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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep, 28, 2006

Italian media hit out at 'crazy' Inter

MILAN, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Italian media pilloried Inter Milan for their lack of self-control on Thursday after the Italian champions had two men sent off in a 2-0 Champions League defeat by rivals Bayern Munich.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's pair of yellow cards and Fabio Grosso's straight red for elbowing Willy Sagnol in the face during Wednesday's match were the latest evidence, they said, of the team's tendency to self-destruct.

Midfielder Patrick Vieira had already picked up red cards in Inter's Champions League opener against Sporting Lisbon and last week's Serie A match against AS Roma.

'Inter, Are You Crazy?' asked the front page of Thursday's La Gazzetta dello Sport, which described how Ibrahimovic and Grosso's dismissals cards had 'short-circuited' the team.

'Inter put themselves in trouble,' ran the headline in Corriere dello Sport, while La Stampa settled for 'Inter also lose face'.

The result left the team that Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho described earlier this month as 'the best in the world' bottom of Champions League Group B with zero points from two matches.

With home and away fixtures against Spartak Moscow, a home match with Sporting Lisbon and a trip to Germany to play Bayern still to come, the team face a battle to qualify for the knockout phase of the competition.

Ibrahimovic's strike partner, Hernan Crespo, said he was confident the team could still go through.

'We've still got time to sort things out. If we can take nine points from the next three games, then we can go to Bayern with a lot of confidence,' the Argentine was quoted as saying in La Gazzetta dello Sport

'Of course, if we manage to finish a match with 11 men it will make life easier for ourselves too.'

Inter coach Roberto Mancini also tried to put a positive spin on the result, reminding his players that back-to-back wins in their next two matches against Spartak could lift them up to second place.

History, however, suggests that a good run in the competition is unlikely.

Only four teams have managed to qualify from their group after losing their first two matches - Dynamo Kiev in 1999-2000, Newcastle and Bayer Leverkusen in the 2002-03 season, and Werder Bremen last season - and none of them went further than the last 16.

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