Inter captain Samir Handanovic feels that he and his teammates managed a significant result in not falling to defeat in a tough away match against Atalanta even though they failed to take three points.
Speaking Italian broadcaster DAZN after the match, the 37-year-old expressed the view that the draw was a fair result on the balance of play, and also emphasized that the team were still recovering from their tiring Supercoppa win on Wednesday.
Inter and Atalanta had played out a thrilling 2-2 draw the last time they met in Serie A, at the San Siro in September, but this time it was not to be as neither side could get on the scoresheet.
The two sides came into the match as the most and third-most prolific attacks in Serie A respectively, but a combination of poor finishing and good goalkeeping meant that neither found the cutting edge needed to break through.
The Nerazzurri dropped points for the first time since their 1-1 draw with AC Milan in the derby in November and gave Milan and Napoli a chance to gain ground, but they also held off a Scudetto rival at a difficult away ground.
“We could have won and we could have lost,” Handanovic reflected. “The result is the right one, playing against Atalanta is never easy.”
“We had exerted a lot on Wednesday,” he went on, “so let’s take this point and start thinking about the next match.”
On a match where, in addition to several fine saves, Handanovic also showed his adeptness with the ball at his feet, the keeper stated that “Today I often had the ball because we had so much taken out of us Wednesday, and so there was less movement than usual.”
He added that “The goalkeeper must know how to play with the ball.”
On his excellent stop one-on-one with La Dei striker Luis Muriel, the Slovenian stated that “I focused on the ball, we train for this. I’ve been familiar with Muriel for years, it was not necessary to study him too much.”
And on whether the possibility of falling behind to Milan, albeit with a game in hand, could put pressure on he and his teammates, Handanovic was unequivocal.
“Absolutely not,” he stated. “Half the season is still to be played, we have one game in hand. There is no pressure, we have to keep going like this. When you can’t win, you at least draw.”