testing Perin, but neither team could find the game’s decisive goal inside 90 minutes.

Juventus had lost the previous two Supercoppa finals to go to extra-time, and they suffered last-minute heartbreak as Sanchez pounced on an Alex Sandro error before prodding home.

What does it mean? The late, late show for Inter

The first silverware of the Italian season goes to the Nerazzurri, who claimed their sixth Supercoppa Italiana crown – and first since 2010.

Only a fifth penalty shootout since the inaugural event in 1988 appeared to be looming until Sanchez’s last-gasp intervention.

It was still a historic day for Massimiliano Allegri, who took charge of his seventh Supercoppa – surpassing Marcelo Lippi with the most appearances by any manager in the history of the competition. Though, that will probably not be much of a consolation.

Sanchez steals it

A few eyebrows may have been raised when Martinez was withdrawn in favour of Sanchez in the 75th minute, but the Chile international more than repaid the faith of Simone Inzaghi, popping up in the right place at the right time to clinch Inter the trophy.

Morata unable to build on momentum away from home

With Inter controlling most of the possession, it was always going to be difficult for Morata to impose himself on the contest.

The Spain international had scored in three of Juventus’ previous four away games, while he was also on target in last year’s Supercoppa as the Bianconeri beat Napoli 2-0.

But despite providing a delicious assist for McKennie, he failed to register a shot. Meanwhile, he won just 27.3 per cent of his duels, the second-lowest of any Juve player, while his tallies of 31 touches and 15 passes were the fewest recorded by the Old Lady’s starting outfield players.

What’s next?

Both sides are back in Serie A action this weekend. Juventus host Udinese at the Allianz Stadium on Saturday, while Inter travel to Atalanta the following day.

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SoccerNews

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