Sanchez gives Inter victory over Juventus in the Italian Super Cup

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Federico Bernardeschi of Juventus (right) and Alessandro Bastoni of Inter Milan (left) fight for the ball during the Italian Cup match between Inter Milan and Juventus at Giuseppe Meazza Stadium in Milan, Italy, Wednesday January 12, 2022. ( Spada / LaPresse via AP)

AP

Substitute Alexis Sánchez scored with the final shot of the game to help Inter Milan win the Italian Super Cup with a 2-1 win over bitter rivals Juventus after extra time on Wednesday.

Sánchez’s goal, assisted by a Juventus defense error, sparked wild celebrations at the San Siro as almost every member of the Inter-Bank ran out to hug Sánchez in the far post.

Lautaro Martínez converted a first-half penalty to nullify American midfielder Weston McKennie’s opener for Juventus in an entertaining game for the first title of the season.

Sanchez has now scored three goals in his last five games but was only brought on in the 75th minute.

“I thought I was going to play because I was in shape, I was hungry to win something,” Sánchez said. “I was like a caged lion, if they let me play I’ll become a monster.”

Defending champions Juventus have set a record with nine wins in the Italian Supercup. But this was the first time since 2012 that they qualified for the game as Italian Cup winners rather than champions, having ended a streak of nine consecutive Serie A titles from Inter and former coach Antonio Conte last season .

Inter lead Serie A again, eleven points ahead of Juventus, who have had a difficult start to the season.

“Sometimes football seems to have been invented by the devil and we ended up making a naïve mistake,” said Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri. “Loss hurts league.”

Inter manager Simone Inzaghi extended his impressive record against Juventus in the Italian Super Cup, having won his previous two games in the competition against the Bianconeri when he was in charge of Lazio in 2017 and 2019.

Juventus were without a number of players due to injuries and suspensions, while goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny was on the bench as he had only recently received his second dose of the vaccine against the coronavirus and was therefore only able to get in touch with his team-mates shortly before Kick-off because of new rules that came into force in Italy on Monday.

Inter missed several chances in the first 10 minutes to take the lead. The Nerazzurri also thought they should have been awarded a penalty when Nicolò Barella was shoved on the shoulder by Giorgio Chiellini, but after a quick check by the video assistant referee, play was restarted.

Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovič was such a spectator in the opening quarter of an hour that he did a few jumping jacks in the middle of his own half to keep warm on a chilly night in Milan.

But Inter had to pay for their waste when Álvaro Morata slid the ball back into the net after a series of crosses for McKennie to head into the other side of the net.

Shortly after, however, Inter received a penalty.

Juventus defender Mattia De Sciglio tried to clear the ball but failed to notice Edin Džeko chasing after him and sending Inter down in front. Martínez shot the penalty kick in the top right corner.

Juventus almost restored the lead early in the second half, but Federico Bernardeschi fired just wide of the right post.

Inter got even closer on the hour when Denzel Dumfries’ header seemed to go in from a Hakan Çalhanoğlu cross, but Mattia Perin managed to hammer it onto the goal frame.

Perin also made a good save to save Martínez’s header from close range.

Inter took the lead almost immediately in extra time, but Sánchez headed a corner just wide.

Just as the game headed to penalties, Juventus gave Inter the winner. Bianconeri defender Alex Sandro tried to chest the ball to Chiellini but gave Matteo Darmian a chance to play the ball for Sánchez to fire home.

FIRST DUE

Atalanta became the first team to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Italian Cup after beating Venezia 2-0.

Gian Piero Gasperini’s side face either Fiorentina or Napoli in the last eight.

Luis Muriel put Atalanta ahead in the 11th minute with a controversial goal given after a lengthy VAR check to see if he was controlling the ball with his arm.

Atalanta also hit the woodwork twice and Venezia had ruled out a goal before Joakim Mæhle sealed the win with two minutes remaining.

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