Inter manager Luciano Spalletti has insisted that his side were considerably below their usual best after the Nerazzurri were beaten 2-0 against Barcelona at the Camp Nou.
Il Biscione fell behind through Rafinha's strike in the 31st minute, before Jordi Alba doubled the lead in the 83rd minute to seal the victory and maintain the Catalans' perfect start to the competition.
The defeat ended Inter's 100 per cent record in this season's campaign, after victories against PSV Eindhoven and Tottenham Hotspur, and Spalletti suggested that they failed to approach the encounter in the same manner as their previous two.
As quoted by Inter's website, Spalletti said: "We didn’t show as much character compared to our first two Champions League games. We weren’t courageous enough and the opposition made the most of our attitude. We didn't do as much as we can. We also could’ve scored over the course of the game but they were stronger than us and deserved to win. They play well, passing the ball quickly and thinking fast."
The Nerazzurri started on the back-foot and despite seeing glimpses of the ball, they were careless in possession. They made several sloppy passes and Spalletti suggested that his side never really did enough with the ball in contrast to the Catalans, who utilised the ball well.
"Every time we won the ball back, we didn’t manage possession in the best way, particularly during the first half. Therefore, we struggled in terms of order and energy expended. We should’ve been more aggressive in winning the ball back and then more precise in possession. You can’t just play on the counter-attack when you come to Camp Nou."
Elsewhere in the Group, PSV Eindhoven salvaged a point against ten-men Tottenham Hotspur at home, which opened up a five-point gap between the two sides and Inter. However, Spalletti indicated that the onus is on his side, who need to do more for themselves, instead of relying on others.
"It’s true, but if we want to aim high we can’t worry too much about this. We played without hitting our potential and we just need to think about doing better, starting from the next match."
Rafinha, scorer of Barcelona's opener, spent six months on loan with the Italian outfit last season and helped La Beneamata to a fourth-place finish that clinched a return to the Champions League. Spalletti praised his former acquisition and commented on his influence on the outcome of the match.
"It was a pleasure for me to see him again on the pitch. Technically, he’s very good and he certainly made an important contribution in keeping possession of the ball for the Blaugrana."