Pioli questions Ansaldi dismissal

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Stefano Pioli admitted he deserved to be sent to the stands during Inter's 1-0 win over Palermo, but felt Cristian Ansaldi should not have been shown a red card.

An eventful second half at a rain-drenched Stadio Renzo Barbera saw Inter take the lead through Joao Mario, before Ansaldi was sent off for a sliding challenge on Ilija Nestorovski.

Palermo's Alessandro Gazzi was also dismissed after receiving a second yellow card in the last minute of the game, and Pioli questioned referee Massimiliano Irrati's decisions in his post-match comments.

"There were two players on the ground and the fourth official said that nothing had happened. When I saw the red card for Ansaldi I went to ask for explanations. I was wrong and I paid for it," Pioli told Premium Sport.

"The field was slippery and there were so many collisions. An international referee must understand that the player has slipped.

"I was wrong to leave the technical area, but I thought that the game had stopped."

Pioli expressed his satisfaction at having extended Inter's winning streak in Serie A to six consecutive matches, but admitted it was only after the introduction of Joao Mario as a second-half substitute that they played their best football.

"We hit more crosses and pressured their area, and Joao Mario did very well to score, but we must create the right conditions to do so even when he's not there," said Pioli.

"Every win is always very nice. We knew it would be difficult, and that the opponent would show great will and determination. We didn't give away any shots on goal.

"It was an important victory. The other teams at the top are all strong, so we can only think about ourselves and try to win games where possible. Our future also depends on how we have played up to now.

"We have to have a great second half of the season to qualify for the Champions League. Now we prepare ourselves well because Pescara, Juventus and Lazio await us."

Palermo coach Eugenio Corini felt his side deserved a share of the points after they held Inter for over an hour and had a goal disallowed in the dying minutes of the game.

He told Sky: "I think we deserved a different result for the way we played. It is a shame that our performance did not bring points.

"This was already a complicated season and is becoming even more so."