Chelsea Boss Tuchel Given One-Game Ban After Spurs Red Card

Tottenham Hotspur’s Italian head coach Antonio Conte (R) and Chelsea’s German head coach Thomas Tuchel (L) shake hands then clash after the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge in London on August 14, 2022. The game finished 2-2. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

 

Thomas Tuchel has been given a one-match suspension and fined £35,000 ($41,000) after the Chelsea manager was sent off following his furious clash with Tottenham boss Antonio Conte, the Football Association (FA) said on Friday.

Tuchel’s touchline ban has been suspended temporarily, pending the full written reasons for the decision, allowing the German to take his place in the dugout for Sunday’s Premier League clash at Leeds.

Conte has been fined £15,000 after both managers admitted improper conduct following a pair of angry exchanges during last Sunday’s stormy 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.

Tuchel and Conte were booked after they first squared up to each other when the Italian celebrated Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s equaliser close to the Chelsea technical area.

Then, after Harry Kane headed Tottenham’s second equaliser deep into stoppage-time, Tuchel shook hands with Conte at the final whistle in such an aggressive way that it drew a fiery response from his counterpart.

The feuding bosses had to be separated by players and coaching staff, but were both sent off by referee Anthony Taylor.

“An independent regulatory commission has today ordered that Thomas Tuchel be fined £35,000 and banned from the touchline for one match, and Antonio Conte be fined £15,000 after they respectively breached FA Rule E3,” the FA said.

“Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte admitted that their behaviour after the final whistle of the Premier League game between Chelsea FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC on Sunday, August 14 2022 was improper, and both managers requested a paper hearing.

“These sanctions are subject to appeal, and Thomas Tuchel’s one-match touchline ban has been suspended temporarily pending the independent regulatory commission’s written reasons for its decision that will be made available in due course.”

AFP

Tuchel And Conte Charged After Battle Of The Bridge

Tottenham Hotspur’s Italian head coach Antonio Conte (R) and Chelsea’s German head coach Thomas Tuchel (L) shake hands then clash after the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge in London on August 14, 2022. The game finished 2-2. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

 

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel and Tottenham boss Antonio Conte have been charged with improper conduct after their explosive clashes in Sunday’s stormy 2-2 draw.

Tuchel and Conte were embroiled in two angry exchanges as tempers flared in the Premier League showdown at Stamford Bridge.

Both managers were booked for the first bust-up, which was sparked after Conte celebrated Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s equaliser close to Tuchel’s technical area.

Tuchel and Conte clashed again when an aggressive handshake between the pair, who were both shown red cards, sparked further ugly scenes involving players and coaching staff from the London rivals.

“Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte have both been charged with a breach of FA Rule E3, following the Premier League fixture between Chelsea FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC on Sunday 14 August 2022,” an FA statement said on Monday.

“It is alleged that the behaviour of both managers was improper following the end of the fixture. Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte have until Thursday 18 August 2022 to provide their respective responses.”

Tuchel could also face further charges from the FA, who are probing his post-match comments about referee Anthony Taylor.

Tuchel said “maybe it would be better” for Taylor not to referee Chelsea again, with the German incensed about both of Tottenham’s goals.

He felt Hojbjerg’s effort should have been disallowed for offside against Richarlison, as well as a foul on Kai Havertz several seconds earlier.

Tuchel also insisted Tottenham defender Cristian Romero should have been punished for pulling Marc Cucurella’s hair, with a VAR check ruling out a red card for an incident that came just before Harry Kane headed the visitors’ stoppage-time equaliser.

Both managers could face a ban as a result of their antics, with Tuchel already conceding he might be absent from the touchline when Chelsea face Leeds next weekend.

“So, good! I cannot coach but the referee can whistle the next game,” he said after the Tottenham match.

The London derby, featuring a series of aggressive tackles from players on both teams, was dubbed ‘The Battle of the Bridge Part 2’ in reference to an equally feisty encounter between the teams in west London in 2016.

 

AFP

Conte Vows To Revive Tottenham’s Fortunes

(FILES) Inter Milan’s Italian coach Antonio Conte shouts instructions during the Italian Serie A football match Bologna vs Inter Milan at the Renato-Dall’Ara stadium in Bologna. AFP

 

Antonio Conte on Wednesday said managing Tottenham was an “honour” and vowed to “repay the trust” of chairman Daniel Levy by reviving the fortunes of the struggling Premier League club.

