ROME (Reuters) – Ten-man Inter Milan replaced AS Roma atop Serie A, at least for 24 hours, after beating Bologna 1-0 away on Tuesday to end a run of four games without a win but coach Roberto Mancini, who was sent off at the end, wants more from his side.
Mauro Icardi’s 67th-minute strike secured victory againstthird-bottom Bologna which meant Inter leapfrogged AS Roma, Napoli and Fiorentina into first place after 10 matches, having played one game more.
Inter’s Felipe Melo was shown his second yellow card on the hour, seven minutes after receiving his first caution, but the visitors if anything went from strength to strength not that Mancini was totally happy with their performance.
“I want much more, especially in the first half,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “The second period was totally different. We were too slow and didn’t create any spaces.”
They travelled to Bologna on the back of a disappointing draw against Palermo on Saturday and Mancini made six changes.
They lacked cohesion during the opening stages and Bologna could have taken the lead after four minutes but Anthony Mounier failed to make sufficient contact.
Felipe Melo’s sending off was Inter’s third of the season and their second in two matches following the dismissal of Jeison Murillo against Palermo.
“Maybe we play better with 10 men,” Mancini added. “The first half we were far too slow and Bologna sat behind the ball, so there was no space down the flanks and the strikers were too far away. The second half was much better.”
Despite the man disadvantage, Inter still looked threatening and a superb through ball from Jonathan Biabiany was not dealt with by Alex Ferrari and Adem Ljajic squared for Icardi who finished from close range.
Bologna failed to trouble the visitors and Inter, who have the best defensive record in the division, held on to record their sixth clean sheet and fifth 1-0 win of the Serie A campaign.
Mancini was dismissed for dissent in the last minute as he continued protesting about Melo’s sending off.
“I don’t think even he (the referee) knows why he sent me off. Nothing happened,” Mancini said. “Football is football. You can’t end every game with 10 men.”
Eight matches are scheduled for Wednesday, with Roma welcoming Udinese, Fiore travelling to Verona, Napoli hosting Palermo and 12th-placed champions Juventus visiting Sassuolo.
(Writing by Ed Dove; Editing by Mark Meadows and Ken Ferris)