Lukaku scores on debut as Antonio Conte flags off Inter Milan career by crushing Lecce (Match Report)

Former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte and Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku started their Inter Milan career on a perfect note as their Serie A club smashed Lecce 4-0, with the Belgian scoring one of the goals.

Diego Godin was injured and Stefan de Vrij pulled out during the warm-up, so Andrea Ranocchia stepped into defence, with Romelu Lukaku making his debut from the starting XI. Mauro Icardi and Joao Mario weren’t even on the bench, as they are transfer-listed. The newly-promoted visitors missed Biagio Meccariello, Riccardo Fiamozzi and Simone Lo Faso.

Stefano Sensi’s early curler was deflected over, but the Salentini were anything but defensive, Marcelo Brozovic forced into an acrobatic clearance as the cross fell kindly for Gianluca Lapadula.

Lukaku tried a coast-to-coast from a Lecce corner and almost managed to set up Lautaro Martinez, but there was a last-ditch interception.

Lecce came even closer at the other end, because Samir Handanovic came flying outside his penalty area for a tackle on Lapadula, the striker still turned and the lob was cleared in front of an empty net by Milan Skriniar.

It was end-to-end stuff at San Siro and Lautaro Martinez missed a gilt-edged opportunity, his free header on Antonio Candreva’s cross bouncing off the ground and back over the bar.

The deadlock was broken by a moment of magic, as Marcelo Brozovic curled a stunner into the far top corner from just outside the box, unstoppable for Gabriel.

Moments later, after another Lautaro header gone wrong, Stefano Sensi added a second goal. His first attempt was charged down by teammate Matias Vecino, but he found more room just inside the penalty area and nutmegged a defender with his daisy-cutter finish into the far bottom corner.

Kwadwo Asamoah’s angled drive was fingertipped round the upright and Lapadula almost pounced on Brozovic uncertainty in the box.

Falco was very lively and went on a slalom through the Inter defence at the dawn of the second half, his finish eventually deflected for a corner from six yards.

Lukaku breezed past Luca Rossettini, but over-hit the roll across for Lautaro Martinez. Instead, they combined the other way for the Belgian’s debut Serie A goal.

Gabriel only parried a long-range Lautaro strike into the path of Lukaku for the simple tap-in, an ideal way to mark his arrival.

Brozovic attempted another curler, inches past the far top corner, and Lautaro’s scorcher skimmed the bar from distance.

Diego Farias came off the bench to make his Lecce debut and was shown a straight red card just 16 minutes later for his utterly reckless challenge from behind on former Cagliari teammate Nicolò Barella. He completely mistimed the lunge and raked his studs down the back of Barella’s calf.

Matteo Politano thought he’d scored a fourth late on, just three minutes after his introduction, but Lukaku was offside and jumped over the ball to let it through.

It was Candreva who got the fourth goal, capping off his best performance for years. The winger gathered from 30 metres out and unleashed an unstoppable missile that swerved into the far top corner, giving Gabriel no chance and sending the San Siro crowd wild.

Inter Milan: Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, Ranocchia, Skriniar; Candreva, Vecino (Barella 65), Brozovic, Sensi (Gagliardini 72), Asamoah; Lautaro Martinez (Politano 78), R Lukaku
Lecce: Gabriel; Rispoli (Benzar 72), Rossettini, Lucioni, Calderoni; Petriccione (Mancosu 61), Tachtsidis, Majer; Falco; La Mantia (Farias 61), Lapadula
Ref: La Penna
Sent off: Farias 77 (L)

Photo Credit: Twitter/

Barcelona loan Busquets to Dutch club FC Twente

Reports in Spain claim Barcelona have agreed to loan midfielder Oriol Busquets to Dutch club FC Twente for the season.

The 20-year-old has made two appearances for the club’s first team – both in the Copa del Rey against lower league opposition and has been a regular member of the club’s B team.

He has been capped at Spain level up to Under-19 but, according to Diario Sport, now looks set to join the Eredivisie on a season-long loan agreement which will not include a purchase option.