The Italian was appointed on Tuesday, a day after Spurs sacked Nuno Espirito Santo following last weekend’s limp 3-0 defeat at home to Manchester United.

Conte, who guided Chelsea to the 2016/17 Premier League title, had said Levy’s “contagious enthusiasm and determination” convinced him to join.

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“It’s a great pleasure, a great honour to become the Tottenham manager. This is a great opportunity to come back to England in a club of top players,” he told Spurs TV.

“The club and Daniel Levy wanted me strongly and it has been an honour to accept. Now, for sure, I want to repay this trust.”

The 52-year-old led Inter Milan to their first Serie A title since 2010 last season to break Juventus’ nine-year stranglehold on the Italian league before leaving the Nerazzurri.

Conte began Juve’s period of dominance with three Serie A titles between 2011 and 2014 and managed Italy from 2014 to 2016 before his two-year stint at Chelsea.

His spell at Stamford Bridge saw the Blues accumulate 93 points and score 85 goals en route to the Premier League title before FA Cup success in 2018.

In stark contrast to Conte’s array of trophies, Spurs have not lifted any silverware since the 2008 League Cup.

Tottenham reached the 2019 Champions League final with current Paris Saint-Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino but stagnated under Jose Mourinho, who was sacked in April.

After four consecutive seasons in the Champions League under Pochettino between 2016 and 2019, they have failed to qualify for European club football’s premier competition for the past two years.

Levy has faced criticism for not investing more in the playing squad during Pochettino’s reign, while the club completed a £1.2 billion state-of-the-art new stadium.

Conte knows he has a big task at hand, with the north London club languishing in ninth place following five defeats in seven league games.

“I arrive at a top club where the stadium, the training ground are wonderful. I will work to bring Tottenham on the pitch to the same level of the infrastructure,” said Conte.

“This type of situation pushes you and increases your desire to work and to do something important for the fans of this club.”

Conte was one of Spurs’ top targets in the summer, but he revealed he did not feel ready after a draining spell at Inter.

“I had just finished two very tough seasons and it wasn’t the right time to start another experience with Tottenham,” he added.

“For this reason, I tell them, ‘thanks, but I prefer to wait and enjoy time with my family. Emotionally, it was still under the last experience with Inter.

“I must be convinced 110 percent because when I start, I’m totally involved in the situation.”

Conte’s first game in charge of the Spurs will be their UEFA Conference League fixture against Vitesse Arnhem on Thursday.

 

Tottenham Appoint Antonio Conte As New Manager

In this file photo taken on April 03, 2021 of Antonio Conte. Tottenham on Tuesday announced the appointment of former Chelsea and Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte as their new manager following the sacking of Nuno Espirito Santo.

 

Tottenham on Tuesday announced the appointment of former Chelsea and Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte as their new manager following the sacking of Nuno Espirito Santo.

“We are delighted to announce the appointment of Antonio Conte as our head coach on a contract until the summer of 2023, with an option to extend,” the Premier League club said in a statement.

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“Antonio has won titles in Serie A, including a hat-trick of Scudettos with Juventus, the Premier League and also managed Italy, leading the Azzurri to the quarter-finals of Euro 2016.”

Spurs fired Nuno after just four months in charge and moved quickly to bring in Conte, who guided Chelsea to the Premier League title in 2016/2017 with Tottenham runners-up.

The 52-year-old has been out of work since leaving Inter Milan at the end of last season having guided them to the Serie A title.

Five Candidates To Replace Solskjaer As Manager Of Man Utd

Manchester United’s Norwegian manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on October 24, 2021. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) /

 

Manchester United’s historic 5-0 thrashing at the hands of fierce rivals Liverpool has left manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer clinging to his job despite signing a new three-year deal just three months ago.

Solskjaer has failed to win a trophy in nearly three years in charge at Old Trafford and tangible signs of progress after finishing second in the Premier League last season have been blown away amid a run of five defeats in their last nine games.

United are already eight points off the pace at the top of the table and there is a growing consensus that they need a coach to match the calibre of Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola and Chelsea’s Champions League winner Thomas Tuchel.

