MILAN (Reuters) - Talking-points from the Serie A matches played on Sunday and Monday.
Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte was involved in a tense discussion with former AC Milan, Juventus, Real Madrid, England and Russia coach Fabio Capello, now working as a commentator for Sky Sport Italia, following the 3-1 win at Napoli that kept his team top of Serie A.
During a post-match interview, Conte took exception to Capello’s suggestion that Inter were a counter-attacking side.
“Mister Capello, what are we talking about?” said Conte, using the Italian term for coach. “Fortunately, our opponents fear us more than those who watch us on television...I think I’m hearing nonsense.”
Capello replied that he was “not blind” before an indignant Conte continued with his complaint.
“Inter are not a team who defend deep and then break,” he said. “When we have possession, we know exactly what to do, we play from memory....We press high up the field and we try to control the match.”
Such discussions are common after matches in Italy, where coaches are interviewed by several broadcasters and often have to listen to analysis from studio guests.
Eighth-placed Napoli, meanwhile, continued a miserable run at their San Paolo stadium, where they have won only three league games all season.
A feared venue when the team is on song, the ageing stadium has a lukewarm atmosphere at other times — not helped by rows of empty seats on the unpopular lower tier — and fans can quickly turn against their side.
“It’s not easy to play at the San Paolo at the moment, the team is not used to being in this situation after several years of challenging for first or second place,” said coach Gennaro Gattuso.
Juventus have already completed their dealings for the January transfer window after signing 19-year-old Swedish midfielder Dejan Kulusevski from Parma.
“We made a big effort to buy him and our January window ends here,” said chief football officer Fabio Paratici, adding that midfielder Emre Can would not be leaving the club despite complaining about a lack of playing time.
Kulusevksi, who cost 35 million euros ($39.13 million), will spend the rest of the season at Parma before moving to the Turin side.
Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Kirsten Donovan