Simone Inzaghi reassures Ionut Radu that his howler will not characterise his career and Inter ‘still have a chance’ of taking the Scudetto from Milan, but has other regrets after the defeat to Bologna.
The Nerazzurri would’ve gone top of the table with a win in this Week 20 fixture that was postponed from January 6 due to a COVID-19 outbreak.
Ivan Perisic had given them the perfect start at the Stadio Dall’Ara with a ferocious strike, but Marko Arnautovic’s header drew Bologna level.
Incredibly, Radu in his first Serie A appearance of the season for injured Samir Handanovic made a shocking error on a back-pass, allowing Nicola Sansone to tap in from a yard.
Milan are now two points clear, but also have the advantage in a head-to-head record, so technically it’s three points.
“Without doubt, there is bitterness, as is normal. We are no longer in charge of our own fate, we have to check what Milan do and try to win our remaining four games,” Inzaghi told Sky Sport Italia.
“We had taken the lead, we should’ve scored another rather than concede the avoidable Arnautovic header, because we know that anything can happen in football.
“I think we played a very good first half, with just one error on the Arnautovic goal. We created many chances and deserved a second goal.
“After the break, we were a bit too frenetic and that penalised us. Bologna barely ever went into our penalty area, then once that unfortunate incident occurred with the second goal, we lost our heads a bit. It’s not too surprising, there is so much at stake, it really weighed on them.”
Inter changed to a 3-4-3 formation on the hour mark in a bid to break down Bologna.
“We should’ve passed the ball around more calmly from side to side, finding the spaces, putting in crosses for Dzeko. We had that Correa chance that was right at the goalkeeper, but the real regret is ending the first half at 1-1.
“We lost our shape a little in the second half, then we had that unfortunate incident and fell apart. We still had chances, D’Ambrosio denied by a goal-line clearance.
“We’ve got to keep our heads now. It’s a tough blow, but we saw how Bologna played today, every game is going to be difficult and two points is a margin we can catch up in four games.
“We have to keep going with our heads held high, because we still have a chance, we’re trailing now and also have a Coppa Italia Final to prepare for.”
Arnautovic’s header almost created even more regret in Inzaghi and the Inter players than the Radu howler.
“The marking was meant to be tighter, we could also have done better to close down the Musa Barrow cross, because he had a good 10 seconds to choose his spot and put it in. Arnautovic ended up between the third defender and the wing-back.”
Does Inzaghi regret not giving Radu more playing time this season? His only previous appearance was in the Coppa Italia against Empoli in January, never setting foot on the field in Serie A, so inevitably the 24-year-old was rusty.
“Radu played very well against Empoli, he always trains well, we all have the utmost faith in him. It was an unfortunate incident, but these things can happen and it wouldn’t have been as damaging if we’d been 4-1 up rather than at 1-1.
“He should be reassured that Radu is an excellent goalkeeper with a bright future ahead of him.”
Radu was understandably distraught after the final whistle and teammate Denzel Dumfries shielded him from the glare of the television cameras by standing in the way.
It’s a nightmare for Inter Milan’s second choice goalkeeper, Ionuț Radu.
Could that cost them the Serie A title? pic.twitter.com/7NcXOxiMwZ
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