The Inter coach argued that his side would not have been beaten at the San Paolo had the Japanese defender not been sent off for two yellow cards
Inter boss Roberto Mancini accused Jose Callejon of simulation after Monday’s 2-1 loss at Napoli, claiming the winger had “clearly dived” for the foul that ultimately led to Yuto Nagatomo’s “unfair” dismissal.
Gonzalo Higuain gave the home side the lead after just 63 seconds of play and the Nerazzurri‘s night went from bad to worse right before the break when Nagatomo, who had already been booked for an alleged knee into the back of Callejon, picked up a second yellow for a mistimed tackle on Allan right on the touchline.
Higuain then doubled Napoli’s advantage midway through the second half but 10-man Inter staged a spirited late fightback, with Adem Ljajic halving their deficit before both Stevan Jovetic and Miranda were denied by the woodwork in the injury time.
The result saw the hosts replace Inter at the summit of the Serie A standings but Mancini had nothing but praise for his players, arguing that they would have got at least a point out of the game had it not been for Callejon’s perceived theatrics.
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“Personally I’m happy because we were always in it, even in the first half,” the Inter coach told reporters.
“Yuto was sent off for a little foul. We would never have lost 11 v 11 and we might even have won it because we played brilliantly. Sadly, that’s football for you.
[Jose] Callejon clearly dived for Nagatomo’s first booking, whereas for the second Yuto could have been a bit more careful.
“It was a very open game that was ruined by an unfair sending-off, so it’s hard to assess. [Napoli goalkeeper Pepe] Reina and Higuain were exceptional.
“As I said, that’s football but there’s no shame in losing if you’ve played well against the best team in the league and two of their players have had a night like that. On this occasion, they got lucky and we didn’t.
“There was a ball we didn’t deal with properly at the start and Higuain did superbly to score an amazing goal.
“But we deserved more come the end of the match. I thought both Miranda’s and Jovetic’s headers were going in.”