Serie A TIM

CONTE: "NORMAL THAT THERE WAS PRESSURE, IMPORTANT WIN AGAINST A GOOD TEAM"

In their seventh consecutive league victory, Inter beat Atalanta and re-established their six-point lead on AC Milan. It was a goal from Skriniar in the 54th minute that decided the Monday night fixture.

This is what Antonio Conte had to say after the match:

The team celebration at the end of the game didn't seem like a normal celebration. Did you feel like this match could have been a large obstacle for your title hopes?
"We have re-established our lead and it adds even more pressure to know that you're playing your game in hand after all the other contenders have won their respective fixtures. There was a lot in it but we hope to carry on improving from now until the end, it's also important to mention that Atalanta is a tough team that takes points from all of the big sides. They were warier than they had been in previous games against us, so these are three important points won against an excellent side. Beating Atalanta is also important for our title hopes. because they are a team with a great mindset and they could also have their say in the title race."

How important is it to win even with only one shot on target?
"We missed some great chances, two involving Romelu (Lukaku). We could have done better because the chances were important, but we wasted them when we failed to finish in front of goal. We could have done more but it was a very tactical match. Whoever plays against us has to do something extra, Atalanta changed something and I don't think that they had any great chances, except maybe the two consecutive corners where we were too soft. We produced very little, but Atalanta produced even less."

Inter always score and have the league’s best attack. But was the key to transforming this team from a defensive standpoint?
“We played against the second-best attack in the league today and that must not be forgotten. We found the right balance and the boys are doing well in the various phases of the game. We have learned how to choose when to wait and when to push. We did well to find the right mix and it was the step we needed to take this season because we needed to be more consistent in both phases.”

Application, discipline, they all seem to respect your values. Is that right?
“All of the lads are totally committed and devoted to the cause. This evening, for example, we need to give a hand to Lautaro because he wasn’t just involved going forward, but in defence as well. He sacrificed a lot because Atalanta tried to occupy the space in behind Vidal and then Eriksen, and Lauti dropped deep to help. And he also managed to cause them issues when he could. We’ll need everybody to make sacrifices if we’re to reach our goal. My praise also goes to those that aren’t playing so much, because the lads that have been here for a while, like D’Ambrosio and Ranocchia, give us strength. It’s only right that we thank these players, like Kolarov, Ashley Young, Vecino and all the others that allow us to have this great application. Now, we have two tough fixtures against Torino and Sassuolo and we need to continue in this manner without thinking about what’s come before. Tomorrow, the boys will rest, recharge and then we’ll prepare for these upcoming games.”

(Photo Getty Images)

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