Inter Milan suffered a disappointing 2-1 away defeat to Cagliari on Friday night in their second Serie A game without the former captain Mauro Icardi
Although Icardi’s replacement Lautaro Martinez struck an equalizer in the 38th minute to annul Luca Ceppitelli’s opener, the Nerazzurri eventually left the Sardegna Arena empty-handed.
It was Leonardo Pavoletti, who brought Cagliari their second straight Serie A home triumph after launching an inch-perfect first-time effort to the bottom right corner of Samir Handanovic’s goal.
After the game, Inter boss Luciano Spalletti criticized his team’s performance in the first half, refusing to mention his former skipper during the interview.
“It was an ugly display from Inter in the first half, we were slow in our decision-making and slow when moving the ball,” he admitted.
Luciano Spalletti confessed they “were terrible in the first half” of their defeat to #Cagliari , but warned Mauro Icardi must “use the pitch to do what is best for #Inter .” https://t.co/3l06jputrU #CagliariInter #FCIM #SerieA pic.twitter.com/bKtiITpnr4— footballitalia (@footballitalia) March 1, 2019
“We read situations badly, and we didn’t have enough quality in our play. Cagliari then scored two big goals – they weren’t simple. We had the potential to do the same in attack, but we weren’t able to match them.”
This slip could cost the Milanese giants dearly as AC Milan and AS Roma now have the opportunity to push Spalletti’s men over the edge and take control of the two remaining Serie A top-four places.
Meanwhile, Icardi’s future at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza hangs in the air, with several newspapers in Italy already wrote about his possible summer departure.
However, given the fact, Inter can’t afford a luxury of leaving their best striker on the sidelines amid their Champions League promotion battle, things may change during the remainder of the season.