Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini slammed what he described as a “disastrous” refereeing performance and argued with a television presenter following his team’s 3-0 loss to AC Milan on Sunday.
Mancini also confirmed he made a gesture with his finger to Milan fans who insulted him after he was sent to the stands for dissent during the game.
“I didn’t say anything offensive, but referees are like that nowadays, susceptible and with their own characteristics,” he said in a post-match interview.
“There should have been a red card for Milan in the first half for a foul by the last man. Perhaps the referees don’t know the rules. The referees were the worst ones on the field, they were a disaster.”
Inter, who led the table before Christmas, have slumped to fourth place, nine points off the pace, after winning once in five Serie A outings since the New Year.
“The results have not been positive, it’s all gone wrong for us and we can’t do anything except work hard,” Mancini said.
He added that Mauro Icardi’s penalty miss for Inter, when Milan were 1-0 ahead, was the turning point.
“We were in it until the penalty, then with that miss and their second goal it was over. If you don’t score a chance like that at such a delicate moment, the team will lose confidence.”
Mancini had publicly criticised Icardi over a missed chance last week and became angry when he was asked if his comments had dented the Argentine player’s confidence.
The Inter coach used offensive language in reply to the question and again when he took off his headset at the end of the interview.
He has also confirmed making a gesture to the Milan supporters. “Yes, I did it, they should not have been there. That’s the end of the conversations,” he said.
In contrast, Milan coach Sinisa Mihajlovic was understandably jubilant.
“Tonight has been the happiest moment of my coaching career,” he said. “We have always had confidence in our abilities and step by step that is starting to show.”
“Everybody deserves a night like this. The president, the club, the players and the fans. A convincing win like this is a result of everyone playing well, all areas of the team.”
Follow us on Twitter @NatSportUAE
Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/TheNationalSport