And former Italy boss Conte’s first game was against his hometown club Lecce, the team where he started his playing career, and who are back in Serie A after seven years.The sideshow surrounding former Inter captain Mauro Icardi continued with the Argentine not named on the bench.Inter director Giuseppe Marotta insisted there was no room in the club for the forward, with the transfer window closing on September 2.Icardi has rejected moves away from the San Siro despite being frozen out of the team and stripped of the captain’s armband last season amid a protracted contract dispute.Icardi’s wife Wanda Nara, who is also his agent, said he wants to remain at Inter and had been told to stay by senior club bosses.“We greeted Wanda Nara’s comments with a bit of irritation, both for the timing and the method,” Marotta told sports broadcaster DAZN before Monday’s game.“I absolutely deny that any of the club management, and in particular (president) Steven Zhang, have invited Icardi to stay.”Share on: WhatsApp – Icardi ‘irritates’ –Conte’s arrival at Chinese-owned Inter has raised expectations of a first Serie A title since 2010.The former Juventus and Chelsea boss took over from Luciano Spalletti who secured Champions League football with a fourth-place finish last season.The 50-year-old’s coaching credentials include three Serie A titles with Juventus from 2012 to 2014, and the Premier League with Chelsea in 2017. Lukaku scores as Conte’s Inter reign starts in styleMilan, Italy | AFP | Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku scored on his Inter Milan debut as new coach Antonio Conte’s reign got off to a perfect start with a 4-0 win over promoted Lecce on Monday.“There was a spark, but now we must become dynamite,” said Conte as he begins his campaign to topple eight-time holders Juventus.Lukaku — a 65 million euros ($73 million) summer signing from Manchester United — scored the third goal on the hour mark at the San Siro.A blunder by Lecce goalkeeper Gabriel parried the ball into the path of Lautaro Martinez allowing Lukaku to finish off.The 26-year-old turned and took a bow in front of the jubilant Inter fans among the 65,000 crowd.“Lukaku entered the world of Inter in the best way, with great humility,” said Conte.“He’s a gentle giant, a giant with a smile. He is ready to work for the team. But not only Romelu, Lautaro also played very well.”Croatian Marcelo Brozovic had opened the scoring after 21 minutes with a powerful strike for his 15th goal in his sixth season with Inter.But another new signing Stefano Sensi, a summer loan from Sassuolo, also found a way through three minutes later.Lecce played the last quarter of an hour a man down after Brazilian Diego Farias saw red in his first game for a studs on tackle on his former Cagliari teammate Nicolo Barella.Antonio Candreva blasted in the fourth goal on 84 minutes, allowing Inter to match champions Juventus and runners-up Napoli who both won their opening league matches at the weekend.Juventus beat Parma 1-0, with Napoli edging a seven-goal thriller at Fiorentina 4-3.“We started off well with the right intensity and desire, respecting the idea of what I wanted,” said Conte.“Then at 2-0 I didn’t like what I saw from the lads. Too relaxed, losing intensity under pressure.“We need to improve both mentally and physically but I am very happy and satisfied, I like working with these guys who have always shown great commitment.“Let’s celebrate until midnight, from tomorrow we think of Cagliari, it will be a difficult trip,” he added of next weekend’s game in Sardinia.
[singlepic id=1012 w= h= float=none]The federal government has approved $5.75 million in funding to repair serious Superstorm Sandy damage to the Bray Avenue Bridge in Middletown and the Romer Shoal Lighthouse off Sandy Hook, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-6) announced Monday.The Bray Avenue Bridge, which was originally denied significant funding, will be replaced, and repairs will be made to Romer Shoal Lighthouse, Pallone said.“The closure of Bray Avenue Bridge for over two years now has greatly inconvenienced Middletown residents and commuters,” said Congressman Pallone in a written statement. “I am glad that FEMA has finally recognized the need to make these investments so that our community can continue to rebuild and get back to normal.”An initial $2 million in federal funding will go to Monmouth County Public Works to replace the Bray Avenue Bridge in Middletown, NJ. The Bray Avenue Bridge has been closed since Superstorm Sandy hit and post-Sandy investigations revealed that, due to damage from the storm, the bridge was no longer safe for traffic. Monmouth County applied to FEMA for funding assistance to repair the bridge, but were denied any significant funding.Congressman Pallone wrote to to FEMA Regional Administrator Jerome Hatfield in April of last year urging the agency to revisit the funding request so that the bridge could be re-opened, his office said.The second allocation provides $3.7 million in federal funding to make repairs to the Romer Shoal Lighthouse, which got hit hard during Sandy.The lighthouse sits three nautical miles north of Sandy Hook, New Jersey and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.