Spalletti upbeat despite Icardi's off night in derby draw
Luciano Spalletti is delighted with the development of his Inter side despite admitting frustration over failing to win the Milan derby at San Siro on Wednesday.
An unusually profligate Mauro Icardi was the main culprit in front of goal as the Nerazzurri were forced to settle for a 0-0 draw with city rivals AC Milan.
Icardi had one goal ruled out for offside in the first half before missing a pair of sitters after the interval, the second of which came in the 93rd minute.
Converting that chance would have lifted Inter to third, but Spalletti was willing to forgive his captain after edging two points ahead of fifth-placed Lazio in the battle for a Champions League spot.
"It can happen and even he makes mistakes," Spalletti told Mediaset Premium of Icardi's wastefulness.
"It's a bit of a disappointment because they could have secured us the three points.
"I have often criticised the team, even when we were picking up plenty of points at the start of the season. I must now acknowledge that this is a solid Inter side.
5 - Inter have kept the clean sheet in five Serie A consecutive matches for the first time since August 2005. Wall. #MilanInter-- OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) April 4, 2018
"I am confident for the future and I am really pleased with how the lads are playing.
"We could've cut off Milan by winning, but I am extremely pleased with how we are playing. One goal here and there doesn't change our path."
The draw left Inter's neighbours eight points back in sixth and all but out of the running for a top-four finish.
Gennaro Gattuso insisted his team would "continue to fight" for a return to the competition they have won seven times, but conceded the Rossoneri were fortunate to avoid a second straight loss.
"It's a point earned. We risked going behind several times," Gattuso said.
"Inter deserved more, they made us suffer. We made too many mistakes. I'm happy with this point."