Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku score as Inter Milan chase Serie A leaders Juventus

Niwandinda Daniel
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Lukaku scores great solo goal as former Manchester United team-mates keep Inter’s slim title chances alive

Two goals by Romelu Lukaku and one by Alexis Sanchez helped Inter Milan to beat Genoa 3-0 and put more pressure on Serie A leaders Juventus.

Former Manchester United striker Lukaku broke the deadlock when he headed in from Cristiano Biraghi’s cross in the 34th minute.

Inter coach Antonio Conte had complained regularly about the difficulties posed by a hectic fixture list and high temperatures, but his side were rewarded by two late goals.

Sanchez celebrates with his former Manchester Utd team-mate Romelu Lukaku

Sanchez celebrates with his former Manchester Utd team-mate Romelu Lukaku

Victor Moses, on loan from Chelsea, slipped past a defender and his low cross found Sanchez who scored from close range with a shot off the underside of the bar with seven minutes left.

In stoppage time, Lukaku collected a pass out of defence, burst forward, cut inside a defender and drove the ball into the far corner for his 23rd league goal of the season.

Sanchez is on a year-long loan from Manchester United which is set to end after the first week of August when the Serie A season finishes.

Romelu Lukaku has scored 23 goals for Inter this season
Romelu Lukaku has scored 23 goals for Inter this season

Inter, who have two games left, moved above Atalanta into second place with 76 points, four behind Juventus who host Sampdoria on Sunday.

Juve, who have three games to play, will wrap up the title if they beat Sampdoria but they have looked shaky recently with one win in five League matches.

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Manchester Utd won’t extend Sanchez, Smalling loans

Manchester United will not be extending Sanchez and Chris Smalling’s current loan deals with Inter Milan and Roma.

It is understood United are unwilling to extend both players’ loans into next season or have them stay out on loan any further than the current arrangement, and are looking to reach a deal for a permanent transfer.

Chris Smalling is enjoying his time at Roma
Chris Smalling is enjoying his time at Roma

Smalling and Sanchez originally signed on one-year loans expiring in June, but had their stints in Italy extended until the first week of August in order to be able to play out the end of the Serie A season following the shutdown.

Under the current agreement the two players will return to Old Trafford after the last Serie A matchday, scheduled for August 2, meaning that neither will be able to play in the final stages of the Europa League.

Roma and Inter are yet to play their round-of-16 one-legged ties against Sevilla and Getafe respectively, with the original first-leg ties in March being postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic in Italy and Spain.

Lukaku's and Sanchez's goals help Inter move up to second

Roma are a possible semi-final opponent for United while Inter may meet Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side in the final should they progress through to the decider in Cologne on August 21.

Smalling has scored two goals in 34 appearances for Roma this season, and the club are keen on tying the 30-year-old down to a permanent deal at the Stadio Olimpico.

Also :

Paulo Fonseca’s side have already secured an extension to Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s loan spell from Arsenal and will sign Chelsea winger Pedro on a free when his contract expires at the end of the season.

Sanchez suffered a serious ankle injury while on international duty with Chile in October, but recovered to return to first-team action in January and recorded three goals and seven assists since the season restarted in June.

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