Antonio Conte saw “an undeserved defeat” against Barcelona and criticised the referee, but also warned Inter “cannot be happy, as this is not the mentality of a great team.”
Lautaro Martinez silenced the Camp Nou crowd within three minutes and the Nerazzurri dominated for the entire first half, but were pinned back in the final half-hour, capitulating to a Luis Suarez brace.
“Compliments are nice, but after a performance like that, we deserved much, much more and should’ve taken at least some of our chances,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia following a 2-1 loss.
“We put Barcelona under serious pressure for long periods on their own turf, but after the break they raised the tempo and some fatigue set in with a few of our players.
“I feel quite bitter. It pains to say it, but I saw some incidents that were directed in a certain way. There were many things I didn’t like about the refereeing, right from the start. I don’t even want to talk about it, but we got the sensation on the bench that I really didn’t appreciate.
“It says respect on the referee’s shirt, so I told them that it ought to be reciprocal, that they should show respect for those who come here to play football.
“It is an international referee, one with a lot of experience who was in charge of the last Champions League Final, so this isn’t someone who ought to be influenced by the atmosphere of Camp Nou.
“Having said all that, I think we played well, we proved that we could cause problems for Barcelona and there are regrets we didn’t kill off the game when we had the chance.
“In the second half, Barcelona’s quality came out and we had a dip in fitness levels, which made us defend too deep. I don’t think the result is a fair reflection of the game.
“Now we lick our wounds and prepare to play Juventus on Sunday. I find it difficult to talk in positive terms after a defeat, because I suffer when we lose. I suffer.”
Inter are now joint bottom of the group, as Borussia Dortmund earned a 2-0 win away to Slavia Prague.
“Our possession was aimed at hurting Barcelona, whereas a lot of the time they kept the ball just for the sake of possession. There were players who had featured in a lot of games and it took a toll on us.
“The lads gave their all, showed character, courage and everything, but we lost. So we must realise where we can improve to not suffer the way we are at this moment, because we cannot come home happy. That is not the mentality of a great team.
“We played well, but have one point in two games, the situation in the Champions League is compromised and if we want to mature, we’ve got to return home angry.
“It was an undeserved defeat, but at the same time we must continue working, be stronger and continue the journey we have just started.”
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