Mancini rues two dropped points

Highlights – Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs 1. FSV Mainz 05

Internazionale manager Roberto Mancini bemoaned poor defending from his side after they were held to a thrilling 3-3 draw at Verona on Sunday.

The Nerazzurri got off to a flying start at Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi when Jeison Murillo opened the scoring after just eight minutes, but the hosts hit back swiftly to take the lead as Filip Helander and Eros Pisano netted from two set-pieces.

Inter then conceded a third goal early in the second half, Artur Ionita this time getting on the scoresheet from a corner, although Mauro Icardi (61) and Ivan Perisic (78) responded for the visitors to clinch a share of the spoils.

It left the Milan giants with just two wins in the new year as they dropped further off the pace in the race for the Serie A title and Mancini felt they should have come away with all three points.

“We went to sleep and conceded three goals from set plays. If we analyse the performance, we started excellently but then we found ourselves behind because of two corners and that changed the game. It made it a lot more difficult,” he told the club’s official website after the match.

“We reacted well, but then we conceded the third goal due to more lack of focus on a set play. We were excellent in the way we took the game to them, but if you concede three goals from dead-ball situations it becomes hard.

“We managed to turn it around but you can’t concede three goals like that. It’s not OK. We’ve thrown two points away today, given the way the match started and the chances we had at 3-3.”

Mancini added: “I don’t think we lacked grit – we kept attacking throughout and had lots of chances right up until the 93rd minute. Up until now we hadn’t conceded from set-pieces, but obviously if you don’t focus you risk conceding.

“We need to work on it really hard during the week because we didn’t perform well today or in the derby. We must improve. We will keep fighting for third position until the end.

“Unfortunately the gap has been cut with some of the teams below us. But football is a funny old game and maybe we’ll win five or six matches in a row now.”