Solskjaer has led United to two consecutive top-four finishes for the first time since Alex Ferguson’s retirement as manager in 2013, but his time looks to be running out.

AFP Sport looks at five of the candidates to replace the 48-year-old if and when he is shown the door at Old Trafford.

Antonio Conte

A proven title winner, Conte turned a Chelsea side that had finished 10th the previous season into Premier League winners in his debut campaign in England in 2016/17.

The Italian is without a club having left Inter Milan in May after ending their 11-year wait to win Serie A.

Conte appears a perfect fit to solve United’s defensive woes that have blighted their season. Solskjaer’s men have kept one clean sheet in 21 games and shipped 11 goals in a week against Leicester, Atalanta and Liverpool.

However, Conte’s fiery temperament and tendency to fall out with his superiors could count against him.

“He’s not a fit for United,” said former United captain Gary Neville on Sunday.

Zinedine Zidane

Expectations were high for United to challenge for major trophies this season after the signings of serial winners Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane, along with £73 million ($100 million) winger Jadon Sancho.

Three of Ronaldo and Varane’s Champions League titles came under Zidane at Real Madrid and the Frenchman is also a free agent having ended his second spell with the Spanish giants in May.

Zidane proved himself a master of moulding a star-studded squad into a team at Madrid, where he also won two La Liga titles.

That is exactly what United need and his global profile fits the brand-building exercise the English giants have gone down in recent years, at times to the detriment of a well-functioning team on the field.

Brendan Rodgers

The outstanding option on the domestic market for United is Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers.

The Northern Irishman’s past as a Liverpool manager may rule him out for many United fans, but he has rebuilt his reputation since a rollercoaster three years at Anfield between 2012 and 2015.

Rodgers proved himself capable of handling the demands of winning every week in three years at Celtic, where he won a clean sweep of seven domestic trophies before returning to the Premier League with Leicester.

The Foxes have narrowly missed out on the Champions League for the past two seasons to Chelsea despite far inferior resources and beat the European champions to win the FA Cup for the first time in the club’s history last season.

Erik Ten Hag

The Dutchman is responsible for arguably the form team in Europe right now with Ajax cruising towards the last 16 of the Champions League and another Eredivisie title after thrashing PSV Eindhoven 5-0 on Sunday.

Ten Haag was linked with a number of top jobs after leading the four-time European champions to the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 1997 two years ago.

But unlike many of his players from that run, he is yet to be poached by one of Europe’s top clubs.

The former Bayern Munich youth team coach would fit the attacking style demanded of a United manager, as exhibited by a 4-0 thrashing of Borussia Dortmund last week.

Luis Enrique

The Spain coach is another with plenty of experience in getting the best out of a collection of talented individuals.

He won the treble in his first season at Barcelona and added another La Liga title with a front three of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.

Fluent in English, Luis Enrique has never hidden his desire to one day coach in the Premier League

His success with Spain this year at Euro 2020 and the Nations League finals shows he is also capable of producing an exciting side without the same quality of stars he had on offer at the Camp Nou.

Conte’s Inter Future In Doubts After Clashes With Owners

From L) Inter Milan’s Vice-President Javier Zanetti, Inter Milan’s President Steven Zhang, Inter Milan’s Italian coach Antonio Conte, Inter Milan’s Sports Coordinator Gabriele Oriali and Inter Milan’s CEO Giuseppe Marotta hold the Scudetto Trophy.
MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP

 

Antonio Conte’s future with Inter Milan is in doubt despite leading the club to the Serie A title for the first time in over a decade, according to reports in Italy on Wednesday.

“Inter-Conte, divorce!,” headlined the daily Gazzetta Dello Sport, reporting that the “final farewell could arrive in the next 48 hours”.

“Conte ready to break away,” headlined Corriere Dello Sport.

The 51-year-old Italian still has a year left in his contract, but has been at loggerheads with the cash-strapped club’s Chinese owners Suning over planned cost cutting which would prevent him building the team he wants to challenge at home and in Europe.

Inter registered losses of 100 million euros ($122 million) last season mainly due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Suning Group shut down their Chinese club Jiangsu FC in February months after it won the Chinese Super League title.

Five days ago, Inter secured a cash injection worth 275 million euros ($336 million) with US investment firm Oaktree, in the form of a loan reported to be over three years.

