Inter-Juventus, the challenge of Inzaghi and Allegri for second place -

Inter-Juventus, the challenge of Inzaghi and Allegri for second place -

Of Paul Tomaselli

Allegri reads the standings without penalties, Inzaghi asks for clarity: the match between two wavering teams who, in words, are fighting for second place in the standings

The premise is mandatory, because it is anomalous that Inter-Juventus on 19 March is not a Scudetto match for either of the two. And besides, the fact that already for a few weeks Allegri and Inzaghi are fighting for second place in words says a lot about the championship that their teams have achieved in the shadow of Napoli: always straddling the 2 points average (therefore around 76 finals), or a pace that two years ago did not even guarantee fourth place (just Napoli finished fifth with 77), while last year's, given that Allegri's team finished fourth with 70 points after spending 80 million for Vlahovic in the winter transfer market.

And to think that the Nerazzurri inaugurated 2023 by stopping Spalletti for the first time, thus showing a possible crack in the Neapolitan domain. A week after the 5-1 inflicted on the bianconeri by Osimhen and his associates, however, he immediately made it clear to everyone that he was not giving the leaders a frond, much less a comeback. Cos Inter then gave up 10 points out of 27 in the new year against the provincialswhile Juve made 2 more after the big stop for the World Cup.

We are there. But only for the virtual standings, given that at the moment the 15-point penalty has sent the Bianconeri back, who after having suffered the backlash and having heard their coach talk about the challenge of salvation in Salerno, have now changed their line, also in terms of communication, and rediscovered the right stimuli. While awaiting a sentence on the matter, Allegri has the right and also the duty towards his locker room and his very numerous supporters, to repeat the concept: We need to defend second place because we have 53 points which are 3 more than Inter, 5 more than Milan, 4 more than Lazio and 6 more than Roma. We don't have to evaluate what happens off the pitch. If at the end of the year the team is sixth or fifth net of sanctions, it will mean that the season has not gone well. Right now we need to defend second place, as well as the one on the field.

equally legitimate that Inzaghi considers himself second, also because Milan failed to overtake. The Inter coach knows that it is better to deal with Juve as a direct competitor, for like everyone he cannot know the outcome of the black and white appeal to the Coni guarantee college on April 19, a watershed date at least for the capital gains ruling that concerns Juve, because then there is also the salary sector which can weigh on the standings. Ultimately, Inzaghi expresses this discomfort on behalf of everyone: I look at the standings at the moment, then there are legal proceedings for which there are the bodies in charge: we hope to find out soon, because the teams that are fighting need clarity .

Juve is Inzaghi's favorite victim in the sense that since 2016 no one has beaten them several times (7) and no one has used it as a yardstick in an equally convincing way, winning two Super Cups with Lazio and two Nerazzurri trophies last season. In the first leg, Inter thought they had the solution in hand and were punished on the counterattack. And it cannot be said that the affair then served her as a lesson.

Allegri has however beaten Inzaghi 6 times out of 9, but has lost away the direct matches played so far (Naples, Milan and Rome), while Inter at home have rebuilt, beating Naples and Milan, what they had lost in the first leg always at home (in the derby and with Roma). From two teams so wavering, with Juve first in terms of salary gap (97 million net) and Inter second, you can expect anything. But there is one certainty: if Allegri considers himself second, Inzaghi is well aware that Juve are equal. And he wants to give a strong signal. On the field.

March 19, 2023 (change March 19, 2023 | 07:21)

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