Antonio Conte is within the firing line with one other Champions League failure looming as his Inter Milan aspect head to Borussia Moenchengladbach on Tuesday with their hopes of reaching the knock-out stage hanging by a thread.
The three-time European champions are backside of Group B with simply two factors from 4 video games, six factors behind leaders Gladbach.
Actual Madrid — the report 13-time winners — are one level behind the Germans in second place and three away from Ukrainian aspect Shakhtar Donetsk with two matches to play.
An Italian staff has not gained a European trophy since Inter secured the Champions League to finish a treble beneath Jose Mourinho in 2010.
And Inter want a miracle to keep away from a 3rd consecutive exit within the group stage.
In opposition to Gladbach, the 1977 European Cup runners-up, there will probably be no room for error.
The groups settled for a 2-2 draw on the San Siro final month, with Romelu Lukaku scoring each objectives for the hosts.
Inter must win after which beat Shakhtar, whereas additionally hoping different outcomes go their means.
For former Juventus and Chelsea supervisor Conte, who took over at Inter in 2019, his European report has been persistently disappointing.
Conte tasted European glory as a participant with Juventus, within the 1995/96 Champions League.
However the 51-year-old’s finest end result as a coach was main Juventus to the 2012/13 quarter-finals.
He took Chelsea to the final 16 in 2017-2018, however this threatens to be his fourth failure to make it into the knock-out rounds.
An exit from the profitable match would show pricey for Inter, who this week revealed losses of 102.4 million euros ($122.4m) for 2019/2020, largely blamed on the coronavirus pandemic.
Membership president Steven Zhang however hailed Conte as “a real chief” who would restore the Chinese language-owned aspect to their former glories.
“Final season’s aim was to begin making a successful mentality, then attempt to cut back the hole with our rivals,” mentioned Zhang.
– ‘For higher or for worse’ –
Final season, Conte took Inter to a second-place end in Serie A, only one level behind Juventus, and to the Europa League ultimate the place they misplaced to Sevilla.
He had regarded set to depart after only one season following a livid outburst following their defeat by Sevilla, complaining each he and the gamers obtained “little safety from the membership”.
“I do not need one other 12 months like that,” fumed Conte earlier than confirming he would keep after clear-the-air talks.
A divorce would have proved pricey together with his contract operating till 2022 and price a reported 12 million euros ($14 million) a season.
This season Inter have ceaselessly needed to come from behind, battling again from two objectives right down to equalise earlier than Actual Madrid snatched a 3-2 victory in Spain.
In addition they got here from two objectives right down to beat Torino 4-2 every week in the past, however convincingly gained 3-0 in opposition to Sassuolo on Saturday to maneuver second in Serie A.
However Conte admitted his aspect had been outplayed by Actual Madrid within the 2-0 defeat final day out in Europe, not simply due to Arturo Vidal’s first-half sending off for arguing with the referee.
“Accountability must be shared and we have to be united, for higher or for worse,” mentioned Conte.
“In constructive and damaging moments, all of us must take credit score and accountability. We’re all in the identical boat and we’re all rowing in the identical route.”
In opposition to Gladbach, Conte will probably be relying on the attacking duo of Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez, who’ve scored 10 of Inter’s 14 Champions League objectives prior to now two seasons.
Alexis Sanchez additionally scored in opposition to Sassuolo, discovering the online in two consecutive league fixtures for the primary time since December 2017 when he was at Arsenal.
However former Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen has been more and more sidelined, wanting set to depart after only a 12 months in January.
“It will be troublesome since they seem to be a robust opponent, as we noticed at San Siro,” mentioned Inter full-back Matteo Darmian.
“However we’ll maintain making an attempt till our exit is mathematically confirmed.”