Roberto Mancini cut a satisfied figure in his post-match press duties as he reacted to the Nerazzurri’s third straight league win, a 1-0 away victory over Torino courtesy of Geoffrey Kondogbia’s first-half goal.
"That’s the way we needed to play to beat Ventura’s side. They’re a difficult side to face and the risk was that if we didn’t score it could have turned out like the match at San Siro last year, when we dominated but ended up losing," began Mancini.
"The 3-5-2? We believed it was the best system to tackle them with and still keep two centre-forwards up there to cause them problems. We don’t yet have a strong enough team to keep on top of sides that have been together for a long time. The Icardi substitution? There’s no need to keep looking for controversy, Mauro just sat out one game. He started today and did his job. I took him off because he was tired and I needed fresh legs up front. We expect a lot of him because he’s a great centre-forward and we’re sure that he’ll be the top scorer at the end of the day."
"Palacio was training well and was in good shape. He worked hard and was an important part of the game until he tired and had to come off. All of the players have had to have a rest at some point, we’re trying to create a group and if we do a good job then everyone will have an important role. It’s not right to create controversy over who plays and who doesn’t. Kondogbia? The goal will be very beneficial for him, he’s won us a match against a very tough opponent. I hope it does him good."
"The Scudetto? The others have an advantage because they have been playing together for a long time. We’ve been together since August. We’re trying to create a quality group, with young players that have room for improvement. The secret to us conceding so few goals? We have a good goalkeeper, the defence itself is defending well and the midfield and forward lines are doing a great job. It’s down to the whole team."