Inter struggle ahead of Champions League quarter-finals


Inter Milan's Albanian midfielder Kristjan Asllani (L) and Fiorentina's Italian midfielder Giacomo Bonaventura go for the ball during the Italian Serie A football match between Inter and Fiorentina on April 1, 2023 at the Giuseppe-Meazza (San Siro) stadium in Milan.

With a Champions League quarter-final match against Benfica coming up, Inter Milan are in far-from-perfect form.

The Nerazzurri were beaten 1-0 at home by Fiorentina on Saturday for their third straight loss in Serie A.

Giacomo Bonaventura headed in a rebound early in the second half after Inter centre forward Romelu Lukaku inexplicably missed a wide-open close-range chance.

It was Fiorentina’s eighth straight win across all competitions, and the Viola extended their unbeaten run to 10 games.

Fiorentina, who face Lech Poznan in the Europa Conference League quarter-finals, had gone 11 straight matches without beating Inter, with their previous victory over the Nerazzurri coming nearly six years ago.

Inter missed out on a chance to move into second behind runaway leaders Napoli and remained third, two points behind Lazio. Fiorentina moved up to eighth.

“It’s very disappointing,” Inter coach Simone Inzaghi said. “We need to work more, starting with me.”

Juventus beat relegation-threatened Hellas Verona 1-0 with a second-half goal from Moise Kean, who slotted the ball between two defenders from the centre of the area.

It was Juve’s fifth straight win in all competitions but the Bianconeri remained in seventh place, one spot below the places for Europe.

Atalanta beat last-place Cremonese 3-1 to move up to fifth, just below the Champions League places, and level on points with fourth-placed AC Milan.

Marten De Roon, Jeremie Boga and Ademola Lookman scored for Atalanta, while Daniel Ciofani converted a brief equaliser for Cremonese.

Defending champions Milan visit Napoli in the big game of the weekend on Sunday.

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