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Second-placed Inter stay one point behind Serie A leaders

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On Wednesday, Inter Milan missed a chance to climb to the top of Serie A with a 2-1 Sampdoria loss that ended their eight-match winning streak.

For Antonio Conte’s side, Alexis Sanchez missed an early penalty, tripped up by goals from former Inter players Antonio Candreva and Keita Balde.

A point behind Serie A leaders AC Milan, who host Juventus champions later on Wednesday, is second-placed Inter.

“I’m sorry because I think we deserved something more. Lady Luck was not on our side today. It was a bit of a strange match. We found ourselves going from the missed penalty to conceding two goals which created difficulties for us.”

As the forward recovers from a muscular problem, Inter’s top scorer Romelu Lukaku started on the bench.

Sanchez started in the place of the Belgian but missed the opportunity to give the visitors an early advantage saving a penalty with Emil Audero.

But after 22 minutes, Candreva did not make a mistake from the spot, sending Samir Handanovic the wrong way after Samp was awarded a Nicolo Barella handball penalty.

After 38 minutes of good work from Mikkel Damsgaard, Keita Balde added a second, the Danish winger sending the Senegalese forward to a cool finish.

With just over an hour gone, Lukaku came off the bench in place of Roberto Gagliardini, two minutes before the header of Stefan de Vrij from a Marcelo Brozovic corner narrowed the visitor deficit.

Danish out-of-favor midfielder Christian Eriksen, touted for a move away from Inter, was also brought on in place of Sanchez for the final 20 minutes, with Arturo Vidal coming late for Barella, having been benched last weekend after a woeful result.

Conte said: “I always try to exploit the players according to the situations that arise. An important victory. We lost in Rome and didn’t want to lose again. We lost in Rome and didn’t want to lose again. Inter are a great team. The absence of Lukaku gave us an advantage because, with such a player in front of us, we would have suffered more.”

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