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Written By Onyeka Daniel

Last season, Inter Milan got to the final of the UEFA Champions League, defeated by English Premier League side, Manchester City, and since then, the Nerazzurri have gone from strength to strength. Since then, they’ve only lost just once in 27 games played after that loss with their 2-0 win over Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico another impressive result for Simone Inzaghi and his boys.

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After the win, a result that let them spread their lead at the top of the table to four points against Juventus in second place, the former Lazio manager was full of praise for his players and also made a revelation on who he thinks Inter will be facing in the knockout stages of the UCL. ‘I think we’re getting Manchester City.’

The Nerazzurri were ruthless when pouncing on defensive errors at the Stadio Olimpico, as Lautaro Martinez intercepted the terrible Adam Marusic back-pass and Marcus Thuram was sent through by Nicolò Barella. “This is the kind of match that makes coaches happy, because we all worked together, allowed a good side like Lazio very little and together won in an arena where it will be difficult for everyone,” Inzaghi told DAZN.

“We had a lot of important players at home, like De Vrij, Dumfries, Cuadrado and Sanchez, but we held out, covered the pitch well and should’ve been better on the Rovella chance, which was practically the only one Lazio created. It is no fluke that Lazio finished second last season.


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“There are 22 Serie A rounds to go, plus the other competitions. We have done well so far, but we’re only four months into the season. We are top of the table, but must continue like this, working in the same direction as a unit. “The great thing is that I can change personnel, but the squad always gives me the same guarantees.”

Yann Bisseck had a rare start in defence and put in a good performance, not just for his extraordinary physical presence in the box. “He did really well, I think it was a great test for him, as Lazio are dangerous down that flank with Zaccagni and Marusic. He works hard, has almost perfectly learned Italian now, so I had no doubts. Pavard had his first training session with the squad yesterday, he wanted to come to Rome with the squad, but it would’ve been a risk to play him.

“Bisseck was calm, never seemed flustered and looked like he had played at this level all the time.” This will always be an emotional venue for Inzaghi, who spent most of his career at the Stadio Olimpico. “Lazio is different to other games, I can not forget 22 years. I will always be grateful to these fantastic fans who loved me as a player and a coach.”

The win means they are now four points clear at the top of the Serie A table, as Juventus were held to a 1-1 draw by Genoa on Friday evening. “We have a Coppa Italia game coming up next week, we are the trophy holders and want to defend that title. There is a very long way to go, we must keep working like this and try to go as far as possible in every tournament.”

Their record against the top 10 this season is eight wins and two draws, as the only stalemates were against Juventus and Bologna. Inter are eight points better off than they were at this stage last season and are on track to match Napoli’s tally from the first half of last term.

The draw for the Champions League Round of 16 is coming up, so Inzaghi was asked who he would like to face and named last season’s Final opponents. “I think we’re going to draw Manchester City, but we’ll see what happens. All the teams in the draw are very strong and will be a big test.” He further stated.

Meanwhile…

Inter captain Martinez explained the message for his hometown after securing the 2-0 win over Lazio and insists the objective for Inter this season is ‘to win everything.’ The striker found the net when pouncing on a terrible Adam Marusic back-pass and had prepared a statement on his undershirt, urging his hometown of Bahia Blanca to have strength. It was a heartfelt dedication, as last night heavy storms struck the area, leading to the collapse of the sports centre roof during an ice skating event, which left 13 dead.

“I went to bed late last night, as it was already becoming clear my hometown was struggling with this storm,” Lautaro Martinez told DAZN. “I had to keep in touch with my family, I was worried, I hope that things can get back to normal as soon as possible.” He seems to have really formed a bond with his fellow striker Thuram and it shows in their performances on the pitch.

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“Since the day Marcus arrived he, and all the new signings, have settled in really well. I talk a lot with Marcus and that is important, to have friendship off the field, it makes things easier on the pitch too. “I am not just talking about him, but the whole squad are friends. We are like a family and work together to achieve the objectives that we set ourselves.” Inter won the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana for two years running, but there are no doubts their main aim this season is the Scudetto.

“Over the last six or seven years, Inter have got back to challenging for things like the Champions League Final and we want to keep going. “The next step will always be the most difficult. We sent a strong message to ourselves more than others, that we can overcome obstacles, that everyone in the squad, staff and physios, we all work together to achieve what we want.” What is the objective? “To win everything.” The Argentina international is on track to be the Capocannoniere with 15 goals in 16 Serie A games so far this season.

He is also becoming a leader after inheriting the captain armband from Samir Handanovic at the start of this season. “I have changed a lot in recent years also because I have a family of my own now, my children changed me. The World Cup also left something in my mind and not all of it was positive, because it was not the performance I wanted and my ankle was hurting. It’s no excuse, it made me want to just keep improving and getting stronger.” He further added.

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