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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Inter Milan earned two penalties in first half against Juventus - Stefano Pioli

Mauro Icardi complained to referee Nicola Rizzoli after Inter's defeat.

Inter coach Stefano Pioli insisted his side should have been awarded two penalties in the first half of Sunday's 1-0 Derby d'Italia defeat to Juventus.

Juan Cuadrado scored Juventus' only goal before the break, but Pioli thought Mauro Icardi had earlier earned a pair of penalties that were not awarded by referee Nicola Rizzoli.

The coach said he believed Giorgio Chiellini hit Icardi with an elbow and that Mario Mandzukic's tackle prevented the Inter man from getting to a rebound.

Tempers threatened to boil over at the final whistle -- Ivan Perisic was sent off for dissent and Icardi appeared to kick the ball just past Rizzoli -- but Pioli said the anger stemmed from the first half.

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"There was some tension at the final whistle, certainly, because of the Perisic red card, but also the two penalties in the first half," Pioli told Sky Sport Italia.

"We played on level terms with Juventus and created the chances, but the incidents did not favour us. The images are clear, Mandzukic's tackle was a penalty and it should've been awarded.

"I used to be a defender, so I can tell Chiellini lost his man and lifted his elbow on Icardi. That's the regret, that we lost because of a distraction on their goal and for mistakes that were not our own. These were important incidents and all those decisions went one way.

"It was an entertaining game with two teams who fought hard and gave their all. It's not easy to score against Juventus and we had situations where we didn't make the right decisions."

Pioli's frustrations were heightened after Cuadrado scored from a long-range strike just before the half-time whistle.

"I got angry on the goal, before the corner, because we didn't take the positions that we should've done and Cuadrado had been threatening to do that for a while," Pioli said.

"In the first half there were some decisions in the Juventus area that penalised us. We created the right opportunities, there were two penalties for us in the first half, with the additional referee just 23 centimetres away.

Pioli also explained some tactical changes, saying: "We respected Juventus in every area. I moved [Danilo] D'Ambrosio from one flank to the other, as he seemed in the best shape to counter Cuadrado, while I put [Jeison] Murillo in Mandzukic's zone because of their physical strength."

The defeat capped a disappointing week which also saw Inter crash out of the Coppa Italia, ending a string of nine straight wins, though Pioli remained optimistic.

"To become a really great team we need to take care of all the little details. This performance proved to us that we are a good side and we're on the right track."

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