INTER MILAN have been left embarrassed after it was revealed Roberto Mancini was attacked by one of his own players earlier this season.
Celtic face the Serie A giants in the San Siro this week confident they can grab a win, which would be enough to see them through to the last 16 of the Europa League. The Italians have already been hit by the bust-up between Nemanja Vidic and Mancini, with the Serb’s apparent reluctance to come on as a substitute in the pulsating 3-3 draw in the first leg at Parkhead.
Now, vice-president and club legend Javier Zanetti has revealed it is not the first clash the fiery former Manchester City boss Mancini has had this season. But this incident went much further after Dani Osvaldo – who was quietly shipped out on loan to Boca Juniors earlier this month – and Mancini actually came to blows after a 1-1 draw with Juventus, according to Zanetti.
He said: “Was I more angry or disappointed by Osvaldo? More angry, but he was angry with himself too. He realised that trying to lay his hands on the manager was a serious mistake. He wasted a great opportunity in his career.”
Zanetti also had some words of advice to Inter’s star striker Mauro Icardi, after he had an altercation with his own supporters. He said: “It is up to us to help him understand how you have to behave in a big club. The first thing we always say is we must have respect for the fans. It was unpleasant.”
Inter are, however, providing plenty of evidence that they are getting better, and are hoping for a confidence-boosting victory ahead of Celtic’s visit to the San Siro when they head to Cagliari tonight. The Nerazzurri endured a disappointing start to the campaign but have won their last two Serie A games in convincing fashion.
They also took positives from their draw at Celtic. Mancini’s team led 2-0 and 3-2 in Glasgow but gave away a last-gasp equaliser. Nevertheless, Mancini considers the overall performance a positive one and something to build on.
“We have a few regrets regarding the result,” Mancini told Gazzetta dello Sport. “But I am nevertheless satisfied. It wasn’t easy to play here but we controlled the game. Perhaps after leading 2-0 we relaxed too much and this allowed Celtic to get back in the game. In any case, we cannot be disappointed with a 3-3 result.”
Inter return to Serie A action against Cagliari tonight looking to make it three wins in a row. The Nerazzurri won 4-1 at Atalanta last weekend having previously beaten Palermo 3-0 to climb to ninth place. Cagliari have won just one of their last five games and take on Inter after a 1-1 draw at Torino which kept the Sardinian outfit in 18th place, just three points adrift of safety.
“This point was very important to us,” Cagliari coach Gianfranco Zola said. “We need good performances in order to avoid the drop.
“We played a good game against a very good Torino side.
“We now face another difficult match against Inter but we will do everything to get a positive result.”
Zola will have all of his players available, with Italian defender Francesco Pisano having recovered from injury.
Argentine striker Mauro Icardi, who is Inter’s leading scorer with 13 goals, is expected to start alongside Lukas Podolski in attack.
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