Serie A club Udinese and Twente’s Eredivisie rivals Utrecht were also said to have made approaches for the midfielder but instead he will be joining Twente.

Football Espana report Julio Pleguezuelo, Javier Espinosa and Aitor Cantalapiedra are among the former Blaugrana youth graduates already at the Dutch club.

In February 2018, Busquests sustained a serious knee injury in a training session, tearing the meniscus in a fashion similar to fellow youth graduate Rafinha one year earlier.

Chelsea stars send messages of support to David Luiz after awful performance for Arsenal at Anfield

Reports in England indicate that David Luiz have received messages of support from his old Chelsea teammates after his awful performance during Arsenal’s 3-1 defeat at Liverpool.

The Brazilian had a fairly solid first half at Anfield but fell to bits in the second when he mindlessly pulled Mo Salah’s shirt to concede a penalty which the Egyptian duly converted.

This was before Salah pulled his pants down again when he glided past the rampaging 32-year-old just ten minutes after his first error and slotted the ball past Bernd Leno.

The gaffes come quickly after Luiz arrived from Chelsea in an £8million deadline day deal.

Many questioned the wisdom in signing a man with numerous defensive vulnerabilities – especially when Arsenal’s defence was already notoriously weak.

And after some of those flaws were exposed again in the Anfield clash, Luiz took to Instagram to defend himself but NOT apologize, report The Sun.

He posted a picture of himself along side the caption: “Life is tough and football is tough also sometimes!!!

“But I know one thing, I will never give up!!

“Was always like that my life… I came here with a goal, and I will fight until the end for that!!!

“Thank u for the fans, for all the support!!!

“I will never hide, wining or losing!!!”

The post received more than 260,000 likes and his current and former teammates were quick to offer messages of support.

Blues left-back Emerson wrote: “You are a monster” in Portuguese while Tammy Abraham and Reece James posted heart and praying emojis respectively.

The praying emoji was replicated by his new Gunners teammate Granit Xhaka while Alexandre Lacazette commented: “Together bro” with two fist bump icons.

Arsenal fans will be desperate for Luiz to put his mistakes behind him with the next game against North London rivals Tottenham.

Mateo Kovacic reveals what Frank Lampard has brought to Chelsea, says “I have a good connection with the coach and the team”

Mateo Kovacic says he is able to play with ‘more confidence’ since making his move to Chelsea permanent, and credited manager Frank Lampard for allowing him to play with ‘more freedom’.

The Croatian started alongside Jorginho and Ross Barkley in Chelsea’s 3-2 win away to Norwich City on Saturday, what was Lampard’s first Premier League win since his appointment.

Kovacic, an attacking midfielder by trade, played in a more defensive capacity under Maurizio Sarri last season, reports the Evening Standard.

But since completing his £40million move to Stamford Bridge, and working under Lampard, the 25-year-old has begun to push further forward.

He is still to score for the Blues, but a fine pass in the second half on Saturday created the all-important third goal at Carrow Road.

“Yeah, he [Lampard] gives me more freedom and I can come and take the ball and go forward,” he said.

“So I feel good, I have a good connection with the coach and the team but I am now a Chelsea player so I feel better – last year I was only on loan – this year I feel better and more confidence.

“I think we started [the season] playing very well, the results were not perfect but obviously we played good.

“We needed the three points more than the beautiful game and we did a good game, won and so everything was perfect.”

Photo Credit: Twitter

Frank Lampard’s cousin identifies what Tammy Abraham should learn from Diego Costa to remain Chelsea’s No1 striker

Frank Lampard’s cousin Jamie Redknapp says Tammy Abraham needs to follow the example set by Diego Costa and become a “master of the dark arts” in order to cement his place as Chelsea’s first-choice striker.

Tammy Abraham scored his first two Premier League goals for Chelsea on Saturday during the Blues’ 3-2 win at Norwich.