In this context, Suning wants to save as much as possible both on the purchase of new players and salaries, and possibly selling those with the highest value, an approach that Conte believes incompatible with the club’s desire to play at the highest level in Europe.

The former Chelsea and Juventus boss took over in May 2019 on a three-year contract worth a reported 12 million euros ($14 million) a season.

His departure had also been heralded last summer after the club’s Europa League final defeat to Sevilla, and finishing runners-up in the league to Juventus.

Conte had blamed the club’s lack of investment on their failure to challenge in the Champions League in which they crashed out in the group stage in each of the last three seasons.

-AFP

Manchester United, Inter Milan Reach Europa League Last Eight

Manchester United’s English midfielder Jesse Lingard (L) vies with LASK’s Austrian defender Reinhold Ranftl during the UEFA Europa League last 16-second leg football match between Manchester United and Linzer ASK at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on August 5, 2020. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)

 

Manchester United edged LASK 2-1 and Inter Milan beat Getafe 2-0 on Wednesday in rescheduled ties due to the coronavirus pandemic to clinch places in the quarter-finals of the Europa League.

United had a 5-0 lead from their first leg played in March and will face Copenhagen who enjoyed a 3-0 victory on the night over Istanbul Basaksehir.

Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan will face either Steven Gerrard’s Rangers or Bayer Leverkusen with the Germans holding a 3-1 lead going into Thursday’s match.

 

Inter Milan’s Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring the opening goal with his teammates during the UEFA Europa League round of 16 football match Inter Milan v Getafe on August 5, 2020 in Gelsenkirchen, western Germany. (Photo by Ina Fassbender / various sources / AFP)

Romelu Lukaku and Christian Eriksen scored either side of the break for the Italians.

“It was a difficult match against a team that plays aggressively, but we did well, the defense did a good job and I’m happy to score for the team,” Lukaku told Sky Sport Italia.

“Christian also got an important goal for the side and we must continue like this.”

Despite United’s comfortable lead from March 12’s first leg the visitors caused problems early on.

Andres Andrade hit the crossbar with a powerful header after 10 minutes at an almost empty Old Trafford before Peter Michorl fired wide just after the quarter of an hour mark.

The Linz-based outfit had to wait until the second half to break the deadlock as defender Philipp Wiesinger rifled into the top corner from outside the box after 55 minutes.

 

Manchester United’s English midfielder Jesse Lingard runs with the ball during the UEFA Europa League last 16-second leg football match between Manchester United and Linzer ASK at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on August 5, 2020. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)

Their celebrations were shortlived as Jesse Lingard equalised on the counter-attack for United three minutes later.

Anthony Martial claimed the match-winner with two minutes to go despite LASK goalkeeper Alexander Schlager getting afoot to the France striker’s shot.

Inter’s meeting with the La Liga side was played over just one leg in Gelsenkirchen to save time ahead of next week’s last eight to be held in Germany.

They advanced to the next round as Romelu Lukaku became the club’s first player to score in five straight European appearances since Brazilian striker Adriano in 2004.

Lukaku slotted home after Alessandro Bastoni’s long ball after 33 minutes.

The Spaniards were given a chance to take the game to penalties with 25 minutes remaining as VAR said Diego Godin had handballed in his own box but veteran cente-forward Jorge Molina missed the resulting penalty.

Christian Eriksen made sure of Inter’s spot after 84 minutes with his first touch after Dakonam Djene made a mess of a clearance inside his own area.

Elsewhere, 2009 champions Shakhtar Donetsk booked a last eight spot against Basel or Eintracht Frankfurt after three goals within the closing four minutes clinched a 3-0 win over Wolfsburg.

On Thursday Rangers head to Leverkusen, Wolves host Olympiakos, and Sevilla face Roma in Duisburg.

 

 

-AFP

Inter Eye Redemption Against Sampdoria Before Juventus Clash

Inter Milan’s Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku (L) reacts at the end of the Italian Serie A football match Lazio Rome vs Inter Milan on February 16, 2020 at the Olympic stadium in Rome.
Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

 

Antonio Conte warned Inter Milan need to bounce back from recent setbacks against Sampdoria on Saturday to keep pace with leading duo Juventus and Lazio, before their clash with the Serie A champions in Turin next week.

