Inter defender Andrea Ranocchia is glad that his team managed to get out of their Coppa Italia round of sixteen tie against Empoli, but acknowledges that they were not at their best.
Speaking to InterTV, the 33-year-old admitted that the Nerazzurri looked off their usual game at times but emphasized that the most important thing was that they fought to get the win and head to the next round.
The Nerazzurri came into the match with a heavily rotated eleven from their Serie A clash with Atalanta over the weekend, as did their opposition, and in the first half they looked to be just about capable of getting the job done.
During the second half, however, a raft of substitutions by Empoli coach Aurelio Andreazzoli allowed the Tuscans to gain control of the match and overturn the deficit to lead 2-1.
It was Ranocchia who rescued his team with a sensational acrobatic volley late in normal time before Stefano Sensi came off the bench to win it in extra time to book the team a place in the quarter-finals.
“I’m happy that I managed to score but above all that we made it to the next round,” Ranocchia stated, “it took us an extra half an hour but that’s ok.”
He acknowledged that “There was a bit of rust, many of the players on the pitch didn’t have that many minutes in their legs, but the important thing is that we went through.”
“I’m happy because we managed to equalize late which gave us the platform to go on and win it,” the captain on the night stated. “I’m happy to have scored.”
“We suffered at times and we lacked balance,” Ranocchia further reflected. “These are things that we need to fix, but there were guys who hadn’t played in a while, so it’s something that we can get better at.”
He looked forward, stating that “Now we’ll take a moment to recover and then tomorrow start preparing for Venezia, another important match.”