Inter head coach Simone Inzaghi feels that the red card received by defender Milan Skriniar during the first half of his team’s 0-1 loss to Empoli in Serie A was inexplicable in the context of his coaching career.
Speaking to Italian broadcaster Sky Sport Italia, via FCInterNews, the coach looked back at the Slovakian’s dismissal for a second yellow and also gave his reaction to what was in the end a miserable night at the office for his team.
Inter had to play more than half of the match against Empoli with ten men, as Skriniar was booked twice during the first half for clumsy challenges.
Inzaghi has never had a player sent off in this manner so early on, with the coach in fact having typically been proactive to remove players who have been booked in order to avoid the possibility of an unfortunate second yellow.
However, the coach could only watch as it unfolded this evening at the San Siro, and it proved to be a very costly sending-off for the Nerazzurri.
“A second yellow card in the 35th minute is something that’s never happened to me since I’ve been coaching,” he said.
“I haven’t looked back at the fouls,” he continued.
Of defender Skriniar, the coach said that “To me he looks calm as ever in training, and the club are working on the situations of all the players whose contracts currently expire at the end of the season.”
Of the match, Inzaghi said that “We knew that it would be a difficult match.”
“We lost a match that’s going to slow us down,” he added.
“It wasn’t one of our best games,” he admitted, “and then the numerical numerical disadvantage made life difficult for us because there was still a lot of time to play, and maybe if we had had numerical equality then things could have gone differently.”
“In the second half we conceded far too easily,” the coach added.
Asked whether he thought that that the team’s performance could have been affected by the celebrations after the Supercoppa Italiana, Inzaghi replied “No, because we restricted the celebrations.”
“We immediately started preparing for this match which came against an opponent who we knew would give us problems,” he continued.
“If it had stayed eleven versus eleven then maybe things would’ve gone differently, even the moment when we hit the crossbar towards the end makes it seem like maybe it just wasn’t our night,” the coach lamented.
Asked if he had considered switching to a back four and two strikers rather than removing an attacker at halftime, Inzaghi responded “No, if I had wanted to keep two strikers then Correa would’ve stayed on, he was having a good match.”
“We wanted to keep the balance, we were holding up well until the goal,” he added.
“Then with Dzeko and Lukaku we tried to get back into the match, and a pity about the goal that we conceded where we were caught out outnumbered which we could have avoided.”
Asked whether he thinks that a comeback is possible in the Serie A title race now that the Nerazzurri are thirteen points back from league leaders Napoli, Inzaghi replied that “Thirteen points is a lot, we have to take it one match at a time.”
“We finish off the first half of the season with 37 points and some regrets,” he noted.