Inter dropped from first to third, three points behind champions Juventus, after losing 2-1 to second-placed Lazio last weekend, following an Italian Cup defeat to Napoli.

“It was a painful result,” said Conte of the loss in Rome’s Stadio Olimpico.

“We’ve now got back up with the desire to bounce back and move forward.”

Claudio Ranieri’s Sampdoria are 17th, just one point above the relegation zone, and lost the reverse fixture in Genoa 3-1 in September.

Juventus can open up a six-point gap on Conte’s side with a win at rock bottom SPAL, before hosting Inter in their Allianz Stadium on March 1.

Lazio are just one point behind Juventus as they chase their first Scudetto since 2000, and can push their unbeaten run to 20 games at third-from-bottom Genoa.

Maurizio Sarri’s Juventus have lost their last two away matches and need a win against SPAL before their Champions League last 16, first leg trip to French club Lyon.

But despite their low ranking SPAL have shocked both Lazio and Atalanta this season.

Sarri could rest goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny before their European game allowing veteran Gianluigi Buffon to line out for a record 648 Serie A games.

Napoli travel to Brescia before hosting Barcelona in the Champions League next week in their Stadio San Paolo.

Gennaro Gattuso’s side have moved up to ninth, two points off the Europa League berths, after three wins in their last four games.

In the race for Champions League places, Atalanta are fourth, six points ahead of Roma, with the side from Bergamo hosting Sassuolo on a high after their stunning 4-1 European win over Valencia.

Roma, in fifth, have earned just four points from seven games, and desperately need a result at home against lowly Lecce.

“Not many people think we can qualify (for the Champions League) via the league but we still believe it’s possible,” said coach Paulo Fonseca.

“Right now the most important thing is that we get back to playing the way we were before, without adding any sort of pressure.

“We must regain our swagger and believe.”

Hellas Verona, in sixth, occupy the final Europa League berth, four points behind the side from the capital and equal on 35 points with Parma and AC Milan.

Verona host Cagliari, who have lost momentum and slipped to 11th, after a ten-match winless run going back to early December.

AC Milan travel to 13th-placed Fiorentina, as Torino, just below the Tuscans, host Parma trying to avoid a sixth consecutive defeat.

 

 

One to watch

Former Eintracht Frankfurt forward Ante Rebic has burst through with six goals in AC Milan’s last seven games in all competitions.

The 21-year-old joined the seven-time European champions on loan last September, but has only played 13 games, and scored for the first time with a brace against Udinese on January 9.

The arrival of his childhood idol Zlatan Ibrahimovic last month has boosted confidence in the team, said the Croatian international.

Key stats

647 – Gianluigi Buffon’s matches in Serie A, one short of the all-time record

42 – Points between leaders Juventus and bottom club SPAL

10 – Cristiano Ronaldo’s successive games scoring streak

3 – Roma’s losing run

Fixtures (all times GMT)

Friday

Brescia v Napoli (1945)

Saturday

Bologna v Udinese (1400), SPAL v Juventus (1700), Fiorentina v AC Milan (1945)

Sunday

Genoa v Lazio (1130GMT), Atalanta v Sassuolo, Hellas Verona v Cagliari, Torino v Parma (all 1400), AS Roma v Lecce (1700), Inter Milan v Sampdoria (1945).

AFP

‘Newborn’ Inter Face Tough Champions League Test, Says Conte

 

Antonio Conte said on Tuesday that Inter Milan faced a tough task in Wednesday’s Champions League clash at Slavia Prague if they are to get the win they need to keep their hopes alive.

When the two teams met at the San Siro in the opening round of group games Inter needed a goal two minutes into stoppage time to salvage a 1-1 draw.

“We are a better team than when we played the first game against Slavia,” Conte said. “The team has been growing continually, we are far more compact and better prepared.”

“We will play our game, but we know it will be a tough match and we will definitely suffer just as Barcelona and Borussia did here.”

Inter need a win to retain hopes of qualifying for the knock-out stages. They have just four points from four games and sit third in the group, three behind Dortmund and four adrift of leaders Barcelona.

“We are playing for a big chance,” said Conte. “I know the odds are not fantastic really, but we’ll try to win.”

“I hope we can keep going in Europe because we need this type of game to keep improving.”

