Soccer-Juve entertain slim Champions League hopes with win at Inter

Soccer Football - Serie A - Inter Milan v Juventus - San Siro, Milan, Italy - March 19, 2023 Juventus' Filip Kostic, Leandro Paredes and teammates celebrate after the match REUTERS/Daniele Mascolo

MILAN (Reuters) - Juventus maintained their slim hopes of making it to next season's Champions League when Filip Kostic's goal earned them a 1-0 win at Inter Milan in Serie A on Sunday.

Kostic struck midway through the opening half to put Juve, who in January were deducted 15 points by an Italian soccer court investigating their transfer dealings, on 41 points after 27 games.

They trail fourth-placed AC Milan, who occupy the last Champions League qualifying spot, by six points after the defending champions lost 3-1 at Udinese on Saturday.

Inter are third on 50 points, 21 behind runaway leaders Napoli and two adrift of Lazio, who moved up to second thanks to their 1-0 win against AS Roma.

At the San Siro, Nicolo Barella had a couple of chances denied by Wojciech Szczesny as Inter dominated the early stages, five days after reaching the Champions League quarter-finals at the expense of Porto on Tuesday.

But Juve went ahead on 23 minutes when Kostic fired home with a low crossed shot after being set up by Adrien Rabiot -- a goal that was validated after a lengthy review following a suspected handball by the France midfielder.

Some good defending by Matteo Darmian on Dusan Vlahovic kept Inter in the game early in the second half but the hosts lacked a cutting edge up front and ended up with their third defeat in their last four Serie A games.

(Writing by Julien Pretot; Editing by Clare Fallon)

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