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Football

Inter come back to defeat Juventus and clinch the Supercoppa

Inter Milan players celebrating after defeating Juventus 2-1 AET in the Supercoppa on January,12 2022. | PHOTO: Getty Images |

Alexis Sanchez scored a last-minute extra-time winner as Inter Milan defeated Juventus 2-1 to claim the Supercoppa Italiana in the most iconic way.

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 after a 1-1 draw in the normal playtime.

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 – a mile no side has neared.

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.

Inter-Juve, the PAGELLE: Sanchez matchpoint! Perisic leader, tireless  Brozovic

Inter Milan forward Alexis Sanchez celebrates after netting the winner against Juventus in the Supercoppa on January 12 2022. | PHOTO: Getty Images |

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 with a fightback and were level 10 minutes later after Dzeko was fouled by Mattia De Sciglio in the area.

Martinez clinically fired 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 thumping home.

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

Supercoppa | Inter 2-1 Juventus

Inter Milan players celebrate with the Supercoppa trophy after defeating Juventus 2-1 aet on January 12 2022. | PHOTO: Getty Images |

Only a fifth penalty shootout since the inaugural event in 1988 appeared to be on the horizon until Sanchez’s last-minute 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.

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.

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

The Spain forward had scored in three of Juventus’ last 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.

Both sides will be back in Serie A action this weekend. Juventus host Udinese at the Allianz Stadium on Saturday, while Inter makes a trip to Atalanta the following day.

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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