TURIN - After going 20 games unbeaten, Inter, the Champions of Italy, were defeated by Juventus in their penultimate game of this Serie A season. The match in Turin was decided by refereeing decisions, with three penalties (two for Juve, one for Inter) at significant moments in the match: Cuadrado’s finish from the penalty spot was the decider, after goals from Ronaldo (a rebound from his penalty that was palmed away by Handanovic) and Cuadrado in the first half for Juventus and, for Inter, Lukaku and an own goal from Chiellini.
Here is what Cristian Stellini, the Nerazzurri Assistant Coach, had to say after the full-time whistle:
It is inevitable that, in analysing the game, we are going to talk about refereeing decisions. Do Inter have a case to feel aggrieved?
“For us, it was important to come here and bring calm heads and a desire to win. The team did that on the pitch, irrespective of decisions. It's not for us to comment on the referee, there were so many moments and they are so obvious that it's pointless to discuss them. We can retain our joy at having won the Scudetto with four games to spare. The boys played very well today and it could have ended differently.”
Last year, Inter grew a lot and that growth has only continued this year. Where can the squad continue to improve?
“There are always ways to improve, we need to identify how we can do so. Last year, coming second and getting to the Europa League final were both important steps. Next year, we need to do even better in approaching big games and also try to raise our level in Europe, especially from a technical point of view. For the majority of this season, we have created more opportunities than anyone else without converting them, so we have to improve in terms of quality and, to do that, we have to play many games at a high level.”
How is Conte at the moment?
“He's in a calm frame of mind. We're enjoying this moment and still have one more game to show that we're the best team in the league. Even today I believe that we showed that, beyond the result.”
Lautaro was one of the best performers on the pitch today. He’s perhaps the player who has developed the most under Conte in the past two seasons. Is it normal for the media to name him as someone who could be sacrificed?
"Lautaro still has so much room for improvement, we’re very happy with him. He also does a lot of dirty work, something which is very important. It isn’t easy to find a striker with his characteristics. If we listened to rumours, there would be players leaving and coming in every day. Lautaro is an Inter player and I believe that the Club very much want to keep hold of him.”