Inter Milan coach Leonardo recognised the importance of the 1-0 Coppa Italia win over Roma on Monday.The cup is Inter’s only hope of silverware this season as they have already been knocked out of the Champions League and the race for the Serie A title.
“It was important to end our stream of negative results,” he said of the semi-final first leg win in the Italian capital.
“It is never as easy as it seems. Many factors make you lose confidence during a complex time. The victory here at the Olimpico was by no means a done deal and the lads did very well.”
“It was a game between two teams coming off defeats, so not a simple one to prepare for. We had to make our mark and did so early on, controlling the 90 minutes well.”
“It was a performance of great intelligence against a Roma side that was playing at home and had the same aim as us, so it wasn’t easy at all.”
“Maybe we could have worked better on the counter-attack to score the second goal, or towards the end of the game, but aside from the result, it was important to see the right attitude on the pitch and the team proved they have it.”
Inter captain Javier Zanetti was also delighted.
“Yes, it was an important win – particularly after two weeks of bad results – and I think it will be useful for the rest of the season,” Zanetti said.
“Roma has always been always a great team. We are used to playing against them and the response we gave on the pitch today was important.”
“The team remained compact, we managed to react in moments of difficulty and tonight we gave a very good response.”
Meanwhile, Roma midfielder Daniele de Rossi blamed the inability to take their chances as the reason for the loss.
“We played our game and we played at the same standard, but in the end we didn’t have much luck,” de Rossi said.
“Of course you are responsible for your own success, but we could have made better use of our chances.”
“Look at the goal for example – we cannot say we were unlucky because it was a great shot from a great champion – but that doesn’t happen very often.”
“We are a bit disheartened but it isn’t over, because history tells us we can win in Milan.”
“We have won various times in Milan. It has always been an open game against them so we can do it, but we are disheartened because we are not finishing games with the results we want – even when the performances are good, as it was today.”