Legendary former Inter Milan President Massimo Moratti has defended striker Romelu Lukaku from the criticism that he’s received for missing chances in the Champions League final against Man City.
Speaking to Italian newspaper Leggo, via FCInterNews, Moratti gave his reaction to Saturday’s final in Istanbul.
Inter striker Lukaku came off the bench in the second half of this weekend’s final against Manchester City.
The 30-year-old has been in blazing form in Serie A in recent weeks. Therefore, there were expectations that he could make a big impact from the bench against City.
However, Lukaku was, to put it mildly, not clinical when he got himself in front of goal against the Cityzens.
The Belgian was unlucky to block a header on target by Federico Dimarco with his heel. The striker reacted too late to get out of the way of his teammate’s effort.
Then, Lukaku shot wide on a couple occasions.
Finally, late in the match the Inter striker had a free header, a glorious chance with which to equalize.
However, the Belgian’s effort was far too close to City goalkeeper Ederson. This allowed the keeper to easily keep the effort out of the goal.
Moratti Defender Lukaku From His Critics
The result of these missed chances has been a lot of criticism for Lukaku, as well as some mockery.
However, for his part, former Nerazzurri President Moratti does not feel that this criticism has been entirely faire.
“Lukaku shouldn’t be criticized,” the former President argued. “Because once he came on Inter started to look dangerous, which they practically hadn’t before.”
“Lukaku’s header in the ninetieth minute was a particularly bad miss, but all the rest was just bad luck and thanks to some good defending by City,” he added.
Of the final as a whole, Moratti was positive in his assessment. “Inter had reason to fear City,” he suggested. “But they went out and played their game.”
“It wasn’t a great match as a whole,” he suggested. “But I think both teams had a bit of a mental block from a fear of losing.”
Moratti also assessed Inter’s season as a whole.
“It was excellent,” the former President said of the Nerazzurri’s campaign.
“They narrowly lost the Champions League final,” he noted. “What could be more prestigious than that?”
“In they did well to recovery,” Moratti argued. “And they won the Supercoppa and the Coppa Italia. What more can you ask from them?”