Leonardo stunned by Inter Milan defeat

Inter Milan coach Leonardo suggested his players needed rest and some quiet but that is the last thing he and his team are likely to be afforded after a second three-goal defeat at the San Siro in four days.

The Brazilian's tactical failings were exposed again as his team collapsed to a 5-2 defeat at home to Schalke 04 in Tuesday's Champions League quarter-final, just as they were in the 3-0 Serie A defeat to neighbours AC Milan four days earlier.

"The first thing we need is to rest our heads," said Leonardo, looking surprisingly relaxed after the game. "We have a very mature squad and we need calm and rest. we need to use our energy on the pitch."

With Lucio suspended, Leonardo repeated Saturday's makeshift central defensive partnership of Andrea Ranocchia and Cristian Chivu, with equally disastrous results.

Left helpless by a lack of defensive cover, Ranocchia scored an own goal and the hapless Chivu was sent off for the second game running.

Inter looked capable of scoring with every attack but looked in even more danger of conceding a goal when their opponents swept forward.

Such gung-ho excitement would have been unthinkable under the revered Jose Mourinho, who led Inter to a Champions League, Serie A and cup treble last season.

Last season, Inter beat Chelsea 3-1 on aggregate in the last 16 and overcame CSKA Moscow 2-0 in the quarter-finals, the four games producing fewer goals than Tuesday's extravaganza which Schalke coach Ralf Rangnick said could have ended 10-5.

It sparked criticism from Gazzetta della Sport, coming after the previous round's 3-3 aggregate draw with Bayern Munich when a last minute away goal sent Inter through.

"The sink or swim philosophy which saved the title defence in Munich has this time mis-fired," said Gazzetta, harking back to the days of 'Special One' Mourinho.

"The fact is that the midfield gave their opponents too much room to play in, something that would never have happened in Mourhino's days.

"Mourinho always said that the Champions League is a question of details. The impression is that not enough attention has been paid to them in the absence of the Portuguese guru."

After falling five points behind Milan with seven games left in Serie A, the talk had before the match before the match had been of concentrating on defending their Champions League title.

Now, the Serie A looks a more realistic target than winning the second leg in Gelsenkirchen 4-0 or 6-3.

"I don't like to make excuses," said Leonardo. "All is not lost, we are five points behind and we have seven games left.

"We have to change this situation. We lost two important games but we must stay together and try to forget these heavy defeats."

The coach, who helped Inter cut the gap between themselves and AC Milan from 13 points after replacing Rafael Benitez, was given support by club president Massimo Moratti - for the time being at least.

"We have to stay calm," said Inter captain Javier Zanetti, echoing Leonardo's sentiments.

"Calm so that we can understand what the problems were and then start again, as we have many times in the past. We'll do it again this time.

"We certainly aren't going to throw away the good things we've done so far because of these two defeats. "Together we'll look forward."

Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
News
Jermain Defoe got loads of custard
i100
News
peoplePamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals
Arts and Entertainment
tvExecutive says content is not 'without any purpose'
News
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
News
newsChester Zoo have revealed their newest members
Sport
sportLeague Managers' Association had described Malky Mackay texts as 'friendly banter'
News
The video, titled 'A Message to America', was released a day after Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot that has overrun large parts of Iraq, threatened to attack Americans 'in any place'. U.S. officials said they were working to determine the video's authenticity
i100
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
tvSpielberg involved in bringing his 2002 film to the small screen
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape