Referee Fabio Maresca is very happy with the “constructive attitude” that Inter Milan and Juventus player showed in the team’s Serie A meeting.

Speaking to Italian broadcaster RAI Radio, via FCInterNews, Maresca also singled out one moment of class from Nerazzurri midfielder Nicolo Barella.

Inter and Juventus faced off in the Derby d’Italia last month.

Meetings between the Nerazzurri and the Bianconeri are always matches that have the potential for controversy.

And moreover, there had been a spotlight on refereeing in the buildup to that match.

Inter had benefited from a questionable decision in their Serie A win over Hellas Verona. And Juventus had a similarly problematic decision go their way against Bologna earlier in the season.

This had led to all sorts of complaints and even conspiracy theories involving refereeing in Serie A.

As it unfortunately has a tendency to, these controversies threatened to overshadow the action on the pitch.

Maresca Praises Inter & Juventus Players’ Attitudes In Serie A Clash

In the end, though, the controversy proved to be much ado about nothing.

Inter and Juventus played out one of the most controversy-free Derby d’Italia matches that the two teams are ever likely to, with the Nerazzurri prevailing by a narrow 1-0 scoreline.

Of course there were one or two moments where the players and staff showed their frustration. In fact, Inter coach Simone Inzaghi got a booking for his protests late in the match.

But there was not a constant atmosphere of players complaining and surrounding the officials.

Nor were there any penalty decisions or sendings-off that would end up dominating discussions of the match in the days and weeks following.

This is a rarity for the Derby d’Italia. And most would surely agree that it is a positive precedent to set.

Veteran Serie A referee Maresca was the official for the match.

He recalled one particular incident. “I had awarded Inter a throw-in. Then, I saw two Juventus players protest the decision in a way that seemed authentic.”

“That made me think that I must have made a mistake,” the referee continued.

“So I asked Barella if he had touched it. And showing great sportsmanship, he admitted that yes he had touched it last.”

“In general, Inter against Juventus was a match in which everyone was expecting a lot in terms of refereeing,” Maresca said.

“But in the end it was a match where the refereeing performance was well-judged by everyone.”

“I have to give my congratulations to the players,” Maresca added. “Who showed a constructive attitude in that match, even beyond Barella’s gesture.”

“And the same for the coaches and staff,” he said. “They put us referees in a position to do well.”