Inter revival down to Mancini – Juan Jesus

The Italian made a spirited plea to his players at half-time at the weekend and they responded by turning the game around

Juan Jesus says Roberto Mancini’s half-time team-talk inspired Inter’s second-half comeback against Lazio on Sunday.

Inter were staring down the barrel of a sixth defeat of the Serie A season after a Felipe Anderson double put Lazio into a 2-0 half-time lead at San Siro.

But goals from Mateo Kovacic and Rodrigo Palacio after the break earned Mancini’s side a 2-2 draw.

Centre-back Juan conceded that Inter were far below the required standard in the first half and credited head coach Mancini for their turnaround.

“We approached the game in the wrong way in the first half but we turned things around after the break,” he told Inter’s official website.

“A lot of that was down to what the coach said to us at the interval. We need our second half approach for the full 90 minutes in matches and to consistently do the right things.”

A point means Inter head into Serie A’s mid-season break in 11th place and six points adrift of Lazio - who occupy the third and final Champions League position.

Full-back Danilo D’Ambrosio is confident that Inter have more than enough time to improve their league standing in the new year.

“We put in a great second-half performance and showed character to come back,” he said. 

“We still have a lot of matches to play and there’s plenty of time to move back up the table. We’ll keep going.”

Mancini admits Cerci interest as Lennon rumours are dismissed

The Inter boss is already looking to the January transfer window after admitting there is still “a little fear” within his squad following their draw with Lazio.

Inter head coach Roberto Mancini has dismissed reports linking the Serie A side with a move for Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon – but admits he is a fan of Alessio Cerci.

The Italian outfit are expected to be active in the January transfer window after a moderate first half of the season which has left them lying in 11th place.

Reports have linked Inter with a possible move for Lennon next month, though director Piero Ausilio stated earlier on Sunday that there had been no talks concerning the England international.

And Mancini has confirmed he is not looking to the Spurs man as a transfer option, though he did suggest Atletico Madrid forward Cerci was a more viable target.

After drawing 2-2 with Lazio, Mancini told reporters: “Lennon? We have not talked about him. This is not part of our plans, but there will probably be other players if we can get them.

“Cerci? He’s a possibility, but we’ll have to wait. He’s an Atletico Madrid player. We certainly lack players of a top level in that role.

“However, the team must continue to work regardless of any purchases. We have to find the right continuity for the whole of the game and this can only be done by working.”

Inter have only won one of their past six home games in Serie A after Felipe Anderson’s double put Lazio in control at half-time before Mateo Kovacic and Rodrigo Palacio hit back.

“We made mistakes and we make two steps forward, but one step back,” added Mancini. “But it will take time and I have to improve so many areas.

“I never thought we could change everything in a month and we would become Bayern Munich or Barcelona.

“There is a little fear there at San Siro, especially when things go wrong. We have to overcome this, but we’ll make it.”

Kovacic left frustrated despite scoring 'best goal' of his career

The Croatia midfielder unleashed a thunderous volley to help his side to a 2-2 draw with Lazio but admits he is disappointed they could not win the game

Mateo Kovacic could not hide his frustration despite scoring what he believes is the best goal of his career to date in Inter’s 2-2 draw with Lazio on Sunday.

Felipe Anderson’s superb double gave Lazio a 2-0 lead at San Siro at half-time but Roberto Mancini’s side stormed back to earn a point, with Kovacic unleashing a stunning volley from 20 yards to halve the deficit before Rodrigo Palacio’s late leveller.

The Croatia midfielder acknowledged his strike was the finest of his career so far but was disappointed they could not complete the comeback after a poor start.

“It’s my best goal, but it’s disappointing that we couldn’t win,” he told the club’s official website.

“We’re not happy. We made mistakes on their goals then did well to regroup. We were lacking a bit of aggression, they started the game better.

“When you go two goals down it becomes difficult to win. We lack continuity, but we’ve only just begun working with the coach and I’m sure we’ll improve.”

Kovacic is confident he will continue to grow as a player in 2015 under Mancini, who replaced Walter Mazzarri as head coach during the autumn.

