Conte Roars Back At Inter and Lukaku Critics After Beating Napoli

Inter Milan manager Antonio Conte has hit back at critics of Romelu Lukaku and his side’s playing style after the Nerazzurri recorded an impressive 3-1 win at Napoli in the Italian Serie A on Monday.

A double from the former Manchester United striker, taking his tally for the season to 14 goals, and Lautaro Martinez’s second half strike rendered Arkadiusz Milik’s effort for Napoli a mere consolation as Inter returned to the top of the table after Juventus won 4-0 against Cagliari earlier in the day.

Despite Inter’s impressive start to the season that has seen them mount a serious title challenge to Juventus, the San Siro outfit have had their critics with their style of play, but Conte was having none of that after the game.

"I don't think Inter defended and went on the counter, as we tried to press Napoli right on the edge of their own area for the whole game," Conte told Sky Sport Italia.

"I hear people always saying we play counter-attacking football, but this is a side that knows what it has to do every time it is in possession.

"We play knowing full well everything we have to do at any moment of the match. Fortunately, our opponents respect us more than the media seem to. People say we win away because we defend deep and go on the counter, but that is certainly not our approach."

Inter owe much of their bright start to the form of Lukaku, who had a difficult end to his spell at Manchester United, and Conte was delighted the Belgian is silencing his critics with his performances.

"I heard people say Lukaku was a donkey. I heard all sorts not even that long ago! It's easy to speak highly of Lukaku now, but if we look back to a few weeks ago…" Conte said.

"I always said Romelu was a rough diamond that needed work to smooth him out. Lautaro Martinez is the same. These lads are 26 and 22 years old, they are still young.

"I wanted Romelu very strongly when I was at Chelsea, even back at Juventus. I wanted him, now I can get to work on polishing the diamond."

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