Inter coach Walter Mazzarri conceded that the occasion got to his players after their 1-0 derby defeat to Milan on Sunday.
Nigel de Jong's second-half header proved to be the only goal of a drab Serie A encounter as Clarence Seedorf's side took city bragging rights and a step closer to securing a UEFA Europa League place.
And Mazzarri had little excuse for a lacklustre performance, as his players failed to match their usual level of intensity.
"We weren't ourselves, the tension got to us," Mazzarri told Sky Sport Italia after watching Inter fail to register a shot on target.
"We didn't play well, as everyone saw. We did better in the first half, but cared so much about this game that we used up a lot of nervous energy beforehand."
Despite the result, Mazzarri urged Inter to finish the season strongly and secure their own spot in next year's Europa League.
"Unfortunately, this season has been up and down. Milan were more vehement in the tackle and first to the ball, so they won," he added.
"Now we have to try and get as high up the table as possible; the situation is still in our hands and we've got to play better than this."