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Garcia blames poor first half for Inter loss

19 October 2011 09:40

Lille coach Rudi Garcia said his side's poor first-half cost them at least a point in their 1-0 Champions League loss to Inter Milan.

A Giampaolo Pazzini goal against the run of play after 21 minutes condemned the Ligue 1 champions to defeat at Lille Metropole and leaves them bottom of the Group B with just two points.

Lille have hardly received the rewards they deserve after surrendering a two-goal lead in their opening fixture with CSKA Moscow, in a 2-2 draw, and failing to take advantage of Trabzonspor in a 1-1 draw, despite having the better of both sides.

Add to that the harsh loss to Inter, despite an inventive second half, and Garcia's men face a stiff task to qualify from the group with just two games remaining.

"We were too respectful in the first half and Inter managed to break the deadlock," Garcia said.

"Unfortunately, my team were not rewarded for their hard work in the second half as Inter defended well. Our stats are good but we were not clinical enough."

The 47-year-old paid tribute to Inter's qualities and professionalism, despite the Serie A club languishing in 17th place domestically.

"We played a coherent team who were united and quite experienced," explained Garcia. "We lost to a high-level side with very good players, even if they are struggling in the league."

"They do well in Europe, won in Moscow (3-2 against CSKA) and we knew it would be a tough game. However, a draw would have been fair."

"Now we are bottom of the section but have nothing to lose in Milan or Moscow," he said.

Pazzini, who scored the game's decisive goal, believed Inter's win in Lille would help build confidence after a disappointing start to their Serie A season.

"It is an important victory and, even if we struggled in the second half, we needed this result too much," Pazzini said.

"I got a decisive goal and I am happy. Of course we know that there is a lot of work to be done and we must improve, but victories help everything to go more smoothly."

The Nerazzurri are now top of their group and favourites to qualify, but are just shy of the relegation zone in Serie A after two consecutive defeats.

"It's pointless asking what has happened so far this season (in Serie A), as we must look to the future and put in the effort to climb back up.

"Obviously the return of Thiago Motta and Wesley Sneijder was important, as you can see the difference when they are fit."

In the other game in Group B on Tuesday, CSKA Moscow defeated Turkish side Trabzonspor 3-0 in Russia, with both sides behind Inter (six) on four points.

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Info

Competition
UEFA Champions League
Date
18 October 2011
Game week
3
Kick-off
20:45
Half-time
0 - 1
Full-time
0 - 1

Goals

0 - 1
21' G. Pazzini
 (assist by M. Zárate)

Lineups

# Player Bookings
16
25
2
18
22 43'
26
4
24
17 55'
10
8
Coach: R. Garcia

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
7
11
5
30
14
21
27
# Player Bookings
20
5
22
12
16
42
48

Wednesday 23 July

Tuesday 22 July

23:55
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02:23
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Monday 21 July

22:40
22:38
21:56
21:31
20:39
20:29
19:16
19:11
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18:06
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16:59
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02:15

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