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Thuram keeps Inter Milan top  | The Express Tribune

Thuram keeps Inter Milan top | The Express Tribune

طوبیٰ Tooba 9 months ago 0 2

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MILAN:

Marcus Thuram made sure that Inter Milan got revenge on Romelu Lukaku with the decisive goal in Sunday’s 1-0 win over Roma, which maintained his team’s place at the summit of Serie A.

Inter lead fierce rivals Juventus by two points after Thuram guided home Federico Dimarco’s low cross with nine minutes remaining at a pulsating, shrieking San Siro where his World Cup-winning father Lilian was watching on.

France forward Thuram was charged with filling the shoes of Lukaku who enraged fans, his old teammates and the club hierarchy by the way he eyed moves away to AC Milan and Juve, whilst Inter tried to secure a permanent deal from Chelsea in the summer.

The 26-year-old is repaying the faith Simone Inzaghi has shown in him with five goals and as many assists in all competitions alongside Lukaku’s former strike partner Lautaro Martinez.

“I don’t think about those things, it was a league match,” said Thuram on his role in replacing Lukaku.

“We wanted to take three points and we did. I scored and I helped the team win. I’m happy about that and I’m not interested in anything else.”

Lukaku was given the promised hostile welcome from over 70,000 fans who consider him a traitor, with thousands of whistles making their way into the stadium despite police banning their distribution by Inter’s hardcore supporters.

Even one-time friend Martinez barely looked at him as the two teams shook hands pre-match and ferocious chants calling Lukaku a “shit of a man” and a “son of a bitch” were frequently belted out.

Missing a host of starters and suspended coach Jose Mourinho, Roma tried but failed to hold off Inter and sit eighth on 14 points after barely creating anything all evening.

Hakan Calhanoglu nearly brought the house down after five minutes with a rasping effort from the corner of the penalty area which crashed out off the underside of the bar.

Thuram and Dimarco then both went close in quick succession as Inter flooded forward and Roma held on with their finger nails.

Lukaku was barely involved and when he was he looked like the hostile atmosphere was affecting him, Roma not managing a single shot in the first half, let alone one on target.

The away side came a bit out of their shell after the break and after Thuram sent a free header over the bar Yann Sommer had to pull off a magnificent save in the 64th minute from Bryan Cristante’s well-placed header.

But there was no doubt about which team deserved the points and after a few searching crosses flew across the Roma goal without success Dimarco finally found Thuram, who made no mistake and set off a wave of noise which reverberated around the San Siro.

The whistles aimed at Lukaku as he stood at the centre circle had hardly died down when substitute Carlos Augusto crashed a fantastic distant strike off the woodwork, and shortly afterwards the players were celebrating with joyous fans who hailed a team who look clear favourites to beat Milan to a 20th league title.

“Every match at the San Siro is special,” added Thuram.

“Tonight the atmosphere was amazing, I’m really happy to be able to play here.”

Earlier Leonardo Pavoletti struck twice in stoppage time to fire Cagliari to their first win of the Serie A season on Sunday, a stunning comeback from three goals down to beat Frosinone 4-3.

Veteran forward Pavoletti dragged promoted Cagliari off the bottom of the table with a 94th-minute header and a tap-in two minutes later, his first goals of the season which completed an incredible win in Sardinia.

“It’s wonderful, a win which we really fought for. And with a brace from me which I probably haven’t done for 20 years!” Pavoletti, who last hit double figures in Serie A in 2019, told DAZN.

Claudio Ranieri’s side, who also missed a first-half penalty and struck the woodwork, remain in the bottom three, but are a point behind Empoli who sit just above the drop zone on seven points.



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