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Lukaku scores twice as Inter Milan beat Sassuolo 4-3

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Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez scored two goals each as Inter Milan survived a late fightback to beat Sassuolo 4-3 at the Mapei Stadium on Sunday.

Martinez struck inside two minutes before Domenico Berardi equalised, but Lukaku gave Inter breathing space with a powerful strike and a penalty before half time.

Martinez stretched his side’s lead to 4-1 from the penalty spot after the break, but Sassuolo hit back through Filip Djuricic and Jeremie Boga strikes.

Antonio Conte’s side held on in a nervy finish to the game as the home side pressed for a remarkable equaliser.

“We did everything right in the first half and should have scored more in the second,” Lukaku said.

“Once it goes to 3-1 and 4-1, it ought to be over. The positive we take is that we got the three points, but we need to defend better than that.”

The result leaves Inter in second place on 21 points, one behind champions Juventus and four clear of Atalanta in third.

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Conte’s side had a perfect winning record in Serie A until a 2-1 home defeat to Juventus before the international break saw them lose top spot.

Sassuolo has caused big problems for the Milanese club in recent seasons and, going into the game, the hosts were unbeaten in their last five games in this fixture.

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The home players were handed extra motivation by moving scenes before kick-off as tributes were paid to former club owner Giorgio Squinzi, who died at the start of October.

However, Sassuolo were behind within two minutes as Martinez curled a shot into the corner.

Berardi levelled with a well-taken finish from a tight angle before both sides had goals disallowed, Inter for a foul by Lukaku and Sassuolo for offside.

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Lukaku turned his marker and fired past goalkeeper Andrea Consigli to restore Inter’s lead and he was on target again with a penalty after Martinez was dragged down in the area.

The result looked beyond doubt when the Argentina international notched his second from the penalty spot after a foul on Nicolo Barella.

But substitute Djuricic quickly pulled one back before his fellow replacement Boga cut the visitors’ lead to a single goal with nine minutes remaining.

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Man United unwilling to pay £108m for Sancho

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Manchester United are refusing to pay anywhere near Borussia Dortmund’s £108m asking price for Jadon Sancho after the latest round of talks between the clubs.

Negotiations are ongoing for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s top transfer target, but it’s understood the two sides are miles apart in their valuations of the England international.

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Sancho’s wages are also a sticking point, with United determined not to upset their wage structure for a player so young.

Suggestions that personal terms worth £250,000-a-week had already agreed are believed to be premature.

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Everton to sign 36-year-old former Chelsea defender, Ivanovic

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Former Chelsea’s favorite Branislav Ivanovic looks to be on the verge of securing a move back to the Premier League.

The veteran Serbian defender has spent the last three years with Russian giants Zenit Saint Petersburg since leaving Stamford Bridge in 2017 but now seems likely to reunite with former Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti by sealing a free transfer to Everton.

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“I will probably continue my career at Everton,” said the 36-year-old, who is also a target for Red Star Belgrade in his homeland.

“I received a good offer from them.

“I will see how things will turn out.”

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I was surprised Barca sold me – Carles Perez

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Carles Perez has spoken of his surprise at leaving Barcelona, claiming he “didn’t deserve” to be sold by the LaLiga giants.

The Spaniard joined AS Roma in January but believes he merited further first-team chances at Camp Nou having previously declined multiple offers to depart.

“For me, it was a surprise that they decided to dispense with me,” the 22-year-old told EFE. “I consider that I didn’t deserve that.

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“Ever since the ‘cadete’ team (around the age of 16), I had offers to leave Barca, some of them from England.

“And even when I was at Barca B, I had offers from LaLiga teams and I always said ‘no’ because I wanted to get to the first team.

“Later, I had opportunities and I think I took advantage of them as much as I could. In fact, I even earned a contract as a player in the first team.”

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