Inter coach Andrea Stramaccioni refused to blame his injury-hit squad for their 3-1 defeat to Napoli and instead praised their commitment.
Inter were forced to field midfielders Fredy Guarin and Ricardo Alvarez in attack as well as calling on Andrea Ranocchia and Christian Chivu, despite both players lacking fitness.
However, they were shown no mercy by a rampant Napoli side who saw Edinson Cavani strike a hat-trick to secure all three points.
Cavani’s first came in only the third minute, Goran Pandez releasing the striker in behind the Inter defence, before he calmly slotted past Samir Handanovic.
Inter were given a way back into the game when they were awarded a penalty midway through the first half and Alvarez duly dispatched the spot-kick but the scores were not level for long as the home side were given a penalty of their own that Cavani made no mistake with.
The hosts sat back after the break which allowed Inter to stay in the game, but with 12 minutes to play Cavani grabbed his third goal to seal the win and condemn Stramaccioni’s side to their 14th defeat of the season.
Despite the disappointment of defeat, the Inter head coach refused to criticise his players, and admitted that he felt the effort he had seen was encouraging against a good Napoli side.
“Even tonight my defenders recovered at the last minute,” he told Sky Sport Italia.
“Ranocchia had a swollen knee, we need to thank him, as well as Chivu who was not in best of shape.
“In spite of all the absences, we stood up to the team that fully deserves second place in the league.
“Napoli deserved to win, I congratulate them.”