Inter boss Inzaghi: Penalty only way Juve could score after Derby d'Italia controversy

By Sports Desk October 24, 2021

Inter head coach Simone Inzaghi claimed a penalty was the only way Juventus were going to score against his side after Sunday's 1-1 draw in Serie A's first Derby d'Italia of the season.

Inter were held by rivals Juve at San Siro, the first time since April 2019 the two teams have shared the points in the league as Massimiliano Allegri's fast-improving side earned another point in their recovery after a poor start to the 2021-22 campaign.

Edin Dzeko's first-half strike – his seventh goal in nine top-flight outings, as many as he scored in 27 appearances last term – was cancelled out by Paulo Dybala's late penalty, his 18th converted spot-kick in his last 20 attempts.

Inter substitute Denzel Dumfries was adjudged by VAR to have fouled Alex Sandro for Juve's 89th-minute penalty, a decision that infuriated Inzaghi so much he was sent off by referee Maurizio Mariani for throwing the ball away.

After the game, Inzaghi was still furious as he felt defending champions the Nerazzurri deserved all three points but did offer his apologies for his reaction.

"It was the only way in my opinion we could concede," Inzaghi told DAZN with Inter third and seven points behind Napoli and Milan, while Juve are three pointers further back. "We led the game from start to finish, we didn't concede anything to Juventus.

"They are two points thrown away that do not please me. The referee is there two metres away, he says that everything is fine and then he is called back. Sorry for the fans, we deserved more."

Inzaghi was then asked if Dumfries' infringement was avoidable and added: "I think so because we were clearly in numerical superiority close to the ball.

"We were never under pressure, we controlled from start to finish. I admit my gesture was not a good image to portray, but I felt in that moment it was not a VAR incident.

"As a coach, at the 89th minute of a game like that, with the referee right there waving play on, it's natural you’re going to get a bit angry the way I did."

Meanwhile, Allegri – who had previously won all three away league meetings against Inzaghi – was satisfied with a point as his side extended their unbeaten run to 10 games across all competitions.

"Before the draw, we had some actions where we didn't close and they were situations where we could have done better," Allegri started to DAZN post-match.

"We played with more confidence against Inter, it's an important point and allows us to have the possibility - even if we have to win - to increase the streak and then to nibble a few points before the break.

"But on Wednesday against Sassuolo we need to win. The match was beautiful, fought on a physical level and with good technical plays. We must improve in closing the action."

However, Allegri still implored Juve to improve after conceding 11 times in their opening nine Serie A matches – the first time they have done so since 1992-93.

"It depends on the first three games where we left eight points out of nine and it influenced us a bit," Allegri responded about Juve's form.

"We had to start from the basics, or rather from a good defensive position.

"We need to work on this, it's a matter of self-esteem. if we are aggressive in front, they play with a pipe in their mouth in the back."

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