Andrei Radu’s error in possession to gift Bologna a winner in yesterday evening’s 2-1 Serie A loss could become a symbol of a lost Scudetto should Inter not recover in the title race.
This according to today’s print edition of Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, who label the mistake an “epic error” and note that it could live long in the memory as representing the team fumbling the chance at the Serie A title.
Radu was a shock starter for the Nerazzurri after captain Samir Handanovic pulled out hours before the match through a back problem, and the 24-year-old was not up to the task of replacing the captain in the high-pressure match.
Despite a dominant performance for much of the match, the Nerazzurri could not find a decisive winning goal as the Rossoblu’s resistance held out, and in the closing stages Radu suffered from a monumental loss in concentration.
The Romanian was attempting to control a throw-in from Ivan Perisic but was too casual, losing the path of the ball which rolled straight past him for Nicola Sansone to tap into an empty net.
Thanks to the goal, Inter have given city rivals AC Milan a bit of a margin for error at the top, as due to their head-to-head advantage the Rossoneri can afford to draw one of their four remaining matches and still be mathematically guaranteed the title.
There were many factors that led up to the moment, including errors and missteps by the entire team throughout the season, and by the team in the match against the Rossoblu.
However, Radu’s slapstick howler was much more dramatic than the missed chances at the other end, and could become an enduring symbol of the Nerazzurri’s disappointment this campaign.
The Romanian’s error will evoke the memory of former Nerazzurri goalkeeper Giualiano Sarti’s howler which cost Helenio Herrera’s Inter the title in 1967, or more recently, legendary Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard’s “slip” to cost the Reds the Premier Legaue title in 2013.
For the young goalkeeper, it was a moment of carelessness that threatens to become a defining juncture in his career, and for Inter it could become almost a piece of folklore.