By Jerry Mancini.
Inter Milan failed to win for a third successive week after being held to a 1-1 draw by Cagliari.
The Nerazzurri have drawn their past three matches and failed to gain ground on Juventus who lost 2-1 Sunday evening against Napoli.
As for Cagliari, Radja Nainggolan made his return to the San Siro after being loaned out this season by Inter.
The Nerazzurri scored the first goal of the match as newly acquired wing-back Ashley Young made his presence known early in the game. Approaching the half-hour mark, Young crossed the ball into the box from the right and Lautaro Martinez connected with a nice header.
Cagliari complained as they thought that Martinez had pushed a defender in the area. The decision went to the Video Assistant Referee and, after a lengthy review, the official confirmed the goal.
A team which has been hurt with injuries and suspensions are glad to have Young in their lineup.
Cagliari tied the match late into the game when Nainggolan scored in the 79th minute. The Belgian was told by Antonio Conte earlier in the season that he wasn’t in his plans, but the midfielder made the Italian manager think twice by stealing two crucial points.
“It’s never comfortable when you don’t win,” Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic said. “We always want three points but we just didn’t manage to make the most of our chances today.”
Inter will play their next match without the services of Martinez. The striker was sent off in injury time for his reaction after being booked.
His teammates had to pull him away as he continued to approach the referee to question the decision.
“The draw certainly wasn’t down to the referee, we only complained because he didn’t blow for fouls on our forwards, but always did for theirs,” the Inter captain added.
“But we don’t want to point fingers at anyone but ourselves, we lacked clarity, we should have killed the game off earlier because we had plenty of chances to make it 2-0.”
“We’re not worried. Perhaps we weren’t at our best today, but we always create a lot of chances. Inter must always remain at the top and set their sits on big achievements.”