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Thuram gives leaders Inter revenge on Lukaku as Napoli draw with Milan

MILAN (AFP) – Marcus Thuram earned revenge on Romelu Lukaku for Serie A’s top dogs Inter Milan with the decisive goal in Sunday’s 1-0 win over Roma, as Napoli came back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with AC Milan.

Inter lead Juventus by two points after Thuram guided home Federico Dimarco’s low cross with nine minutes remaining at a pulsating, shrieking San Siro where his World Cup-winning father Lilian was watching on.

France forward Thuram was charged with filling the shoes of Lukaku who enraged fans, his old teammates and the club hierarchy by the way he eyed moves away to Milan and third-placed Juve, whilst Inter tried to secure a permanent deal from Chelsea in the summer.

The 26-year-old is repaying the faith Simone Inzaghi has shown in him with five goals and as many assists in all competitions alongside Lukaku’s former strike partner Lautaro Martinez.

“We wanted to take three points and we did. I scored and I helped the team win,” said Thuram.

Inter Milan’s French forward Marcus Thuram. PHOTO: AFP

“I’m happy about that and I’m not interested in anything else.”

Lukaku was given the promised hostile welcome from over 70,000 fans who consider him a traitor, with thousands of whistles making their way into the stadium despite police banning their distribution by Inter’s hardcore supporters.

Even one-time friend Martinez barely looked at him as the two teams shook hands pre-match and ferocious chants insulting Lukaku were frequently belted out.

Missing a host of starters and suspended coach Jose Mourinho, Roma tried but failed to hold off Inter and sit eighth on 14 points after creating just one chance all evening, Bryan Cristante forcing a fine save from Yann Sommer in the 64th minute.

Inter meanwhile hit the woodwork at either end of the match through Hakan Calhanoglu and Carlos Augusto and should have been ahead by the time Dimarco finally found Thuram, who made no mistake and set off a wave of noise which reverberated around the San Siro.

And soon afterwards the whistles aimed at Lukaku gave way to the celebrations between players and joyous fans who hailed a team that look clear favourites to beat Milan to a 20th league title.

Inter’s lead at the summit was extended to two points thanks to champions Napoli’s comeback in Naples, Matteo Politano and Giacomo Raspadori earning the hosts a point after they trailed Milan by two at half-time.

Napoli are seven points behind Inter in fourth while third-placed Milan were left three behind their local rivals and wondering what could have been after two classic Olivier Giroud headed goals had the away side deservedly in front at the break.