UEFA Champions League


Simone Inzaghi has been speaking to the media ahead of Inter’s Champions League clash against Sheriff Tiraspol on Tuesday.

From your analysis of Sheriff’s first two games, have you worked out what Shakhtar and Real Madrid got wrong in their defeats?

“Sheriff didn’t win their first two games by accident. They’ll be full of positivity. They defend deep, they’re well organised and they have players that are dangerous on the break. We’ll need to attack well but it’s important we keep our shape too. This is a crucial game in our Champions League campaign.”

The stats show that Inter have created more chances than any other team in Europe’s top five leagues, but you’ve not scored in the Champions League yet and you concede quite a few goals. How can you define this team?

“I was aware of that stat. My teams have always created a lot of chances. We have the best attacking record in the league, but unfortunately we’ve conceded a few too many goals. The defeat on Saturday was really disappointing – the players were furious. I like that because it means they’re winners. We need to be strong in possession against Sheriff and take our chances. We always create a lot, regardless of who we’re playing.”

Do Inter have a Champions League problem? The team has struggled in Europe in previous years too.

“No, we don’t have any mental block in Europe. Against Real Madrid it was a mixture of chance and lack of precision. We have a great opportunity now to find the net again and go for the win.”

Have you watched the Lazio match back? What did you make of it?

“We analysed it straight after the game on Saturday and having watched it back, my mind is even more made up. For 65 minutes, it was our best away performance of the season. The problem was that we failed to score the second goal and that kept Lazio in the game. We made a mistake for the penalty, then the last 15 minutes was definitely a spell to forget. A good team like ours needs to stay in games. The lads were disappointed and angry – the defeat hurt and we all want to produce a big reaction.”

How much will that anger play a part tomorrow?

“We need desire, aggression and determination. We know it’s not going to be an easy game, but it’s a crucial one for us. We need to show intelligence and composure and get the win.”

Are you planning on bringing Alexis Sanchez into the team?

“Both Sanchez and [Arturo] Vidal trained well after they got back from South America. They had a good session. I’m pleased that Alexis’ fitness is improving after three consecutive games with his country. He can definitely be an asset for us.”

Last year the team started off using a very attacking style, but it was when they dropped deeper that the march towards the title really began. Do you think you might adopt a similar approach?

“We’re trying to improve our defending, but at the same time we could have scored more goals than we have. We still need to perfect our team play.”

(Photo LaPresse)