Jovetic nets, Perisic stars

Stevan Jovetic scoring the winner against Lyon in the 74th minute. After starting the match with many reserves, Inter coach Luciano Spalletti made wholesale changes at half-time which made a big difference.
Stevan Jovetic scoring the winner against Lyon in the 74th minute. After starting the match with many reserves, Inter coach Luciano Spalletti made wholesale changes at half-time which made a big difference.PHOTO: XINHUA

NANJING • Manchester United target Ivan Perisic was impressive off the bench, as his Inter Milan side beat Lyon 1-0 in the International Champions Cup (ICC) yesterday in Nanjing, China.

Both teams played a lacklustre first half in which there were few chances to break the deadlock.

It was partly due to Inter coach Luciano Spalletti's decision to rest several of his first-team players - including Perisic - for the first 45 minutes at Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre.

Inter, who will be in Singapore for the ICC matches against Bayern Munich on Thursday and Chelsea on Saturday, then made sweeping changes after the interval which proved to be a big difference.

Perisic for one, showed his acceleration and crossed beautifully, only for midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia to send an acrobatic kick wide.

Stevan Jovetic scored the only goal in the 74th minute after he was left with too much space inside the area. The Montenegro striker then drove the ball past goalkeeper Mathieu Gorgelin.

Perisic, who joined Inter on their Asia tour despite being linked to a move to United, was constantly in the spotlight prior to the game.

Spalletti said in a press conference before the clash with Lyon that he will definitely keep the Croatian winger but admitted that it was not up to him to decide.

"If an offer comes and Inter are satisfied with the money, he could leave," the 58-year-old Italian said.

"From my point of view, it's very simple: Ivan's an important player for me, after that you have to ask him how he's dealing with the interest from Manchester United.

"And if Inter were to accept a certain kind of offer, we'd get an equally important player to replace him."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 25, 2017, with the headline 'Jovetic nets, Perisic stars'. Print Edition | Subscribe