Extra time was once again on Inter’s side for the second time in the space of a week. After the winning goal in the Super Cup arrived in the 120th minute, this time it was Stefano Sensi’s strike with 104 minutes on the clock that made all the difference and secured a comeback victory over a battling Empoli.
“All the games in the round of 16 have been tight,” explained Simone Inzaghi. “We knew we were up against a quality team. We should’ve scored more goals in the first half, but their goalkeeper made some miraculous saves. In the second half, things weren’t quite clicking and we lost our heads. We had to dig in after they scored, but the players did so well not to give up because we wanted to give everything to qualify.”
The boss also addressed the transfer rumours surrounding match-winner Sensi: “It’s normal for other clubs to be interested in Stefano because he has some brilliant attributes but I’ll hold on to him for as long as he’s an Inter player. He deserved an evening like this because he hasn’t had many chances in the last few months, but he’s consistently trained hard. I think so much of him because he's a top player with real quality. If Stefano wants to stay, I’ll happily keep him because he’s a fantastic weapon to have. He has to assess the situation and as an intelligent guy, he’ll know what to decide. I’m pleased for him.”
The Inter coach also discussed the injury to Joaquin Correa and early introduction of the Chilean striker: “Sanchez adds so much to the team. He’s had plenty of playing time in recent games and he deserves it because of his performances. The injury to Tucu is the only blotch tonight. It wasn’t what we needed after he came back and was finally fit. We hope to have him back soon but it seemed to be quite a big problem.”