Inter boss Simone Inzaghi has said that Inter’s match with Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday is more important than tonight’s win against Napoli, according to a report in the Italian broadcast media this evening.
Speaking to DAZN after the 3-2 win over Napoli, via FCInternews, Simone Inzaghi placed the emphasis on the Champions League fixture to come next week.
“It was a key game, but the most important is in three days. Yesterday I hid it a bit and I didn’t tell the boys.
“We deservedly beat a very strong team, a great match and I congratulated the boys. We suffered a bit in the final stages, also given the many trips with the national teams, but that’s okay.”
When asked about the drop in intensity from Inter towards the end of the match, Simone Inzaghi explained that injuries and the international break were the primary factors.
“I had players out, Dzeko not at his best, players returning from the national teams, Correa changed him for a problem.
“Normal then, seeing eight minutes of added time brings a bit of fear, even considering the other games not won by a whisker. All normal.”
Inter missed a vital penalty against AC Milan two weeks ago and were awarded one in the first half against Napoli. Simone Inzaghi says he let the players choose who will take it.
“This morning Lautaro, Perisic and Calhanoglu practised penalties: three goals each and then I said ‘you do it.’ They showed character and personality.”
For large parts of the game Inter had more possession than Napoli which is unusual for the Azzurri but Simone Inzaghi says this was done on purpose.
“We also prepared for the game like this. They are first in Serie A for possession and with organized pressure and courage, we made them stay close to 50%. Then we took the chance to win.”
The Inter manager also focused on the performance of Nicolo Barella against Fabian Ruiz, saying: “He was very good. Usually, Napoli builds with three, but today they remained more positioned at four, so we changed something in the match. Barella and Brozovic had a great game.”
Lautaro Martinez scored his first Inter goal since October 2 but Simone Inzaghi reiterated that he was calm about the situation.
“I had already been asked yesterday at the conference and I said I was not worried. There are moments, I know it well as a former striker.
“Tonight he scored a great goal, but I could see he was calm: he has personality, he loves this shirt so let’s go on with him, Dzeko, Correa and Sanchez when he comes back. I’m satisfied with all of them.”
In terms of fighting for the Scudetto, Simone Inzaghi says Inter must carry on like this but the Champions League is really important too.
“We must continue like this. We have the Champions League in mind because it has been so many years that we haven’t gotten out of the groups.
“Now we have a great opportunity, despite a few too many injuries. We have lost a few points because the Champions League is really very important for us.”