Media unimpressed with Inter
Inter Milan received no sympathy from the Italian media on Thursday morning following their exit from the Champions League.
Last year's winners lost 2-1 at Schalke on Wednesday night and crashed out of the competition with a 7-3 aggregate defeat in the quarter-final tie.
Gazzetta dello Sport's headline read: "Inter ... game over. No miracle, the reigning champions go out badly in the Champions League."
Ahead of their trip to Germany, Inter players had urged fans to believe that a comeback was possible but it was not to be as Schalke progressed through to meet Manchester United in the last four.
Tuttosport's main headline read: "Inter, end of story. No record comeback, as Inter lose 2-1 at Schalke to see their adventure in the Champions League end in the quarter-finals."
Inter fans had hoped Leonardo's men would show the same character they had displayed in the previous round when they beat Bayern Munich 3-2 at the Allianz Arena after losing the first leg 1-0 in Milan, but the Italians failed to create enough chances against Schalke.
Rome-based Corriere dello Sport's headline read: "Inter give up. Bitter end for the reigning champions who are also beaten by Schalke in the return leg."
In a La Repubblica editorial, the newspaper writes that Inter "must start over" after their humiliating exit.
The Nerazzurri won a Serie A, Champions League and Coppa Italia treble last season under former coach Jose Mourinho. This season, they are still alive in the Coppa Italia and are third in Serie A, five points behind league leaders AC Milan but La Repubblica suggested it may be the end of an era.
"Goodbye to the great Inter," the paper stated. "Inter were but a shadow of last season's Inter."
Repubblica also questioned Leonardo's tactics at Schalke. The editorial read: "Inter had already lost the tie in Milan. I believe Leonardo made a mistake regarding the approach to the game.
"There were no tactics to plan or moves to study; the only thing needed was to get balls into the area and fire towards the net from the first second of the game until the end."