Inter boss Roberto Mancini admits a third consecutive Coppa Italia is probably beyond his reach. "Roma were just more motivated."
The Nerazzurri had won the last two trophies on the trot, twice seeing off the Giallorossi in the final, but after a 6-2 first leg defeat at the Stadio Olimpico a hat-trick seems improbable.
"It seems very difficult to overturn, as to score four goals and not concede any is tricky. We’ll see. At the very least we can avoid another embarrassing game like this," said Mancini ahead of the return leg on May 17. "When you lose like this, there really isn’t a great deal you can say, to be perfectly honest."
"Our first 15 minutes were just terrible, we were totally absent. We left Roma all the space they needed and let them do what they wanted to, especially down the flanks."
For Mancini, the key was in the fact that Inter had already won the Scudetto and were the overwhelming favourites for this competition as well. "Today you could really see the different motivation at work here and on that level we could not compare to Roma."
The Nerazzurri had not lost a single game in the Coppa since a 2-1 loss at Bari on December 19, 2002. It was followed by 18 wins and 10 draws.
The Inter tactician became known as ‘Mr Coppa Italia’, having won it four times as a coach (adding with Lazio in 2003-04 and Fiorentina in 2000-01) and six as a player. He lifted the trophy for Sampdoria in 1985, ’88, ’89, ’94 and with Lazio in 1998 and 2000.
Meanwhile, Luciano Spalletti is not counting Roma’s chickens despite a massive first leg lead. "We have to consider this the first half and there will be a struggle for the second," said the Giallorossi coach.
He has reason to be concerned, as back in August the capital giants were 3-0 up at San Siro in the Super Cup only to end up with a 4-3 defeat in extra time. "It’s already happened in the past that we have conceded a lot of goals in a short period of time after having been in the lead," added Spalletti.
"We will enjoy this advantage, but not rely on it when we go to San Siro, as that would be a mistake against a great side like Inter."
Hernan Crespo’s two away goals – both gifted by defensive errors – has given Inter some hope of turning it around in the second leg. "From the start of the year we occasionally get too sloppy when we go in front and again gave away two silly goals that made it complicated for us."
Source: C4 Football Italia