An incensed Roberto Mancini branded Inter’s display in their Serie A defeat to Lazio as one of the worst that he has seen.
Mancini’s side headed to the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday needing a win to keep their slim hopes of a Champions League spot alive, but found themselves 1-0 down with just eight minutes played thanks to Miroslav Klose’s goal.
Inter offered very little by way of an attacking threat before Antonio Candreva sealed the 2-0 win with a late penalty, after Jeison Murillo had been sent off for bringing down Keita Balde.
And Mancini slammed the attitude of his players in the first half, accusing them of performing as though it were a pre-season friendly and questioning their quality in attack.
“We played very badly in the first half, we deserved to lose,” he told Mediaset Premium. “In the second half we did well, we had chances to equalise but we couldn’t manage it.
“We went out soft and Klose scored a goal that was too easy.
“Lazio did little in the second half but then they got the chance with the penalty. Our first 20 minutes was our worst ever, it was weak, there was no attitude, it was like a pre-season game.
“We were certainly better in the second but ultimately you have to score goals and this is always our problem. Many of the players have to realise Inter is Inter.”
Despite the defeat and the end of their hopes of catching Juventus, Napoli and Roma for a top-three finish, Mancini insists Inter’s campaign has not been a failure.
“I repeat, the season is good,” he said. “We hoped for third place and, considering the way the season began, we had the chance to achieve it.
“If Roma were not to win against Genoa [on Monday], we’d have maybe had some hope, but we at least wanted to secure fourth. We had a bad first half, we had huge problems in getting a goal. We needed more quality.”
Mancini also had little sympathy for Murillo, after the Colombian picked up a second booking for felling Keita with a clumsy challenge.
“Murillo was a dummy,” he added. “He should’ve stopped, as it was obvious Keita was going to cut back on his right foot.
“He was naive. This was his 35th Serie A game, so I hope it will help him to learn for next season.”