Pioli rues setback in Inter's quest for Champions League

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Stefano Pioli rued a setback in Inter's quest for Champions League football after they fell to a 3-1 defeat against second-place Roma at San Siro.

Inter had been in rampant form, winning nine of their last 10 Serie A fixtures, but were outclassed by Roma as a Radja Nainggolan double and a penalty from Diego Perotti - after Mauro Icardi goal had halved the deficit - sealed the points for the visitors.

Head coach Pioli expressed his disappointment with the result, however he acknowledged the strength at Roma's disposal. 

"It's a setback we didn't want, although we knew that we were facing an important and strong opponent," the Inter coach told Mediaset Premium.
 
"It was a complicated and difficult match, but also a balanced one. Roma were more accurate with their finishing and took their chances well. We had opportunities, too, but only took one.
 
"Naturally, [suspended defender] Miranda is an important player, but the system remained the same. We just changed some of the characteristics within it.

"We wanted an attacking approach, with players who brought physicality and dynamism. It's disappointing we conceded those goals, but Nainggolan scored two excellent strikes."

Pioli also refuted claims that he had put pressure on the referee by pointing out Roma's penalty record - scoring the most of any Serie A side this season - in the build-up to the game.

"I merely said in my press conference that the errors balance each other out at the end of the season," he added. "I didn't know anything about counting penalties, I just said there was a difference.

"I didn't want to create controversy. Everyone can interpret it any way they like."