The Inter boss denied the 22-year-old was dropped for his poor goalscoring form this season, and lauded his men’s 1-0 win over Roma that sent them top of Serie A
Roberto Mancini has stated dropping Mauro Icardi for Inter’s 1-0 win over Roma was a purely tactical decision.
After ending the 2014-15 Serie A season as joint-top scorer, the striker has only found the net three times in nine league outings this term.
Although Icardi’s most recent strike came in the 1-0 win over Bologna on Wednesday, Mancini left him out of his starting line-up for the victory over Roma on Saturday.
But the trainer insists the decision was not aimed as a snub to the captain, and praised the collective effort of his team as they sealed a win that sent them top of Serie A.
“It was our decision because we did not want to give Roma reference points, we needed technical players who could attack them down the flanks,” Mancini told Sky Sport Italia. “That is all.
“I needed a fresh player to attack the space, as [Stevan] Jovetic had worked hard and I wanted someone who could attack the space. He did very well, he really sacrificed himself for the team.
“A team is like a house, if you don’t have solid foundations, it will sink. We had a great game against an excellent Roma side, so 1-0 was a good result.”
Gary Medel scored the only goal of the game at San Siro, and the Chilean believes Inter can compete for the Serie A title after leapfrogging their rivals in the table.
“I think we’ve got a great team that can challenge for the title and we can be in the top spots, but we have to take it one step at a time,” the Chilean added.
The win over Rudi Garcia’s men means the Nerazzurri have extended their unbeaten run to five games.