Different manager but same result. Twelve months ago, Inter under Luciano Spalletti were knocked out the Champions League after failing to beat PSV in their final group match at the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium.
Fast forward twelve months. Two record signings, and a new manager in Antonio Conte, and Inter were in the same situation as a year ago. Win on matchday six and qualify for the Champions League knockout stages.
And once again, Inter failed, losing 2-1 at home to Barcelona reserves, a result that will see Inter play in the Europa League in the new year.
As expected, Inter’s performance was hammered by the Italian press with Gazzetta dello Sport’s front page going with the headline ‘Out!’, while the sub-headline read: ‘What a waste… Inter frozen by Barcelona reserves’.
There was also criticism of striker Romelu Lukaku, as they wrote: ‘Lukaku scores but wastes three big chances’.
Another Italian paper, Tuttosport, also criticised Lukaku, calling him ‘wasteful’.
After the game, Conte said:
‘The disappointment remains. It is a pity because in the end I think we deserved more. We had to do better with all the chances we had. Football is a very simple game and you have to score if you want to win.
‘Between this match and the match against Roma, we were not very clinical in front of goal and we paid for it against Barcelona.
‘I saw great disappointment in the eyes of the boys and I am also feeling sorry for our fans because they made an incredible atmosphere from the first to the last second.
‘We have to think positively because this is a group of serious guys. We are working seriously, with a sense of belonging, joy and the desire to defend these colours and I think this can be noticed on the field.’