“We have started a path,” Conte said. “We are at the dawn. The team is ‘newborn’ but at the same time it is essential to continue in this competition to gain experience.”

Conte already has Inter in contention in Italy. They won 3-0 at Torino on Saturday to stay a point behind Serie A leaders Juventus.

But they lost midfielder Nicolo Barella, their scorer in the first meeting, who limped off and is due to undergo a surgery on his right knee.

Alexis Sanchez will miss Wednesday’s clash with an ankle injury while Matteo Politano is out with a twisted ankle.

Conte said Inter would also be without Stefano Sensi, Kwadwo Asamoah and Roberto Gagliardini but added it “makes to weep before the game over the absence of this or that player.”

– ‘Well prepared’ –

Last-place Slavia have two points from draws at Inter and Barcelona, but they have given all their rivals a hard time.

“They are physical, they run a lot, we could see that in the first game which was really hard,” said Inter defender Stefan de Vrij.

“But I think we have improved a lot and we are very well prepared for tomorrow’s game,” added the Dutch centre back.

Slavia need a win to stay in contention for at least a Europa League spot.

“If we want to play in the spring, we know we have to win tomorrow,” said Trpisovsky.

“That’s the only thing that matters to me, we haven’t got a single point from our home games and we simply want to win.”

“I believe we will convert the chances we will create, that’s what matters the most,” added the coach whose players have only scored twice in their four Champions League games so far.

Slavia were held to a goalless draw at Olomouc in the Czech top flight on Saturday but they retained their 11-point lead over Viktoria Pilsen.

Against Inter, they will be without centre back David Hovorka, sidelined with a torn knee ligament. Midfielder Lukas Masopust is uncertain with a minor injury.

In the last round of games in December, Inter face Barcelona at the San Siro while Slavia travel to Dortmund.

AFP

Inter Coach Conte Under Police Protection After Bullet Threat

Inter Milan's Italian head coach Antonio Conte reacts prior to the Italian Serie A football match Inter Milan vs Hellas Verona on November 9, 2019 at the San Siro stadium in Milan. Miguel MEDINA / AFP
Inter Milan’s Italian head coach Antonio Conte reacts prior to the Italian Serie A football match Inter Milan vs Hellas Verona on November 9, 2019 at the San Siro stadium in Milan. Miguel MEDINA / AFP

 

Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte is receiving police protection after a threatening letter containing a bullet was sent to him through the post, Italian media reported on Saturday.

According to Corriere della Sera, the former Italy and Chelsea manager received the anonymous threatening letter containing a bullet in recent days.

Serie A club Inter Milan later said in a statement to Italian news agency Ansa that “the letter arrived at the club and not personally to the coach”.

“In relation to the news published today, Inter Milan states that Antonio Conte did not personally receive any threatening letters and, consequently, he did not go in person to file a complaint,” the club statement said.

“It was the club that received a letter and, as is the practice in this kind of situation, it contacted the competent authorities.”

An investigation has now been launched while Conte is receiving police surveillance outside his home and at Inter’s training ground, Gazzetta Dello Sport reported.

Meanwhile, Conte’s wife Elisabetta Muscarello wrote on social media: “For the record: the story of the bullet is a hoax!”

Conte joined Inter in the summer and the Italian outfit are currently one point behind his former club Juventus at the top of Serie A.

The 50-year-old led Juventus to three consecutive Serie A titles from 2012 to 2014 before taking over as Italy national coach.

He also spent two seasons at Chelsea, winning both the Premier League and the FA Cup during his time at Stamford Bridge.

Conte took over from Luciano Spalletti, who led Inter to a fourth-place finish last season.

 

AFP

Conte’s Inter Shocked By ‘Ruthless’ Slavia Prague

Inter Milan’s Italian head coach Antonio Conte gives instructions during the UEFA Champions League Group F football match Inter Milan vs Slavia Prague on September 17, 2019 at the San Siro stadium in Milan. Marco Bertorello / AFP

 

Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte insisted he was to blame for misjudging opponents Slavia Prague after the Chinese-owned club rescued a disappointing 1-1 draw in their Champions League opener against the Czech outsiders on Tuesday.

Substitute Nicolo Barella scored eight minutes into stoppage time in the San Siro after Nigerian forward Peter Olayinka put the Czech club ahead in the 63rd minute.

