Inter Milan players were furious with referee Gianluca Rocchi they fell to a 3-0 home defeat to Napoli in Serie A – manager Claudio Ranieri’s first defeat as manager of the Nerazzuri.
Nigerian midfielder Joel Obi was sent off for a second booking in giving away a penalty at the end of the first half of Saturday’s game.
But television replays showed his foul on Christian Maggio was outside the box while his first booking was given despite him winning the ball cleanly.
Although Marek Hamsik’s penalty was saved, Hugo Campagnaro scored on the follow-up before Maggio and Hamsik added second-half goals.
Campagnaro was also inside the area when the penalty was struck but in fairness to him, so too were three Inter defenders, all of whom encroached before he did.
Inter goalkeeper Julio Cesar, who was booked for his vociferous protests during the game, kept them up after the final whistle.
“The referee really made too many mistakes. I never complain about referees but it was shameful,” he told Inter’s in-house TV channel.
“It wasn’t a penalty and then Campagnaro was in the area, you can’t do that, it has to be re-taken.
“It’s really a shame because it was a great atmosphere, a great game, a great first half but he (Rocchi) ruined everything.
“Obi’s booking was ridiculous. He needs to lift his head and keep going because he didn’t do anything wrong.”
Argentine midfielder Esteban Cambiasso felt nothing needed to be said and that the pictures told their own story.
“I’m very disappointed, everything was there for a great game, a very tight one,” he said.
“Even the coolest heads in the world could not have handled that game in a certain way.
“The images say more than words. We were penalised but it wasn’t Napoli’s fault.”
Inter captain Javier Zanetti, who like Cesar was booked for screaming at the referee, was more measured after the game.
“We had a great first half against a very good team but we feel bitter because if one side deserved (to win) it was us,” he said.
“We have to keep going, unfortunately this is football. There were many dubious incidents which seemed to all go against us.
“We tried to ask for explanations but not too much because otherwise we risked getting sent off.”
Japan full-back Yuto Nagatomo held his hand up for the second goal in which he was in front of Maggio but hesitated as Cesar came out, with both Inter players leaving the ball and allowing the Napoli wing-back to stick out a foot and lob the goalkeeper.
“I’m sorry about the second goal, there was a misunderstanding between Julio Cesar and me,” he said.
“Napoli played well, they’re a good team but some refereeing decisions changed the game.”
No-one, however, was more angry than Inter president Massimo Moratti.
“I’m not disappointed at all because I think we played very well,” he said.
“In fact, this game has given me a lot of hope, almost a certainty, that we will have a very good season.
“As for anger, I’m disappointed with the refereeing which was so bad and stayed bad for the entire 90 minutes.
“I hope something is done and that he never referees us again because honestly we don’t like him and he’s someone who has done a lot of harm to us.
“He was terrible, terrible.
“Napoli are an excellent team but you can’t say they deserved to win because it was a match that at a certain point was stupidly, very stupidly, ruined.”