Inter Milan manager Luciano Spalletti has expressed his frustration with what he considered ‘unbalanced’ refereeing in his side’s 3-2 defeat to Juventus at the San Siro in Serie A on Saturday.
Despite being reduced to ten men after the controversial dismissal of Matías Vecino, Inter overturned a 1-0 first-half deficit to lead 2-1 – only for Juve to strike twice in the dying minutes of the match.
Speaking to Mediaset Premium and quoted by Football Italia, Spalletti said of the referee’s performance: “It’s difficult for me to evaluate… I don’t think there was a completely balanced treatment of situations.”
As well as Vecino’s sending off, Spalletti was presumably also referring to the decision not to dismiss Miralem Pjanic when the Juventus player appeared to make contact with Rafinha’s face.
Spalletti was adamant that exhaustion had been the main reason for his side’s late collapse, explaining: “We above all lost it because we used up a lot of energy by playing down to 10 men. At the end, that equaliser for 2-2 was so chaotic and unlucky. The team deserved a more fortunate outcome, quite frankly.”
The Inter manager also acknowledged that it would be difficult for his players to recover from the psychological and emotional impact of Saturday’s result. He said:
“Clearly, we need to shake off the bitterness of this defeat, because the team didn’t deserve it. The question then is why does this have to be forced upon us? That’s the difference.
“It’s difficult to make them accept it,” continued Spalletti, “because the problem is that you must give the players the credit they deserve. This is the game that means a lot for us, for the fans, for everyone.”
Then he added: “It’ll take more than one sleepless night to shake that off.”
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Inter will definitely need to bounce back quickly if they are to keep alive their hopes of a top-four finish, as they are currently one point behind 4th-placed Lazio, who also have a game in hand.