Samuel Eto'o headbutt controversy as Inter Milan lose again

Under-pressure Internazionale coach Rafa Benitez has defended striker Samuel Eto’o for an alleged headbutting incident during the 2-1 defeat at Chievo.

Eto’o was caught by TV cameras butting home defender Bostjan Cesar in the chest and he could yet face retrospective action from the Italian Football Federation.



Benitez said after the game: “You can see he got punched and was provoked. He reacted this way and lost control.



“It’s a shame, but there are four officials on the field and if they didn’t consider it to be an incident worth acting on, then clearly that’s their opinion.”



Of his own position with the Nerazzurri, Benitez added: “Clearly after a defeat nobody is happy, but the players worked hard and showed what they had to in terms of character.



“Clearly a side like ours has to win a game of this nature, but the lads did work hard.



“I am a professional coach and have already lived through situations like this. The only way to change the tide is to work and today I saw the players look for the victory.”



AC Milan head coach Massimiliano Allegri was full of praise for his side after they secured a narrow 1-0 win at home to Fiorentina to remain top of the Serie A table.



A Zlatan Ibrahimovic strike right on half-time proved decisive in the San Siro, with Allegri admitting that his team had had to fight all the way for three points.



He told Sky Italia: “We secured a suffering victory this evening.



“This victory is an important sign of the unity within the side. We have reached a mental balance that is also evident in training during the week.



“I also believe the side showed real character, because the win came while under pressure. We never lost our concentration and were gritty right to the end.



“There is Serie A and the Champions League. I am glad to note that the players put in a strong performance every time,



“I am happy for the entire squad and praise must be paid to the boys at the back who rolled up their sleeves and battled when they looked to come back at us.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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.

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there