MILAN (Reuters) – Inter Milan beat Sampdoria 3-0 in their final game of the Serie A season but it was not enough for them to retain the Scudetto as Simone Inzaghi’s side finished runners-up after league leaders AC Milan also won on Sunday.
Inter needed Milan to lose to have any hope of winning back-to-back titles but their arch rivals won 3-0 away at Sassuolo to maintain their two-point advantage and win their first title since the 2010-11 season.
“Pride prevails, congratulations should be given to this group because they had a great season,” Inzaghi told DAZN.
“Congratulations to Milan who scored 86 points, we scored 84. In the last 30, we scored three points more than the Rossoneri.
“The (welcome on) arrival at San Siro, the final ovation from the whole stadium… I am proud of what we have done.”
As news streamed in of Milan’s goals away at Sassuolo during the first half, Inter fans at the San Siro wore a sombre look as silence descended on the historic stadium, even as their team desperately tried to break down Sampdoria’s defence.
But Sampdoria goalkeeper Emil Audero stood firm in the first half, making confident saves to deny Inter who grew more frustrated by the minute and resorted to shots from distance.
The crowd found its voice after the restart, however, and Inter duly opened the scoring when Nicolo Barella found Ivan Perisic in the box and the Croatian fired home.
Inter then scored twice in two minutes through Joaquin Correa as he scored against his former club.
The Argentine forward showcased a deft touch for the first goal at the end of a flowing move involving Perisic and Hakan Calhanoglu before he made a solo run and out-muscled the defence to score his second on the turn.
Reflecting on how Inter narrowly missed out on the title, Inzaghi said: “In February we had the double confrontation with Liverpool (in the Champions League last-16) that influenced the performances of that period.
“We are Inter, we are a great team. We have won two trophies (Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana) but now we are sorry to have finished second. We have made an extraordinary journey that has not been enough.
“I have to say that nobody likes being second, but this season will be difficult to forget.”
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in BengaluruEditing by Toby Davis)