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Inter Milan Wins TIM Trophy

Inter Milan won the 12th edition of the TIM Trophy, a pre-season tradicional tournament involving Inter, Juventus and AC Milan. It was a costly day for Juventus as Pepe and Caceres both hobbled off with injuries.

Inter put itself in first place when it defeated Serie A Champs, Juventus, with a score of 1-0 in a 45 minute game. Later, in the next 45 minute game, it defeated neighbors, AC Milan with a score of 2-1. In the last 45 minute match, Juventus came in second place by beating Milan with a score of 1-0.

Inter 1-0 Juventus (Coutinho 11)
The tournament’s opener saw Inter and Juventus square up: a real game with some good football on display and a decent tempo.

The Nerazzurri emerged as 1-0 victors thanks to Coutinho’s 11th-minute finish. The Brazilian looks a much more mature player than he was before his loan spell at Espanyol: physically stronger, more determined and more clinical in front of goal.

Once again former Inter star, who had gifted an early goal in the Italian champions’ previous friendly, misjudged a bounce and was left heading thin air from Milito’s spinning pass; Coutinho guessed the bizarre trajectory and dispatched past Storari from close range. The goal put a swagger in Inter’s step for a few minutes and Milito almost made it two when he came in half a second too late at the far post.

Juventus 1-0 AC Milan (Vucinic penalty 31)
In the second game, a 1-0 victory for Juve, you expected the Bianconeri to maintain the same fierce approach but it was AC Milan who came out looking more fired up.

Taiwo was the stand-out performer in defence and an extra man in attack. In the middle, Antonini’s calm head and Emanuelson’s initiative kept Juve pegged back during the game’s opening salvos, and Storari was called to make his first save after 5 minutes from Taiwo’s shot. Juve tried to edge their way into it as the minutes passed but Milan’s high pressing game was clearly causing problems for Conte’s men, six of whom were unchanged from the first match and perhaps feeling a little groggy for it. The five newcomers were Pepe and Ziegler on the wings, Padoin (who had Juve’s best chance, fizzing an effort just wide after 15 minutes) and Vucinic alongside Boakye.

The Bianconeri were awarded a penalty in the 31st minute when Traoré was punished for trailing a leg inside the box, and Vucinic sent Amelia the wrong way from the spot.

Inter 2-1 AC Milan (El Sharaawy 16, Guarin 25, Palacio 34)
Inter claimed the first derby of the season as well as the TIM Trophy – for the eighth time in 12 editions. There was plenty of youthful promise on display: from Nerazzurri keeper Belec to the Rossoneri’s latest ‘hatch’ of Albertazzi, Valoti, Cristante and Ganz, with Pazzagli (Edoardo, son of former AC Milan keeper Andrea) and Prosenick coming off the bench. New signing Acerbi also lined up for Allegri, while Inter began with Silvestre and Nagatomo. Stramaccioni confirmed his midfield quintet of Guarin, Cambiasso, Zanetti, Palacio and Coutinho, with Milito again leading the line.

AC Milan made the breakthrough on 16 minutes: El Sharaawy latched onto a mistake by Chivu and slotted past the onrushing Belec. At this point all three teams had a 1-0 win to their names: had it ended that way, the tournament would have been decided by the lowest average age.

Guarin soon erased the need for such calculations when he headed in Palacio’s cross to make it 1-1 in the 25th minute.

The game had less bite to it than the first two and there was a drop in the quality of football too. Inter looked more of a team while AC Milan relied on moments of individual initiative.

Milito made way for Longo but it was another Argentine, Palacio, who won it: Cambiasso’s quick free kick sent his fellow countryman away and the Nerazzurri new boy beat Acerbi for pace and finished with a powerful angled drive from the edge of the box.

Inter finished this year’s TIM Trophy on 6 points, ahead of Juventus on 3 and AC Milan on 0. And Inter’s Coutinho continued his terrific preseason by being named player of the tournament.

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