Inter paid for a lack of imagination in their defeat at Sampdoria on Wednesday, according to noted football journalist Mario Sconcerti.

Goals from Antonio Candreva and Keita Balde condemned Antonio Conte’s side to a first league defeat since October, bringing their eight-match winning run in Serie A to an end.

The Nerazzurri were praised in most parts for nonetheless creating several chances to equalise at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, but Sconcerti had a less charitable view of their display in Genoa.

“Inter’s defeat was more surprising than AC Milan’s loss against Juventus,” he wrote in his column in the print edition of Thursday’s Corriere della Sera.

“They created a lot of chances but in quite a predictable way, without any imagination, and their defence once again struggled after being exposed by their wing-backs Achraf Hakimi and Ashley Young, who are almost always playing as additional attackers because Inter keep falling behind in games.

“The Milan clubs’ defeats this week have brought everybody else back into the hunt for the Scudetto, especially Juventus and Roma, who are the real surprise of the season.”

Inter are to take on Paulo Fonseca’s side away from home this weekend and could regain a six-point cushion over the Giallorossi with a win.

They then face Juventus the following Sunday before finishing the first half of the Serie A season with a trip to face Udinese.

Antonio Conte told reporters after the loss at Marassi that his side had deserved more from a hard-fought match on a dodgy pitch, but it seems not everybody in the Italian media was convinced by his comments.