Former Inter President Massimo Moratti feels that the late penalty awarded to Juventus in his former side’s clash with the Bianconeri at the San Siro put a damper on an otherwise positive evening.
Speaking to Italian broadcaster Radio Anch’io Lo Sport, the former President gave the view that the decisive moment was unfortunate from a fan’s perspective while he also commended his former team’s performance, considering them to be serious Scudetto contenders.
Inter came into yesterday evening’s match knowing that they needed a major performance against one of the biggest rivals to keep themselves in the Scudetto race alongside AC Milan and Napoli.
The Nerazzurri looked to be seeing out an early lead, but late on in the match the VAR advised referee Maurizio Mariani to review an incident in which Inter wing-back Denzel Dumfries made contact with the leg of Bianconeri left-back Alex Sandro with a clumsy challenge right on the edge of the box.
Mariani deemed it to be worthy of a penalty and Juventus equalized from the ensuing spot kick, something which Moratti felt was a frustrating end to the match.
“I don’t know whether to call it a penalty but certainly this situation yesterday ruined a game a bit from a fan’s point of view,” he reflected. “Technically it didn’t seem to me that after seven minutes there hadn’t been such a sensational discovery as to ruin a game.”
“If it were Inter or another team, it seemed to me a solution against the sentiments of the supporters, not just the Inter fans, in a match of this level,” he went on.
“In the beginning they let them play during the match,” the former President said, “but I also see Bologna’s match with Milan with two fouls and two red cards. In a certain respect there is a certain severity in the matches that can be very much correct, but playing with two fewer men totally changes a game and you have to take it into account.”
He explained that “In just the same way yesterday’s penalty changed the game. Then whether it was serious or not… I didn’t see it because I didn’t really want to see it again, but it didn’t seem to me enough to oblige the referee to go back and intervene.”
“But the reasoning seems to me to be this now, and we have a mountain of penalties,” Moratti reflected.
On the defense of the officials by Serie A referee designator Gianluca Rocchi he said, “Very right to, they are good. Only that this combination of referee and VAR can create problems, ir creates them so often and yesterday perhaps it created one in a match in which the referee may have relative guilt, but the machine must be oiled so as not to create frustration in the fans. In the end, we play for the people.”
Moving onto the current Inter side on the pitch, Moratti stated that “I think Inter are very different from last year. They play well, especially in the buildup, but they still don’t have the confidence in themselves like last year.”
“The fact that they are so many points off from the leaders puts them in a position where they can’t be too sure of winning the Scudetto. But I think they are equipped to do it. Dzeko has shown that he is a player of immense class. This is a different team and a character that is forming, but all means are there,” he stated.
“In the first half yesterday the idea was that Inter deserved a lot more and that Juventus were in trouble,” he went on. “If Inter manage to score a little more, they make good figures.”
Moratti added that the derby against AC Milan “can become one of the most beautiful matches, winning that would be very important.”
On the difference between Antonio Conte and Simone Inzaghi the former President stated that “”They are very different. Conte proved he can win, very good. Inzaghi is totally different, he has taken on a beautiful and difficult responsibility but he finds himself in front of an audience a bit spoiled since last year.”
On the new kinds of Serie A club owners Moratti stated, “It’s a bit of the drift that happens when there are economic problems or when the teams begin to cost so much that multinationals or these companies with interests beyond football that can manage to bear certain costs intervene.”
“Some clubs can be owned by others, but large clubs can only go to large companies,” he stated. “Then even an extremely strong company like Suning found itself in difficulty.”
On the recent difficulty of former Inter coach Jose Mourinho at Roma, Moratti stated that “Mourinho tried to get by in every way. He had already warned that the squad, in moments of great exuberance, was not up to par with the other teams.”
“Of course, no one could expect a slap like that,” he said of the Giallorossi’s 6-1 defeat at the hands of Bodo/Glimt. “I think he was astonished. He got it away with it though because they played well yesterday, from what I saw.”
And on whether he expected former Inter striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s continued form for AC Milan, he replied “No, but he has the character to do it. But it is difficult to see him so physically strong after 14 years and with the same reactions. A miracle, due to him because he has always held up and has an exceptional character. I compliment him.”