FC Internazionale Milano's seven-game league winning streak was brought to an abrupt halt on Sunday when they suffered a 3-2 defeat against Atalanta BC in Bergamo. "There is no way we can win every game," said Nerazzurri coach Andrea Stramaccioni.
Inter ended Juventus's run of 49 games unbeaten last weekend, closing the gap on the Serie A leaders to just a solitary point, but are now four adrift once more. Giacomo Bonaventura gave Atalanta the lead on Sunday and though Fredy Guarín levelled, a German Denis double earned the hosts victory despite Rodrigo Palacio's goal six minutes from the end. Atalanta were reduced to ten men in added time but Inter were unable to take advantage.
"Unfortunately, Atalanta scored their second goal during our best spell of the match," said Stramaccioni following Inter's third league loss of the season. "It's a shame as I think that if we hadn't conceded the third then we would have levelled again, as they were getting tired. I did not see a drop in the performance levels and we didn't deserve to lose."
Now only a point ahead of third-placed SSC Napoli, Inter are looking over their shoulders as well as up to the summit. Captain Javier Zanetti, though, thinks the weekend loss was nothing more than a blip. "We were tired because we played an intense game on Thursday, and we were unlucky: we conceded two goals during our best spell," said the 39-year-old. "This loss doesn't change anything for us."
Stramaccioni can at least draw solace from his experience as coach of the Inter youth side when, in 2011/12, the Nerazzurri lost twice to Atalanta but went on to win the league. "We can hold our heads high," said the coach. "We created a lot of chances, we played good football, so this is not the kind of loss that will bring us down. I accept the result, but I saw a great Inter team."
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