“I do what the coach asks of me, follow what he says. I’m sure he will help me to be better,” the 20-year-old added.

Inter 2-2 Lazio: Palacio seals comeback in enthralling clash

The visitors were 2-0 up at half-time but Mateo Kovacic’s thunderous volley and the Argentine’s poked finish ensured a point for Roberto Mancini’s men

A late goal from Rodrigo Palacio sealed a superb comeback for Inter as they drew 2-2 with Lazio on Sunday.

Roberto Mancini’s side went into Sunday’s game having picked up just one win from their last five league matches on home soil.

With Lazio coming off a hat-trick of victories in all competitions, it always looked likely to be a tricky test for the hosts.

Felipe Anderson’s quickfire opener hardly did Inter’s fragile confidence any favours, with the in-form Brazilian maintaining his hot streak after netting in two of those recent triumphs.

Mancini’s head was in his hands as the 21-year-old striker doubled the advantage before the break with a second clinical finish.

However, Mateo Kovacic raised hopes of a recovery with a stunning strike just after the hour mark and Rodrigo Palacio claimed a poacher’s goal to level 10 minutes from time.

Inter made just one change from last Monday’s 2-0 win at Chievo, with Brazilian defender Dodo coming in for Chile international Gary Medel.
After beating Atalanta 3-0 at home eight days ago, Lazio replaced Alvaro Gonzalez and Filip Djordjevic with Miroslav Klose and Marco Parolo.
The visitors stormed into the lead after just two minutes when Stefan Radu whipped in a cross which Anderson controlled superbly before firing past Samir Handanovic.
Anderson could have had another just four minutes later but volleyed over the bar, while Federico Marchetti got down well to save a long-range Fredy Guarin effort at the other end.
Another well-struck Guarin shot flew just wide from 25 yards out soon after the half-hour mark, but it was Lazio who hit the target again next eight minutes before the break.
Loose play from Andrea Ranocchia allowed the away side to counter-attack as Klose’s headed flick-on found Anderson, who cut in from the left past some flimsy tackling before wrong-footing the goalkeeper with a low shot.

Medel was introduced at the expense of Dodo just before the break and Inter tried to rally after the interval by getting more men and a number of crosses into the box.

Mauro Icardi should have done better after being set up by Kovacic and Marchetti had to dive at full stretch to keep out a deflected Zdravko Kuzmanovic effort.

However, Marchetti could not stop Kovacic‘s thunderous volley from the edge of the area hitting the back of the net after Lazio failed to sufficiently clear a 66th-minute corner.

That strike lifted the home crowd, who went wild 14 minutes later when Palacio pounced on a Danilo D’Ambrosio nod down from substitute Federico Bonazzoli’s free kick.

Mancini: Inter can qualify for Champions League

The Nerazzurri are still some way of the pace in Serie A but the former Man City boss is confident they can recover their form and beat the likes of Napoli and Milan to third place

Inter coach Roberto Mancini remains confident that his side can secure Champions League football for next season.

The Nerazzurri, who host Lazio on Sunday, have won just two out of six matches in all competitions since Mancini replaced Walter Mazzarri at the helm last month and currently sit 11th in Serie A, seven points behind third-placed Napoli.

However, the former Manchester City boss has not given up hope on Inter qualifying for the Champions League.

“There’s still a long way to go in Serie A and I think we’ll be in the mix for third place,” the former Lazio boss told reporters on the eve of the Biancocelesti’s visit to San Siro.

“But we mustn’t look at the table for now; just keep on putting points on the board. All the sides above us are battling for third place.

“We need to put together a run of good results and a win [against Lazio] would be a boost for our self-esteem.

“The lads are looking good, too. We just have to make sure we keep improving. It’s always better after a win.

“We’ve lost two games so far, so I can’t be happy. But I’m pleased with the atmosphere around the team.”

Mancini has also been buoyed by the fact that midfielder Hernanes is set to return to action against his former club, after recovering from a leg injury.

“He is better now and trained with the team all week,” the Nerazzurri coach added. “He’ll start on the bench and could play.”

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