Inter put in quite the performance as they thrashed Cagliari at San Siro in Serie A Matchday 17. Lautaro Martinez netted twice while Alexis Sanchez and Hakan Calhanoglu were also among the goals as Simone Inzaghi's side went top of the league. The coach spoke after the game:
"The lads were great. We needed to focus and not let our guard down as if was a different kind of game against an organised Cagliari team. What's more, all teams who'd been playing in Europe this week had struggled in the league this weekend.
"I've congratulated the lads. Even though we were only 1-0 up at the break we knew that we needed to keep on going in order to seal the match and that's just what we did.
"The team has lived up to what I was after from them. They've given me their all since I joined the club. That's our strength as a team; regardless of who plays. We haven't had the best of times in recent weeks but the lads have shown that they're up for the fight when called upon. I'd like the team to carry on this way. We're top of the league and we're in the Champions League last 16 for the first time in 11 years. These were our aims in the first half of the season; we even qualified for the knockouts with a game to spare. Inter deserve to be on this stage.
"We have a clear idea of what we want to do. We were lagging a bit in the league but we never let this bother up and we've mustered up some good results and cut the deficit.
"We're top and we want to keep it that way, yet the league is always unpredictable. We were seven or eight points off the top but we cut the gap. We believe in ourselves but we can't let up because on Friday we're back in action in what'll be a demanding game. There's a long road ahead but the team has struck a balance.
"As for Lautaro who scored a brace despite missing a penalty: he's our main spot taker, followed by Hakan Calhonoglu and Ivan Perisic. Unfortunately he didn't score from the spot but he did in his last attempt. If you never take a penalty you'll never miss one, but when I was a player I realised that misses can be frequent. Lautaro needs to keep on working hard; he's scored in the last few games, and he always gives his all in training too. He's got a goalscoring instinct, he's a real team player as well, as such I'm delighted for his performance and those of his fellow forwards."