The Viola were set to emerge from Milan with three points after Giuseppe Rossi’s penalty on the hour mark, but were left empty handed after goals from Esteban Cambiasso and Jonathan swung the match in Inter’s favour.
But Montella, although pleased with his side's display, lamented the way they afforded the Nerazzurri a route back into the encounter.
“It was a great performance with character, and the only thing I didn’t like was the result,” said Montella to Sky Sport Italia.
“We carry on our principles of football against a tough opponent. We seemed to have the game in hand and a few ricochets went against us. Just as we thought we had it under control, we conceded two odd goals.
“We have players who need to grow, but the team showed that it is a team. It would be churlish to cling to injuries just because we lost. I’ll keep the performance and with it I have to keep the defeat."
Montella did feel that his side got too comfortable with a one-goal lead, however, and cautioned his team against the dangers of complacency.
“It was our mistake to feel as if we had the game under control and allowed Inter back into it,” he reflected. It can happen to lose the ball in midfield and often does, but if you’re lucky then nothing happens, if you’re unlucky then you concede a goal.
“I think the first half was played at a high tempo and I saw Inter struggling as much as we were at the break. Up until their equaliser, Inter seemed to lack any insight or change of gear, so much that even the crowd started grumbling."
Goalscorer Rossi has been in solid form for Fiorentina, with six goals in all competitions already for the season, and Montella is hoping that the forward earns a recall to the Italy national team after missing much of the last two seasons through injury.
“Selfishly I’d like to keep him, but this lad dreams of going back to the national team and I hope he can be made happy. I can see how eager he is to get back in the Azzurri jersey,” he concluded.