Claudio Ranieri expected Inter to put Roma under more pressure in the second half of their 1-1 draw and discussed why Italian teams struggle in Europe.
Stephan El Shaarawy broke the deadlock at San Siro with a splendid curler into the far top corner, but Ivan Perisic’s diving header at the back post got it back on level terms.
“We came here trying to win, which is what I always want from my teams. We could’ve countered better in the second half, as we were too pinned back and on three or four occasions Inter were smart to foul and stop us getting up the other end,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.
“Ultimately, the draw is a fair result. We knew it would be tougher in the second half, because Inter scored more goals after the break than any other team this season.
“We held out well, had our own chances and proved we’re here. After Radja Nainggolan, Matias Vecino was the man we had to follow around and block from making runs. We had talked about it, Bryan Cristante was meant to track him, but didn’t on this occasion.
“I ask the team to be solid, compact and then bring out our strengths, of which we have many. I was forced to change after 20 minutes, as Pellegrini was behind Dzeko, but they continued to hurt us behind the lines, so I moved to a 4-3-3.
“When I have to pick the line-up, the medics come to tell me this one can only do 60 minutes, he’s got one half at most, then we lost Kostas Manolas in the warm-up. There are many things I’d like to do, but I can only do what these lads can at this moment.”
Ranieri has worked and won in England, France and Spain, so was asked why Italian clubs struggle so much in Europe.
“I think the psychological pressure blocks the Coaches and players in Italy. They have less tactical knowledge in England, but they go at 1,000 miles per hour, whether it’s in training or in the match.
“I got the dining hall built in the stadium, because otherwise players all turned up just before the game. I preferred to have them staying together.
“I haven’t changed the training methods from England to Italy, it’s the pressure. Everything weighs on you more here.”