A 2-2 weekend draw at AS Livorno Calcio has left FC Internazionale Milano two points off top spot in Italy going into tonight's visit of UC Sampdoria. With a trip to leaders AS Roma to come on Saturday, directly followed by a UEFA Champions League fixture against PSV Eindhoven, midfielder Olivier Dacourt wants his side to show a marked improvement.
The Italian champions lost 1-0 at Fenerbahçe SK in their Group G opener on 19 September, and the Frenchman, who toiled hard in a midfield which was put under pressure from the start, was under no illusions about the final score. "Fenerbahçe played their game, they played very well and we didn't," Dacourt told uefa.com. "Certainly, the better team won. There is no excuse."
Inter were considerably under-strength at the back due to injuries and suspensions to key players including Marco Materazzi, Cristian Chivu, Nicolás Burdisso, Maicon and Iván Córdoba. Yet they were also second best in all areas against a positive and determined Fenerbahçe, whose coach Zico had proclaimed the Nerazzurri as clear favourites before the game.
Now Inter must look to improve before PSV's Matchday 2 trip to Milan on 2 October. Dacourt vowed that Roberto Mancini's men would pick themselves up from their defeat in Turkey. "We feel pretty bad," the 33-year-old said. "We wanted to win and we lost, so I am disappointed. But we have five games left and we have to win the next one – it is very important."
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