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Rediff.com  » Sports » Football Briefs: Impressive Inter down Chelsea to win International Champions Cup

Football Briefs: Impressive Inter down Chelsea to win International Champions Cup

Last updated on: July 29, 2017 21:27 IST

News of all that's transpired on and off the football field on Saturday

Inter Milan celebrate winning the International Champions Cup Singapore after defeating Chelsea in the pre-season friendly on Saturday

IMAGE: Inter Milan celebrate winning the International Champions Cup Singapore after defeating Chelsea in the pre-season friendly on Saturday. Photograph: Edgar Su/Reuters

Inter Milan continued their revival under new coach Luciano Spalletti with an assured display in a 2-1 victory over English champions Chelsea to win the International Champions Cup Singapore tournament on Saturday.

Two days after the Italian side beat Bayern Munich 2-0 at the same venue, Stevan Jovetic and Ivan Perisic put Inter into a commanding lead before a bizarre own goal from Geoffrey Manager Antonio Conte sent out arguably Chelsea's strongest line-up from the squad available on the tour, with record signing Alvaro Morata handed a debut start on the left side of a front-three, alongside Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi and Brazilian Willian.

Both sides started on the front foot, probing for openings in early exchanges, and Inter forged the first chance in the second minute when Antonio Candreva beat the offside trap but was denied by a fantastic stop from keeper Thibaut Courtois.

The London side were on top for most of the first period, but found themselves a goal down on the stroke of half-time when Cesar Azpilicueta was harshly adjudged to have brought down Jovetic in the area. Although Courtois saved his penalty, the Montenegrin blasted home the rebound.

Both sides pressed for openings following the interval and a moment of brilliance from Ivan Perisic made it 2-0 in the 53rd minute when the coveted Croatian winger broke down the left and drilled a crisp low shot underneath the Belgian keeper.

Inter were firmly in control until an amazing own goal gifted Chelsea a way back into the match in the 74th minute when Geoffrey Kondogbia inexplicably lofted an overhit back pass over Daniele Padelli from near the halfway line.

Chelsea were revived by the shock reprieve and launched wave after wave of attack in the closing minutes. After Batshuayi was denied an equaliser for offside, a desperate Inter managed to cling on for their third consecutive win of their Asia tour.

Iniesta urges Neymar to stay at Barcelona

 FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi (centre), Andres Iniesta (2nd from right) and Neymar celebrate a goal

IMAGE: FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi (centre), Andres Iniesta (2nd from right) and Neymar celebrate a goal. Photograph: Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta said he would rather have Neymar at the club than a massive transfer fee, with speculations linking the Brazilian to Paris Saint-Germain in a world record deal.

PSG have reportedly held discussions with Barcelona about a transfer for the 25 year-old that would smash the world record 89 million pounds ($116.88 million) Manchester United paid for France midfielder Paul Pogba last year.

"I do not think 200-300 million will be more beneficial for Barcelona than having Neymar," Iniesta told a news conference ahead of the Saturday's pre-season friendly against Real Madrid.

"He is one of the best players in the world and I always want the best players in my team. I have no doubt that we all wish him to continue with us.

"We would like you (the press) to not keep asking (about Neymar) so much, but to end this, there is only one way: Neymar will speak."

Neymar, whose buy-out clause at Barcelona was set at over 200 million euros ($234.96 million), cancelled a personal appearance in China next week because he was said to be "busy with transfer business".

Iniesta also confirmed the training bust-up between Neymar and team mate Nelson Semedo on Friday but played it down, saying it only held more significance due to the recent transfer speculations.

"It's true that there was that incident, which can be part of a training session," Iniesta added.

"But because of the situation and what is being said about Ney, which is worldwide, it has much more significance. For those of us who are training however, it's nothing."

Chapecoense crash survivor Ruschel set to return against Barcelona

Alan Ruschel during a training session

IMAGE: Alan Ruschel during a training session. Photograph: Edison Vara/Reuters

Alan Ruschel, one of three Chapecoense players to survive the air crash that killed 71 people in Colombia last year, will return to football in the Aug. 7 friendly against Barcelona, his club said on Friday.

"Alan's return marks an important step in his recuperation as well as for the club's reconstruction," Chapecoense said in a statement ahead of the match at the Nou Camp.

"Considering the importance and magnitude of this game… it was understood to be the ideal occasion for a return."

The plane carrying the Chapecoense squad to the Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional crashed into the mountains outside Medellin last November, killing all bar six of the 77 people on board.

Left back Ruschel survived, along with defender Neto, while goalkeeper Jakson Follmann had part of his leg amputated.

Ruschel spent more than two weeks in hospital following the crash and had surgery on a back injury.

Two killed in stampede at South African soccer match

Two people have been killed and several injured in a stampede at South Africa's FNB Stadium during a soccer match between Soweto rivals Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, state broadcaster SABC said on Saturday.

The SABC, citing stadium officials, said the stampede was at one of the gates of the stadium that hosted the 2010 World Cup final.

Live television coverage of the match showed no obvious disturbance and police and emergency services officials could not immediately confirm the report.

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