Simone Inzaghi concedes Inter’s Coppa Italia tie with Parma ‘got more complicated’ than planned with extra time and believes Romelu Lukaku would’ve boosted their points tally this season.
It was the third year in a row that the Nerazzurri were pushed to extra time in the Round of 16, having done the same against Fiorentina and Empoli before Parma.
However, it might bode well, considering they ended up lifting the Coppa Italia trophy last season, beating Juventus in extra time.
“It was a difficult game, I think we were having a good game and then conceded with the only shot Parma had. It got more complicated, I would’ve preferred not to play 120 minutes, but the same thing happened last season with Empoli, so we look to the future with confidence,” Inzaghi told Sport Mediaset.
Coming off a contentious 2-2 Serie A draw with Monza, this was another disappointing performance, as the Stanko Juric thunderbolt into the top corner had put Parma ahead at San Siro.
It wasn’t until the deflected Lautaro Martinez equaliser at the 88th minute that Inter had a single shot on target, then in extra time Francesco Acerbi was alert for a looping header after Gigi Buffon’s parry.
Some at San Siro had grumbled when Acerbi was introduced in extra time, but the defender has not for the first time been dangerous at the other end of the pitch.
Indeed, he had the ball in the net with a header against Monza and would’ve put them 3-1 up if not for an overly-hasty referee stopping play early for a non-existent foul.
“The whole world saw what happened there, I don’t want to talk about it anymore,” continued Inzaghi.
“The substitutions depend on the result. Those who played gave a good response, we need to continue like this. Our Champions League progress was beyond expectations, in Serie A we dropped a few points, but we need everyone in a packed fixture list.”
Lukaku was in the stands watching his teammates, as he was again ruled out by injury and just can’t seem to find his form since the return from Chelsea.
“Clearly, Romelu is a very important player for us, we wanted him at all costs, and unfortunately he had the most serious injury of his career. He returned after the World Cup, trained so well, then had this inflammation. He will rest tomorrow and we’ll try to get him back to his best, as he is a great added value for the team,” noted Inzaghi.
“If he had been fit, we might’ve had those extra points that we dropped so far in Serie A.”
The match against Parma could be a warning of what Inter have coming up in Serie A on Saturday from Hellas Verona, fresh from only their second win of the season and revitalised by a change of management.
“Width is very important and we need to get the advantage in those positions. Options are limited at the moment in midfield, Mkhitaryan played his third game in a week and had to grit his teeth, but we keep going.”