Inter head coach Simone Inzaghi feels that the team still have a chance to get back into the Serie A title race despite a major setback in the form of a 2-1 loss to Bologna.
Speaking to Italian broadcaster Sky Sport Italia after the match, the coach expressed faith that the team can still get back into the hunt for the Scudetto over the four matches that remain, and defended goalkeeper Andrei Radu after his costly error.
Inter will have felt they were right where they wanted to be after Ivan Perisic opened the score just a few minutes into their Serie A clash with the Rossoblu.
The team looked to be on course to take three points from their game in hand now that it was finally being played, but an equalizer from the in-form Marko Arnautovic put a spanner int he works.
In the second half, the Nerazzurri pushed and probed for a winner that would see them go top of the Serie A table, but in the end it was the hosts who got a late winner, through Nicola Sansone after a howler in possession from stand-in goalkeeper Radu.
“We feel bitterness,” Inzaghi said, “it’s normal for this to be the case. We are no longer masters of our destiny, we’ll absolutely have to win our last four and then keep an eye on Milan.”
“We approached the match in the best possible way, we had to score the second goal and not concede Arnautovic’s because, as we saw in the match, anything can happen,” he went on.
The coach continued that “We had an excellent first half, with the one flaw being Arnautovic’s goal, which you can’t concede.”
“We created a lot and deserved a second goal,” he went on. “Then in the second half the game became more frenetic which hurt us, but we were in the game.”
“Bologna never got to our penalty area, but then after the blow of the second goal we lost our clarity,” he rued. “Now we’re chasing, we have to make up the gap and it’s no longer in our hands.”
He emphasized that “We were too frenetic. We wanted to score after the 1-1, we had great chances like Lautaro’s and created other dangerous situations.”
“The biggest regret, however, is not having killed off the game in the first half,” Inzaghi went on. “In the second half we lost a bit of our shape despite playing well, after the blow of the goal we conceded we came apart.”
“The team created chances,” he added, “they have to keep their heads held high. It’s a bad misstep, but we have to move on.”
“Bologna played a game of great sacrifice,” he reflected, “Twelve points are left to play for and we can make up two points with four matches to go. We have to work.”
Regarding Arnautovic’s first-half equalizer, the coach stated that “The marking had to be tighter, but we could have done better on Barrow’s cross as well undoubtedly, because he had ten seconds to cross.”
“Then the marking slipped up, Arnautovic got in between centre-back and the wingback and scored while we were in full control,” he said.
Of backup goalkeeper Radu, who was playing due to an injury to captain Samir Handanovic, he said that “Radu played in the Coppa match against Empoli very well and trains in the best way.:
“He has great confidence from the coaching staff and his teammates,” he added.
Inzaghi pointed out that “If an attacker makes a mistake, less is said about it, it’s a blow that has really hurt us, but if we were 2-0 or 3-0 up it wouldn’t have had the same weight.”
“Radu must rest assured, he has a top career ahead of him as a great goalkeeper,” the coach defended the player.
He went on that “We hav the best attack and the best defense, I think we’ve always created and scored goals.”
“After Perisic’s goal we had good chances, then moments always happen,” he continued. “You have to hope that Correa’s header doesn’t find the goalkeeper.”
“As far as forwards I can’t say anything, we had our fates in our ownhands with this game in hand,” he went on. “Now we have to catch up, not give up and go ahead with our heads held high because now it’s not all dependent on us.”
Regarding the early substitution of Nicolo Barella in the second half, the coach said that “Everyone would like to stay on the pitch longer, that was my choice in at that moment.”
“There’s no problem,” he added, “the important thing is that they have respect for each other and the staff, which has been the case since day one.”