Sunday December 15 2013
Mazzarri: 'Ref ruined the game'

Walter Mazzarri blamed the referee for Inter’s 4-2 defeat at Napoli, insisting his side “took control from start to finish.”

It was an unhappy return to the San Paolo as an opponent, as he was greeted by a mixture of jeers and applause by the home fans. The ultras had two different banners, one complimentary and the other insulting, as separate groups in each Curva took their own approach to the situation.

“I thanked the ultras, as I always had an exceptional rapport with the Curva Sud,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“They know what happened and the reasons why I left, which are not what people tried to say, and they remember what I did over the four years at Napoli.

“Anyway, I am now Coach of Inter and it hurts me to lose a game we dominated, controlled and in which we attacked constantly. Napoli were always forced to deal with our style of football.

“I complimented my players for their performance and I am proud of them. We are growing and now must work on our style of football, which today was exceptional. We made life difficult for Napoli and forced them to only go on the counter-attack in their own stadium.

“We weren’t as concentrated on the preventative marking on the counter-attack, so we need to be more ruthless. I told my men that if we always play like this, we will not lose many games.”

Mazzarri did not disguise his absolute disdain for referee Paolo Tagliavento, especially with regards to the Ricky Alvarez dismissal.

“There was a series of terrible mistakes that changed the game. When we were in control and 3-2 down, Alvarez was harshly sent off. The first card was harsh too, as he tripped up. I saw far worse challenges that were worthy of a card. I think with 11 men against 11 we could’ve got back on level terms.

“Perhaps Tagliavento is unlucky with us, as we’ve had two defeats all season and both were with Tagliavento making many mistakes. The other loss was against Roma with a non-existent penalty. We’re unlucky with him, it keeps happening to us. Maybe Tagliavento is just out of shape.”

Nonetheless, the Nerazzurri have just three points from their last four Serie A games and conceded seven goals in their last two.

“If we choose this approach to football and attack en masse, then we’re going to run some risks at the back. We tend to concede on counter-attacks and usually with individual errors. We had prepared to block the through balls, but at the first error Gonzalo Higuain doesn’t miss those chances.

“We had more possession and felt strong, but at times we get too confident and give the ball away. I saw an Inter side that played much better tonight than over the last two games, but we ran into bad luck, including a referee who ruined the match from start to finish.

“I am happy with the overall Inter performance, as we came to Naples and took control of the game from start to finish. Unfortunately, we create a lot and make a lot of mistakes too.”