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Inter Stumble Into Champions League

With Antonio Conte apparently waiting in the wings to claim the Inter throne, Luciano Spalletti might not be in the mood to celebrate his side’s Champions League qualification. In truth, Inter should have wrapped up a top-four finish weeks ago but a run of one win in their five previous games prior to the visit of Empoli means their qualification for European football’s showpiece event feels more than a little underwhelming.

Icardi fails to deliver

The Argentinian has endured a controversial season and did himself no favors with an insipid second-half penalty. He was hauled off by Spalletti soon after in what is probably his last game for the club.

Key Opta facts:

  • Inter have gained qualification for the Champions League in two Serie A campaigns in a row for the first time since 2010-11.
  • Keita Balde Diao has scored for the first time since last December, when he found the net against Empoli. The Inter forward has scored three goals against Empoli, against no other side he has done better in Serie A.
  • Mauro Icardi has failed to score a penalty attempt for the first time since December 2017 in Serie A (versus Sassuolo). The striker has scored 11 goals in this competition, his worst amount of goals since 2013-14 (9).

What’s next for Inter?

Spalletti is expected to be fired on Monday with Antonio Conte announced as the new coach by midweek. Also announced in the next week will be the arrival of Diego Godin for Atletico Madrid and the news that sporting director Piero Ausilio has renewed his contract.

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