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Tuesday, June 28, 2022
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    Lukaku helps keep perfect Inter top with derby triumph

    MILAN (AFP) – Romelu Lukaku fired Inter Milan back top of Serie A with the second goal of a 2-0 derby win that extended their perfect start to the season at the expense of city rivals AC Milan.

    Belgium striker Lukaku and Marcelo Brozovic’s second half strikes gave Inter their fourth win in as many games, putting them two points ahead of Juventus.

    Antonio Conte’s Inter were looking for a boost after their dismal 1-1 draw in their Champions League draw against Czech outsiders Slavia Prague.

    And they hit back in a fiery Milan derby with Belgian striker Lukaku heading in his third goal in four games with 12 minutes remaining after Brozovic’s 49th-minute opener.

    “At 26 years old, I needed and wanted a coach like this, one who motivates me every day,” said Lukaku of Conte.

    “My relationship with Conte is very strong, he’s a really good coach because he’s someone who helps players to develop a lot.

    Inter Milan players celebrate their victory against AC Milan in the Serie A. PHOTO: AP

    “I’m really happy to be here and to be wearing this shirt.”

    Milan could thank Gianluigi Donnarumma for keeping the match goalless in the first half after he denied Lautaro Martinez, Lukaku and Danilo D’Ambrosio.

    Lautaro had a goal ruled out after 35 minutes for being marginally offside. But the breakthrough came four minutes after the break when Stefano Sensi set up Brozovic, whose deflected shot beat Donnarumma and was confirmed after consultation with video assistant referee (VAR).

    Lukaku sealed the win and a perfect 12 points from four games when he guided Nicolo Barella’s cross home with a glancing header, as AC Milan slip to ninth place with six points.

    “We came from a performance in the Champions League that left us with a bitter taste, but gave us more impetus to face the derby in the best way,” said Conte.

    “It is a deserved victory, I am happy for our fans, because the derby is always the derby.”

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