Mancini: Icardi is a brave boy!

The Argentine striker looked like the coolest man at the San Paolo as he scooped home a spot-kick that earned Inter a last-gasp 2-2 draw at Napoli

Inter boss Roberto Mancini hailed Mauro Icardi’s bravery after the striker’s Panenka penalty against Napoli, admitting that he has never even attempted such a spot-kick.

The Nerazzurri found themselves two goals down after just over an hour of play at the San Paolo, with Marek Hamsik having opened the scoring with a header before Gonzalo Higuain doubled the hosts’ advantage with a terrific, curling effort.

However, Rodrigo Palacio pulled one goal back for Inter before Henrique hauled down Fredy Guarin in the area with just three minutes remaining and the defender was dismissed for his second bookable offence.

Despite the high-pressure nature of the situation, Icardi calmly dinked home the subsequent penalty to earn Inter an unlikely draw.

“Icardi is a brave boy and that is part of his strength,” Mancini told Sky Sport Italia.

“I don’t think I’ve ever even tried a penalty like this. Luckily, though, I didn’t see it live, as I wasn’t watching at the time!”

However, despite his joy at snatching a point at the death, Mancini was once again perturbed by his side’s wastefulness in possession.

“We were playing against a Napoli side that have great attackers and it is normal to concede something,” he said.

“However, the problem is that we are conceding when we have the ball, giving it away to a side that cannot wait to go on the counterattack.

“Yet we were 2-0 down and couldn’t understand why. I was happy with everyone’s performance but we still gave the ball away too easily.”

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