Italian media lambastes Conte after Inter Milan failed to progress to the group stage of the UEFA Champions League again


    The Italia media has criticised Inter Milan manager, Antonio Conte over the way he reacted to questions about his team’s exit from the UEFA Champions League and their performance on the pitch.

    The media claimed that the Nerazzurri neither showed ideas nor courage against Shaktar Donestk. A win would have taken them to the second spot in the group and qualify for the knockout stage at the expense of Borussia Monchengladbach.

    The media further claimed that the tactician should have made substitutions earlier in the game. This they said resulted in their ouster from the tournament, missing out in the Europa League as well.

    Three Italian papers rated the former Juve coach five from ten. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Conte “stuck to the tactical plan of the first-leg and obtained the same result” and “should have made substitutions earlier.”

    Antonio Conte

    To Tuttosport, winning one of their six games in the group stage prove how disappointing and disastrous Inter’s European campaign was. It added that the Serie A giants “never gave the impression of dominating the game.”

    “Physical strength is enough in Italy but not in Europe, where ideas and courage are necessary to win. Inter didn’t show any of them,” Il Corriere dello Sport wrote.

    The Italian media rated Conte low alongside some of his players such as Romelu Lukaku, Roberto Gagliardini and Ashley Young. They said they were as disappointing on the pitch as Conte was on the bench.

    Inter-Shakhtar Donetsk: See the Italian sports papers’ ratings for Conte after their elimination from UEFA Champions League

    Below are the ratings given by the three top Italian newspapers.

    Lukaku dejected after Inter’s Champions League ouster

    Gazzetta dello Sport:
    Inter: Handanovic 6; Skriniar 6, De Vrij 6, Bastoni 6.5 (D’Ambrosio 86 N/A); Hakimi 5.5 (Darmian 86 N/A), Gagliardini 5 (Alexis Sanchez 75 6), Brozovic 6, Barella 6, Young 5 (Perisic 68 5); Lautaro Martinez 6.5 (Eriksen 86 6), R Lukaku 5

    Corriere dello Sport:
    Inter: Handanovic 6; Skriniar 6, De Vrij 6, Bastoni 6 (D’Ambrosio 86 N/A); Hakimi 5.5 (Darmian 86 N/A), Gagliardini 5 (Alexis Sanchez 75 6), Brozovic 6.5, Barella 6, Young 5 (Perisic 68 5); Lautaro Martinez 6 (Eriksen 86 6), R Lukaku 5

    Inter: Handanovic 6; Skriniar 6, De Vrij 6, Bastoni 6 (D’Ambrosio 86 N/A); Hakimi 6.5 (Darmian 86 N/A), Gagliardini 5.5 (Alexis Sanchez 75 6), Brozovic 7, Barella 6.5, Young 5 (Perisic 68 5); Lautaro Martinez 5.5 (Eriksen 86 6), R Lukaku 5

    Capello criticises Conte for lack of respect

    It is no longer news that Conte snapped at reporters after the game and former Juventus coach, Fabio Capello wasted no time in criticising the attitude of the tactician.

    Conte cut a frustrated figure during his post-match interview when asked about his team’s determination to progress to the next round of the tournament.

    “Shakhtar came here and transformed their tactics against us in order to neutralise us. They lost 5-0, so that’s why they changed. Think before asking questions.

    “You can have your opinion, I respect that. I do not agree, because I think the team gave all it had, did all it needed to. It’s incredible that over two games that we dominated against Shakhtar, we didn’t score a single goal.

    “I don’t agree we lacked determination at all. My players gave their all tonight, so I absolutely do not agree.

    “We have to evaluate everything with cool heads, not after an exit like this. There is a great deal of regret and disappointment, but I absolutely do not feel we were lacking determination, focus or aggression.

    “We lacked a goal and throughout the Champions League campaign, we have not been fortunate with referees and the VAR. If you go back and look at all the situations that were not seen or evaluated, then…

    “Having said that, there is a disappointment because we had the chances, but if you don’t score goals, you don’t win,” he said.

    Reacting to the outcome of the game, Capello a pundit on Skye Sports wondered if Conte actually has a Plan B when things don’t work.

    “There was not the determination, the desire to win at all costs,” he said.

    On the teams plan B, Conte responded saying: “We do have a Plan B, but I won’t talk about it here, otherwise that’ll be a total disaster and that’ll get neutralised too.”

    Capello and former Milan defender Alessandro Costacurta, who were in the Skype Sports Studio further took turn to criticise the tactician.

    “Today it was impossible to speak with Conte. He did not understand that we cannot speak only when things go well. Inter have suffered a huge economic damage this evening, the are not even going to play in the Europa League. The damage is huge, even for sponsors,” Capello said after Conte had left.

    “I am very disappointed in my friend Conte. I am very sorry that he did not respect us. He is a unique and generous person, but tonight I did not like him. I’m very disappointed by his attitude,” Costacurta continued.

    When asked about the substitutions he made late by bringing in Ivan Perisic at the 68th minute for Ashley Young, the tactician defended his decision .

    He also brought in Alexis Sanchez for Roberto Gagliardini at the 75th, then Christian Eriksen, Matteo Darmian and Danilo D’Ambrosio were last-gasp attempts on 86 minutes.

    “I introduced Alexis Sanchez with 20 minutes to go including stoppages. We would’ve been unbalanced with three strikers, but then I think Lautaro ran out of steam. In midfield, those were the players I had.

    “It was either Alexis or Eriksen for Gagliardini, but I preferred to add another striker and go for the win. When I saw Lautaro was out of steam, I introduced Eriksen.”

    After the ouster of Inter for the second season in a row from the Champions League group stage, Inter Milan board is yet to decide the future of Conte.

    It is hoped that he is allowed to stay at the helms of affairs at least till the end of the season and monitor the team’s domestic form.


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