Sunday February 26 2017
Pioli: 'Inter didn't take chances'

Stefano Pioli felt Inter’s 3-1 defeat to Roma was “a balanced game, but they were more surgical in their finishing and took their chances.”

Radja Nainggolan bagged a brace of long-range strikes before Mauro Icardi and Diego Perotti’s penalty.

“It’s a setback we didn’t want, though we knew that we were facing an important and strong opponent,” Pioli told Mediaset Premium.

“It was a complicated and difficult match, but also a balanced one. Roma were more surgical in their finishing and took their chances well. We had opportunities too, but only took one.”

With Joao Miranda suspended, Pioli opted for an unusual formation with Marcelo Brozovic and Joao Mario supporting Icardi.

“We made the choices above all to ensure four quality midfielders and to allow very few reference points to the Roma defenders, moving our trequartista between the lines.

“Naturally Miranda is an important player, but the system remained the same, we just changed some of the characteristics within it. We wanted an attacking approach, with players who brought physicality and dynamism.

“It’s disappointing we conceded those goals, but Nainggolan scored two excellent strikes. The error we made was allowing him two shots from 20 metres out and both went to the far post. It’s a shame the differential in the scoreline is so big.”

Pioli was asked about refereeing decisions and urged to watch back replays, but shrugged it off.

“That is your work, not mine. I analyse the performance and we did come up against a team that was better than us in finishing its chances. They made life difficult for us, especially in the first half.

“We had various options and in these situations you need to strike, because you don’t get many of those chances. I believe in controlling the ball. We knew that we could trouble their lines. Unfortunately, we didn’t move around enough in the first half and wanted to be more incisive in the one-on-one situations. We did better after the break.”

Roma Coach Luciano Spalletti was annoyed by Pioli and the media bringing up the fact the Giallorossi received more penalties than any other side in Serie A this season, especially compared to Inter.

“I merely said in my Press conference that the errors balance each other out at the end of the season. I didn’t know anything about counting penalties, I just said there was a difference. I didn’t want to create controversy. Everyone can interpret it the way they like.”