“Slavia Prague attacked us with intensity and showed a ruthless streak,” said Conte.

“We didn’t do well in terms of finding the right solutions and struggled too much.”

It was a draw that had the taste of defeat as the Italian team left the pitch heads bowed.

“A point or zero, today is the same thing, my feeling must be the feeling of the players,” said Conte.

“There must be no player who goes home happy. You have to go home pissed off, thinking about what to do to avoid this kind of performance.”

Slavia Prague are top of Group F ahead of Inter followed by heavyweights Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund who settled for a goalless drew in Germany.

“This isn’t the kind of football we want to play and why we train,” continued Conte.

“I’m the one who’s primarily responsible, for selections made and obviously I didn’t make the lads understand what I wanted from them well enough.”

Olayinka, who has previously played in Albania and Belgium, pounced after Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic had saved from Jaroslav Zeleny.

However, Inter equalised when a Stefano Sensi free-kick rattled off the bar and the ball came out to Barella, whose shot found the net with the aid of a deflection.

Slavia goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar then made a fine reaction save from a Romelu Lukaku header in the 97th minute, and a draw was the least the visitors deserved.

Slavia are among the longest shots with bookmakers to win the Champions League in their first appearance in the group stage since 2007-08.

Inter came into their Champions League campaign with optimism after winning their opening three games of the season in Serie A under new coach Conte and but are already at risk of exiting in the group stage for the second season running.

“I’m not going to talk about individuals because the whole team was under par today,” said Conte.

“They (Slavia) played in a European manner, believing and executing the game at high intensity.

“They tried to bring a high pace, a huge pressing, while we were not good at finding solutions.

“In other matches we found teams that waited for us in their half, while they attacked us and we had to find different solutions.”

AFP

Inter Edge ‘Neymar-Less’ PSG On Penalties

Inter Milan’s players celebrate winning the match against Paris St. Germain in a penalty shootout after their International Super Cup football match in Macau on July 27, 2019.
VIVEK PRAKASH / AFP

 

Portuguese midfielder Joao Mario scored the final spot-kick as Inter Milan beat Neymar-less Paris Saint-Germain on penalties in Macau on Saturday.

With their want-away Brazilian superstar left out of the trip to the former Portuguese colony, PSG were seconds from victory before Samuele Longo’s injury-time equaliser made it 1-1.

Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic saved from Adil Aouchiche and then Arthur Zagre before Mario stepped up to slot the winner for Inter, who edged the penalties 6-5.

The win for Antonio Conte’s side comes just days after they lost to Italian rivals Juventus on penalties in a friendly in China.

READ ALSO: Barcelona Beat Ex-Star Iniesta’s Kobe In Pre-Season Friendly

Neymar, linked with a move back to his former club Barcelona, remained in China’s Shenzhen, PSG’s previous stop on their Asian tour, while his team-mates flew to gambling enclave Macau.

In a scrappy game in sweltering Macau, Inter were quicker out of the blocks forcing three fine stops from PSG’s Alphonse Areola in the first 10 minutes.

New signing Stefano Sensi and Ivan Perisic were instrumental in the early Inter attack, producing quick probing passes and causing problems behind the PSG defence.

In Neymar’s absence, it was French World Cup-winner Kylian Mbappe who drew cheers from the 8,800-strong crowd with his driving runs, although he was often let down by his final touch.

Just before half-time, Mbappe was brought down by Milan Skriniar and new signing Pablo Sarabia floated a free-kick which a climbing Thilo Kehrer glanced into the net.

Inter leapt into the attack in the second half, with Perisic jinking his way into the box to force another fine save from Areola, before sending the rebound soaring over the bar.

Inter continued to squander chances, with the heat adding to their frustration, with Perisic seeing another chance creep over on 78 minutes.

But in the last minute of injury time substitute Longo picked up a bobbling pass trickling through the PSG box to drive the ball into the bottom corner, past the otherwise rock-solid Areola, who thumped the ground in frustration.

Penalties went to sudden death after PSG’s Adil Aouchiche’s effort was stopped by Handanovic, but Antonio Candreva’s cheeky attempt to chip Areola backfired and glanced off the crossbar.

It was up to Handanovic to make another fine stop from Arthur before Mario calmly buried the crucial kick.

AFP