Written By Onyeka Daniel
Over the weekend, Inter Milan had to come from behind to beat their host, AS Roma at the Stadio Olimpico with help from two of their defenders, Francesco Acerbi and Alessandro Bastoni to keep their lead at the top of the table at 7 points, pending when Juventus will play and not forgetting that they’ve a game in hand too.
But it was not all rosy for the Nerazzurri as Acerbi was forced off the pitch in the 4-2 win after suffering an apparent calf issue in the second half. The 36-year-old has been almost ever present in Simone Inzaghi’s starting lineup, except when he’s not fit or in need of rest, seeing over 2300 minutes of action across 28 games, being a part of one of the best defences in the league.
Inter had to fight hard to secure all three points, taking the lead through Acerbi in the first half but fell 2-1 down after goals from Gianluca Mancini and Stephan El Shaarawy. The Nerazzurri bounced back in the second half, escaping 4-2 winners thanks to Marcus Thuram and Alessandro Bastoni.
But Acerbi is facing a double tragedy, as according to Calciomercato, the former Lazio player seemingly suffered a calf injury just after the hour mark in the win, leaving Inter concerned ahead of their Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid later this month. He will undergo a round of tests to determine the seriousness of the issue.
That is not all, the Italian FA investigators are looking into an incident which saw him make an obscene gesture at Roma fans. According to another report from Italy, the incident occurred shortly after a VAR check on his goal, about a possible push on Roma goalkeeper Rui Patricio by Inter striker Marcus Thuram and also a possible offside.
However, the goal was allowed to stand by referee Marco Guida. In the meantime, though, the tension in the stadium grew. Acerbi had scored the goal in front of a section of hardcore Roma fans. And there was no love lost between the former Biancocelesti defender, and fans of their bitter rivals the Giallorossi.
Offensive chants aimed at Acerbi started up from some Roma fans whilst the VAR check on the defender’s goal was ongoing. The chants urged the 35-year-old to “die.” And the reaction from Acerbi was clear. The Inter defender raised his middle finger in the direction of the Roma fans who were singing the chant. Naturally, this is viewed as an offensive and obscene gesture.
But the question concerns what sort of punishment could be meted out towards the Italian international. Investigators with the FIGC are looking into the entire context surrounding the incident in order to get a better understanding of what had happened. But a suspension would be a possibility for the Inter defender.
It will depend on the findings of the investigators. The Nerazzurri will be hoping that he avoids a serious injury at least, then he will be rested for their next game against Salernitana on Friday and be available for their UCL clash.
Inter will face Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League Round of 16 clash on February 20 and for the Los Rojiblancos, there’s a bad news as Alvaro Morata sustained a sprained knee in a 1-0 loss to Sevilla over the weekend and left the pitch in tears, so it’s highly likely that he will miss upcoming games against Inter.
The Spanish forward was forced off the pitch at minute 46 and Atletico Madrid confirmed on X, formerly Twitter, that the ex-Juventus forward had suffered a sprained knee. Morata left the pitch in tears, accompanied by Atletico Madrid staff members.
Read Also: Despite Signing Alcaraz, Juventus Determined To Bring In Real Sociedad Midfielder In The Summer
He will undergo medical tests in the coming hours, but it seems unlikely he will recover in time for Atletico Madrid’s Champions League Round of 16 fixtures against Inter. The first leg Is at San Siro on February 20, while the decider will be played in Madrid on March 13.
Morata has had a terrific season with 19 goals scored in 32 appearances across all competitions at a club level. Atletico Madrid won their Champions League group ahead of Lazio, while Inter were the Group D runners-up below La Liga side Real Sociedad.
He will add to Atleti’s injury list that also includes Cesar Azpilicueta, Jose Maria Gimenez, Vitolo and Thomas Lemar, but Diego Simeone can still count on Memphis Depay, Angel Correa and Antoine Griezmann in the attack.
Do you have a story tip?
Kindly Email: email@example.com