Inter Milan captain Mauro Icardi further enhanced his reputation as one of Europe’s best strikers with a hat-trick in a crazy 5-4 defeat to Fiorentina on Saturday evening.
The result leaves the Nerazzurri virtually out of the race for Europe but while there are plenty of players within Inter’s squad facing an uncertain future this summer, keeping hold of Icardi will be critical.
Matías Vecino put Fiorentina ahead before Ivan Perisic brought Inter level and Mauro Icardi slotted the visitors ahead before the break.
Federico Bernardeschi had a penalty saved for Fiorentina but a crazy 16-minute spell saw the Viola surge into a 5-2 lead.
With the match seemingly over, Icardi swivelled to fire in his second and then headed in from a corner in stoppage time to suddenly make a point for Inter seem possible.
An equaliser didn’t materialise and the defeat leaves Inter down in seventh with a Europa League spot looking unlikely.
Icardi’s hat-trick was the first by an Inter player away from home since Christian Vieri in 2001 but the nature of the side’s collapse dominates the headlines.
“There’s not much we can say, the second half was inexplicable,” captain Icardi said at full time.
“We should’ve finished the game off after the break, but instead conceded four goals in 15 minutes and we simply cannot afford to do that.
I cannot explain what is happening over the last month. Everything is going wrong, we seem unable to turn this situation around. It is us players and the staff who must find a way out of this negative period.
“It is not worthy of Inter to play the way we have been doing lately.”