Redknapp, a former England international, believes that Abraham “needs to be nastier and a master of the dark arts like Diego Costa.”

The 21-year-old striker, who enjoyed successful loan spells at Aston Villa and Bristol City, has been thrust into the first-team this season due to the club’s current transfer ban.

The Blues started the season poorly, as they were thrashed 4-0 at Old Trafford by Manchester United, but were impressive against Norwich on Saturday.

Abraham ended his goal drought with an impressive volley from a Cesar Azpilicueta cross.

The second was arguably more impressive, as he collected the ball from a long cross, before taking a touch, beating a defender, and firing past Tim Krul.

And Redknapp explained that he believes there’s only one thing Abraham needs to improve on in order to gain the number nine shirt for keeps.

“Let’s give Frank Lampard credit for the way he secured his first Premier League win as a manager at Norwich,” the ex-Liverpool star wrote for the Daily Mail as cited by the Daily Express.

“There was pressure on his side to win but Lampard had the courage to start with Tammy Abraham up front and his bravery was rewarded as the 21-year-old got two goals.

“Abraham is not the finished article.

“I think he needs to be nastier and a master of the dark arts like Diego Costa.

“Then maybe the No 9 shirt will be his for the foreseeable future.”

Diego Costa was known as being a tough player to play against, and received 30 yellow cards and one red card during his 120 games at the club.

He quickly became a fan favourite at Stamford Bridge, scoring 58 goals and providing 24 assists before he fell out with Antonio Conte and was sold to Atletico Madrid.

Chelsea make transfer U-turn over flop midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko’s move

Reports in France and England claim Chelsea have softened their position on flop midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko’s loan move to Monaco.

Just last there week were reports that the Blues Director Marina Granovskaia “blocked” the Frenchman’s reported move to the Lique 1 club.

Granovskaia feels Monaco are not “big enough” for the Frenchman to showcase his talents as the Blues potentially eye a permanent transfer.

The Stamford Bridge club are a two-window transfer ban by FIFA thereby making it impossible for the club to recruit new players to strenghten the team.

However, Chelsea can still sell and loan out players despite their ban.

And Bakayoko is a player who has an uncertain future under Lampard at Chelsea.

The midfielder, 25, spent last season on loan at AC Milan, making 31 Serie A appearances.

And now, according to French newspaper L’Equipe (via Sport Witness), Chelsea are coming around to the idea of sending Bakayoko back on loan to AS Monaco this season.

Monaco have been linked with several midfielders in recent days, including Southampton’s Mario Lemina, Leicester City’s Adrien Silva and Bakayoko’s former midfield partner at AC Milan, Franck Kessié, but Bakayoko appears to be the primary target still.

Chelsea set to hijack Liverpool move for promising youngster as Frank Lampard invites him to Blues training

Reports in England claim Chelsea are plotting to snatch Exeter City record breaker Ben Chrisene under the nose of Liverpool — despite their transfer ban.

The England youth midfielder made his debut for the Devon club aged just 15 in the Carabao Cup loss to Coventry earlier this month.

And now, according to The Sun, Frank Lampard’s Blues have invited him to train with them.

Chrisene has trained with the Kop side as well as Southampton and Bayern Munich are also interested.

Chelsea — who hope to have their ban lifted in January — signed Ethan Ampadu from Exeter in 2017.

Ampadu joined RB Leipzig on a season-long loan this summer.

The Welsh international, who can play in either defence or midfield, continues his development in the German top-flight for the Champions League qualifiers.

Lampard rates the teenager highly, and he spoke in pre-season about the need for Ampadu to get regular action over the upcoming campaign.

The Blues boss said: “I tried to sign Ethan on loan at Derby last year so I’m a big fan, but with the minutes he played last year, in the interest of Ethan and of Chelsea, the idea he can play a lot of games somewhere could be good for him.

“I really wanted to work with Ethan this year. That’s a slight disappointment, but it’s to benefit him.

“In midfield and defence we have a lot of quality, so each player is a case by case.”