Inter new boy Lautaro Martinez scored a late equaliser to deny Zenit victory in an entertaining 3-3 friendly draw in Pisa.
Antonio Candreva gave the Serie A side the lead after 16 minutes with a gorgeous 30-yard strike which found the top-right corner, though it did not last long.
Christian Noboa levelled just before the half-hour mark, lashing a fine volley into the bottom-left corner from just inside the penalty area.
Inter went back in front early in the second half – Mauro Icardi coolly converting a penalty after Miha Mevlja tripped Borja Valero.
But Zenit were far from done, equalising through Robert Mak’s ferocious effort just after the hour, then going ahead thanks to Hernani, whose stunning long-range strike went in off the crossbar.
Martinez ultimately ensured Inter claimed a draw 15 minutes from the end, firing home from close range – his second goal in three pre-season outings since joining from Racing Club.
— Inter (@Inter_en) July 21, 2018
Coming from behind to beat Argentina and dump Lionel Messi out of the World Cup gave France the belief to go all the way, according to captain Hugo Lloris.
The eventual champions could well have had their tournament ended in the Round of 16 when they trailed 2-1 to 2014 finalists Argentina.
Messi’s men had gone ahead through two goals either side of half-time, but a sublime Benjamin Pavard equaliser set the scene for Kylian Mbappe’s heroics in France’s eventual 4-3 victory.
It was the only real scare Didier Deschamps’ side would receive in Russia as they went on to overcome Uruguay, Belgium and Croatia to lift the trophy for the second time.
Tottenham goalkeeper Lloris said surviving the emotional rollercoaster of their first knockout assignment galvanised the group.
“We got the best of Argentina… of Messi’s Argentina,” Lloris told Omnisport.
“It made us realise we have the potential to go through. Every game was difficult, but we did really well.
“We could feel a very strong team ready for the challenges ahead. We faced challenges after challenges following that game until the final victory.
“Every game was difficult, but we did really well.”
Paris Saint-Germain sensation Mbappe would strike again in the 4-2 final triumph over Croatia as a second-half gaffe from Lloris proved inconsequential.
— French Team (@FrenchTeam) July 19, 2018
Miralem Pjanic described Cristiano Ronaldo’s signing as a “huge coup” but the Juventus midfielder refused to confirm his future with the Italian champions amid links with Chelsea.
Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo swapped three-time reigning European champions Real Madrid for Juve in a sensational €112million deal.
The 33-year-old – Madrid’s all-time leading goalscorer – signed a four-year contract with the Serie A giants.
Asked about new team-mate Ronaldo, Pjanic told Sky Sport Italia: “He’s a huge coup, a great player.”
However, Pjanic’s future in Turin is far from certain as new Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri reportedly tries to lure the Bosnia-Herzegovina international to Stamford Bridge.
According to speculation, Chelsea have been discussing the possibility of signing Juve pair Daniele Rugani and Gonzalo Higuain.
Pjanic – who arrived from Roma in 2016 – has now emerged as a possible target for Chelsea as Sarri seeks another central midfielder in London.
As he left a restaurant on Wednesday, Pjanic was quizzed on his future with Juve and the 28-year-old replied, “have a good evening” before driving away in his car.
Juve have already signed Ronaldo, Joao Cancelo, Emre Can and Mattia Perin, while Manchester United star Paul Pogba has been linked with a return to the club.
Arsenal legend Robert Pires believes new manager Unai Emery is the best signing the club have made in the close-season.
Emery arrived at Emirates Stadium in May as the replacement for Arsene Wenger after the Frenchman’s 22-year spell at the helm came to an end.
He has brought in five new players, with Uruguay international Lucas Torreira and 19-year-old Matteo Guendouzi joining last week, following the arrivals of Bernd Leno, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Stephan Lichsteiner.
However, Pires told Sky Sports: “The best signing for me is Unai Emery, the manager. Of course I believe in the players, and especially the new players.
“But for Emery it’s very important to start very well. He knows he’s at a big club, and has a lot of pressure, but I think he has a big character and spirit.
“He won in Spain. He won in France. He has a lot of experience and I hope for him and Arsenal that he is successful with the club.”
Emery’s Arsenal begin the new Premier League season with a trial by fire, facing defending Champions Manchester City on August 12, followed by a trip to London rivals Chelsea on August 18.
#UnaiBegins with passion, excitement and intensity
Enjoying the training footage? Then you’ll this… pic.twitter.com/JVWaj8PMYd
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) July 16, 2018
Juventus’ shock signing of Cristiano Ronaldo should give AC Milan optimism about becoming “great again” as they go through a turbulent period in their history, according to Serie A great Kaka.
Despite being one of Italy’s biggest clubs, Milan have endured a difficult few years, failing to finish in the Champions League spots since the 2012-13 campaign.
The best Milan have done since then is two sixth-place finishes in the past two seasons, while they also have financial difficulties.
Their hopes of bridging the gap to champions Juve next term were surely dashed with their signing of reigning Ballon d’Or holder Ronaldo, but Kaka – who enjoyed seven years in Milan across two spells – has a rather more optimistic outlook.
The Brazilian thinks Milan should actually use the signing as inspiration and evidence that significant setbacks do not always result in eternal doom and gloom.
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) July 16, 2018
“I prefer to see the positive side [about Ronaldo’s signing],” Kaka told Omnisport.
“This thing has to be an example for Milan. Even with a negative period, it’s possible to become great again.
“They have to take advantage of this moment because the attention is on Italian football.
“Cristiano Ronaldo brings many good things to Italian football; media, sponsors and supporters keen to see him and Italian teams.
“For Italian football, it’s the moment to take advantage of this player.”