Stefano Pioli slammed Inter Milan’s mentality after losing 3-2 to Hapoel Be-er Sheva, crashing out of the UEL, after leading 2-0.
Mauro Icardi put Inter ahead in the 12th minute and Brozovic added a second to put the Serie A club in control.
Only for them to concede to a Maranhao strike and goalkeeper Handanovic getting sent off and Nwakaeme restoring parity from the spot, and Sahar getting the winner for the Israeli side to dump Inter out of the competition.
Pioli felt Inter believed they had done enough to win the game and allowed the Israeli side to come back into the match by dropping their intensity.
“We stopped playing as a team and were presumptuous,” Pioli told reporters. “That should never happen and we cannot afford to do that if we want to win games.
“We had the chance to go 3-0 up and didn’t take it. We must work hard to ensure we don’t keep giving away certain opportunities. We cannot play such a two-faced match. In the first half we did really well, badly in the second. All we needed to do was maintain that attitude.”
The Italian said Inter’s fitness could not be blamed for their collapse, with the Serie A side having conceded five times in his two matches in charge.
“In fitness terms we’re ok, as we pushed at the end. What matters here is the mentality and we must improve,” Pioli said.
“The past no longer counts, what matters is the present and we cannot be satisfied with our work. We are working on all fronts: physical, psychological and tactical. A team that plays that well in the first half cannot offer a second-half performance like that.
“Inter have players of great quality, but we need to know how to suffer under pressure. The performance was not worthy of Inter. We got too deep and allowed Hapoel back into the game. I changed a few things, trying to recover the balance that we had lost.”