Spalletti: “We did well for long spells, but we’re still too careless at times”


Luciano Spalletti was understandably frustrated by the manner in which his Inter side were defeated 1-0 by Juventus in tonight’s showpiece Derby d’Italia at Allianz Stadium in Turin. Indeed, the 59-year-old Tuscan made it perfectly clear to the media after the match that he was not satisfied with the way his players handled themselves during the crucial moments, particularly during the second half. Here is what he said: “We did quite well in the game, the team played some great football but we got things wrong at certain times which cannot happen against Juventus.

“Obviously, it would have made a world of difference had we taken the lead, but we misplaced too many passes. There was a chance where we allowed them to recover and get back in line because we didn’t take enough care of the ball. We managed the game in the right way for long spells, but we’re still too careless at times and sloppy.”

The ex-Udinese and Roma tactician was then questioned on the performances of certain individuals within his squad: “Icardi had the game that he needed to have, he did some great work in dropping back to help the team. We often played on the break thanks to his support, creating some big chances. We had the chances to go ahead, but it becomes hard if you don’t take them. We gave a good account of ourselves but they’re good at getting the points. Vecino on the bench? He didn’t play because he had some slight muscular stiffness and couldn’t play tonight. We hope to get him back for Tuesday, it would have been a risk to play him. With Gagliardini and João Mário ineligible in the Champions League, I also preferred to leave Borja Valero out from the start.”

Meanwhile, during an interview with Sky Sport, Spalletti criticised his players for a lack of focus which he believes was the root cause of Juve’s goal, which arrived courtesy of a Mario Mandžukić header at the back post: “The defensive line wasn’t level after a previous move. That is again the sort of thing that happens to us, we get too lax and once we go behind, it becomes more difficult to get it back on track. When we get sluggish or do things half-hearted, the other team takes advantage. Whereas we had chances and failed to take them as it would’ve made everything easier if we had gone in front.”

Brazilian centre-back João Miranda also spoke to the media in the immediate aftermath of the match between two of the most decorated clubs in Italian football history. This is what he had to say: “This defeat hurts because we played really well in the first half and missed some big chances. We more than matched Juventus, but they are a great team and were able to take advantage of their chances. We have to learn from this so we can capitalise on the chances we have in the future.”

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