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Inter see off Juve to win Italian Cup after penalty drama



Inter Milan claimed their eighth Italian Cup on Wednesday after overcoming old foes Juventus 4-2 in an extra-time victory full of incident and controversy.

Ivan Perisic secured a thrilling win with a double in the first half of extra time but the match hung on the awarding of a soft-seeming penalty which Hakan Calhanoglu smashed in to take the match past 90 minutes.

Juve had been deservedly leading through quickfire goals from Alex Sandro and Dusan Vlahovic early in the second half and referee Paolo Valeri’s decision to give the spot-kick after Lautaro Martinez fell following a slight touch from Leonardo Bonucci enraged Massimiliano Allegri’s team.

“I always thought we could do it, even when we were 2-1 down… We lost our heads a bit for 10 or 15 minutes but we fought back and I think that we definitely deserved to win,” Perisic said to Mediaset.

For Inter it is another success over Juve after another controversial win in Turin last month and beating them to the Italian Super Cup earlier in the season and is one which will boost them in their Serie A title defence.

Simone Inzaghi’s side trail AC Milan by two points and could hand their local rivals the Scudetto if they don’t beat relegation-threatened Cagliari on Sunday.

Juve meanwhile have only Champions League qualification to show for an up-and-down season, but they chose to say nothing about the penalty decision which denied them a trophy.

“Inter are fighting for the league title and we’re behind them. We need to close that gap with hard work and looking to sort out the team,” said Allegri.

Nicolo Barella gave Inter the lead in the sixth minute with a long-range effort which would soon be forgotten amid the controversy to come.

His thumping strike came after a blistering start from Inter which threatened to blow Juve away, the Italy midfielder collecting after a corner was cleared, cutting in side and unleashing a curling effort which Mattia Perin didn’t even bother trying to stop.

Penalty drama
However from then on Juve were the better team and should have gone in at the break at least level, if not ahead.

Paulo Dybala was the first to offer signs of life in the 23rd minute when his low shot was comfortably saved.

Moments later the Argentine fed Vlahovic whose powerful, angled drive needed smart reactions from Samir Handanovic to be kept out.

Matthijs de Ligt had a header well saved on he half-hour mark and it looked for all the world that Dybala would bag a deserved leveller when the subsequent corner fell kindly to him, but he sliced his first-time strike wide.

Juve soon turned the match on its head though, with Sandro levelling the scores five minutes after the break when his shot slipped through Handanovic’s hands as Alvaro Morata tried to deflect the ball.

The Juve fans were jumping and their end of the ground exploded with joy seconds later, Vlahovic ending a four-match dry spell in front of goal after being sent flying through on goal by Dybala.

The Serbia forward sent Danilo D’Ambrosio packing and although his first effort was kept out, the 22-year-old made no mistake on the rebound.

Juve looked to have the game under control until referee Valeri handed Inter an ill-deserved lifeline.

Calhanoglu rifled home from the spot and an already fired-up Juve team then lost control when De Ligt was ruled after a VAR check to have chopped down Stefan de Vrij.

Perisic stepped up to smashed in the penalty in the 99th minute and once the Croat’s decisive second flew in from distance three minutes later there was chaos, with Allegri sent off and players and officials tussling on the sidelines.

However Juve couldn’t turn that anger into a fightback and Inter took the honours to set up a potential league and cup double with the Serie A season heading to its climax.

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EPL: Conte hints at Tottenham exit despite Champions League qualification



Tottenham Hotspur manager, Antonio Conte has hinted he could still leave the club despite securing Champions League for next season.

A 5-0 win over Norwich on Sunday, ensured that Spurs finished in fourth place above rivals, Arsenal.

However, after the game at Carrow Road, Conte spoke about his “ambition” and said he needed to sit down and talk with the club’s hierarchy over their summer plans.

Conte is believed to be seeking as many as six new faces ahead of next season in an ambitious overhaul, aiming to turn Tottenham into Premier League title contenders.

The Italian tactician will sit down with chairman, Daniel Levy and managing director, Fabio Paratici in a few days to discuss their transfer strategy.

He said: “I am under contract until next summer you know very well I signed for one year and seven months. I enjoyed a lot, my time in Tottenham, because for me it was a big challenge to come in during the season,” he said.

“For a coach like me, it is not simple. It is a big challenge in a club with a fantastic stadium and a training ground and I knew the situation I could find — to give me the opportunity to work in the way I want.

“On the other hand, you know very well that I am a person who has ambition. I like to fight for something important, I like to fight to lift a trophy. For me, this is a trophy and I am very happy. And then we will see.

“I always said to you at the end of the season, we speak with the club and find the best solution for me and for the club. Now I think for me, the club, the players it is good to have three, four, five days’ rest and then the mind will be very clear. You can consider the whole season.

“You have to be very calm before speaking because now [there are] a lot of emotions in my mind, my heart. For this reason it would be very good to rest and then have a good meeting with the club to find the best possible solution.”

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Real Madrid turn attention to FIFA Best Player after failing to sign Mbappe from PSG



Real Madrid have now turned to 2021 FIFA Best Men’s Player, Robert Lewandowski, after Kylian Mbappe’s disappointment.

Mbappe had on Saturday made his decision to remain at Paris Saint-Germain after years of intense speculation about his future amid a link to Real Madrid.

The 23-year-old’s contract was due to expire next month and Real Madrid were looking to have finally landed the France World Cup winner, but the forward made a dramatic U-turn.

However, according to Madrid Universal via Tomas Gonzalez, the LaLiga champions have turned their attention to Lewandowski, who currently plays for Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

Lewandowski has emerged as a possible alternative to Mbappe.

The 33-year-old is all set to enter the final 12 months of his contract with Bayern this summer.

The Polish striker has already informed Bayern Munich that he wants to leave, and Los Blancos are now ready to take him to the Santiago Bernabeu.

But Real Madrid will have to battle Barcelona and Chelsea, who are also interested in his signature.

Lewandowski has scored 50 goals this season, including 35 in the Bundesliga
for Bayern.

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Kylian Mbappe snubs Real Madrid transfer to sign new PSG mega 3 year deal of £1m per week salary



World Cup winner and Paris Saint-Germain superstar, Kylian Mbappe has confirmed he will be signing a new contract at Parc des Princes just days after it seemed he will be joining Real Madrid.

Mbappe addressed the entirety of the Parc des Princes crowd before Paris Saint-Germain’s final home game of the Ligue 1 season against Metz on Saturday night, May 21.

The 23-year-old was handed the microphone to announce he has penned a new three-year deal with the French giants – putting an end to a move to Real Madrid. 

Real Madrid were extremely confident that they would boast the superstar within their ranks from this summer onwards once Mbappe’s original deal with PSG had expired. 

But a new bumper contract of about £1m weekly has seen the 23-year-old commit his future to the Parisians.

Addressing the crowd, Mbappe explained: “I am very happy to stay at PSG in France. I always said Paris is my home, I hope we continue to play football and win trophies together. Thanks for everything. I hope that I will continue to do what I prefer to with you all… and win titles together! Thanks a lot.”

PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi broke the news before introducing Mbappe to the crowd by declaring: “I’m proud to give you a beautiful news: Kylian Mbappé has signed until June 2025 with Paris Saint-Germain.”

Mbappe has enjoyed a stunning season individually, helping fire the club to a tenth Ligue 1 title with his phenomenal for in front of goal. The World Cup winner has the most goals and most assists of any player in the league with 25 and 17 to his name respectively in the division alone.

With his new contract, he now surpasses team mates Neymar and Lionel Messi as the highest earner in the club.

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