Legendary former Inter goalkeeper Walter Zenga believes that current Nerazzurri captain Samir Handanovic was put into a virtually impossible position when he found himself one-on-one with Sassuolo forward Gregorie Defrel in yesterday’s Serie A clash at the Mapei Stadium.
Speaking to Italian broadcaster Sky Sport Italia, the Nerazzurri legend suggested that the Slovenian did everything he could to avoid contact with the Sassuolo player but that a coming together was inevitable.
Inter had not been at their best in the first half in Emilia-Romagna, and they were fortunate to only be trailing by one goal, but their evening could have gotten worse in the dying seconds of the half.
An underhit backpass by defender Stefan de Vrij was latched onto by Defrel who found himself facing Handanovic, and the Frenchman poked the ball past the Slovenian before going down under contact with the keeper.
Zenga, however, believes that there was no deliberate action by the keeper who could not fully disappear from the situation even though he was attempting to avoid the foul.
He stated, “As a goalkeeper I say that every time there is a one-on-one the goalkeeper cannot evaporate, it is hard to avoid contact. In the episode we see that Handanovic does not open his hands, his arm keep him close and the contact becomes inevitable.”
“I understand Dionisi’s anger, ” he went on, “I would be angry too as a coach, but it is an extreme case. As a goalkeeper if you send me off for this I get angry, as a coach I feel upset if you don’t.”
Of the Nerazzurri’s overall performance, he stated that “Inter didn’t play very well, then Inzaghi’s changes made the difference.”