It's not like Moggi's days...

Inter it seems are finally paying the price for being a tad too successful.

Two games and two red cards surely isn’t the sort of treatment that a league leader would expect to receive from the men in fluorescent yellow.

It wouldn’t have been like this in the not-so-distant past when Mr Moggi was ensuring that Juventus always had that little extra security in the bank. But times have changed.

Only last week, conspiracy theories were abound that the dodgy decisions were now favouring the Nerazzurri especially when it came to penalties. Seven for and just one against was cited as reason enough that, just like the streets of Naples, Italian football could not get rid of its dirty waste.

Yet Inter have failed to finish their last two matches with a full complement of players. Nicolas Burdisso was given a straight red against Juve in the Italian Cup last week even though Nelson Rivas was still the last man as Alex Del Piero tried to find an extra spurt in those aging legs. Then on Sunday, at Udinese, Cesar was given a second yellow  even though replays showed he had won the ball cleanly.

The champs, for their part, failed to win either game and Roberto Mancini was left to ruminate whether to start next week’s second leg dust-up in Torino already a man down. Well, as an Italian saying has it (there’s one for every occasion): “There’s no two without three …”

And here’s another: “It’s not the salami that makes you feel bad it’s the knife…” Carlo Ancelotti certainly twisted the sharp blade into Alberto Gilardino on Sunday. Dropped to the bench to allow a teenager to grab all the glory, the striker was left to brood for 89 minutes before making a token appearance – and that was only so Alexandre Pato could milk the applause in the 2-0 win over Genoa.

Fair enough, of course, the Brazilian wonder-kid had scored both goals as the Rossoneri laboured through the afternoon as if they had been overdoing the cured meats. However, maybe a little respect should have been in order for the much put-upon Gila who was thrown on as a last-hope at Udinese last weekend and grabbed the winner.

This time around it just leaves a bad taste in the month.

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