July 5, 2020 / 7:29 PM / a month ago

Conte blames himself after another Inter collapse

MILAN (Reuters) - Exasperated Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte blamed himself after watching his team collapse again on Sunday, almost certainly ending their Serie A title challenge.

Soccer Football - Serie A - Inter Milan v Bologna - San Siro, Milan, Italy - July 5, 2020 Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte looks dejected after the match, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

“There’s a great, indeed enormous, disappointment,” said Conte whose side were leading 10-man Bologna when they missed a second-half penalty and conceded twice to go down 2-1 to late goals by Gambian pair Musa Juwara and Musa Barrow.

“We managed to lose a match that we should have brought home comfortably. I’m angry with myself as the coach and responsible for what happens on the pitch,” said Conte, whose side had taken a first-half lead through Romelu Lukaku.

“The players must also be angry with themselves although they only have a small part of the blame.”

Inter, who have a habit of making life difficult for themselves, led the table in the early part of the season but have now dropped 11 points behind leaders Juventus with eight matches to play.

There was a long delay before Conte spoke to the press and some Italian media reports said he was involved in a meeting with club directors.

“It’s right to question all of us, first of all me because I was called to bring Inter back to victory after so many years,” he said. “Of course, it won’t happen overnight but this situation brings a lot of bitterness.

“We have not reached the standard we set ourselves. Everyone has to show they want to rise above the past years, otherwise it’s right to make other decisions”.

Bologna coach Sinisa Mihajlovic was happy with the result but also frustrated that his team, who are ninth, took so long to get going.

“We were poor in the first 20 minutes, we were afraid and there were too many wayward passes,” he said. “We really looked a completely different team in the second half.

“It wasn’t easy to be a goal down with ten men; this is a great victory, with character and conviction. However, we’ve sometimes waited to concede before we start to play. That’s not okay — we need to play from the off.”

Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Ken Ferris

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