“The team showed character against a side that had a lot of intensity. The reaction after their equaliser was immediate, we went to go and get the three points and this is a characteristic that few sides have. We need to keep this because it’s really important.” Those were the words of Luciano Spalletti following last night’s impressive 2-1 victory over SPAL. Indeed, his players deserve a huge amount of credit for the attitude they showed throughout the match despite not being at their absolute best in terms of performance.
In recent seasons, the Nerazzurri would have crumbled under the pressure that their opponents put them under during the second half. That is not a baseless assertion – it is fact. They would have gone on to lose the game 2-1 or 3-1, but a new-found resilience and sense of responsibility within the squad allowed them to pull together and secure all three points. Mauro Icardi’s impressive double has inevitably grabbed all the headlines, but the truth is that there were so many of his teammates who deserve just as many plaudits.
As the captain was at pains to point out during his post-match interview with Inter TV, the team’s success is all that matters to him: “These are important goals because they gifted us all three points. We knew that it wouldn’t be an easy match, just like it wasn’t last year. We were aware that we would have to do more and the main thing is that the team won. I scored 29 goals last year, so I am relaxed when I am not scoring. I work for the team, for my teammates, and then it’s even better if the goals come. However, the important thing is Inter and the team getting all three points.”
Following a hugely challenging midweek assignment against PSV Eindhoven, the reality is that Inter were never going to be at their free-flowing best last night. However, in order to be successful, they must find a way to win regardless of the situation in which they find themselves. That is what Juventus have done superbly well for the past seven years, and La Beneamata must look to emulate their old rivals in this regard if they are to stand any chance of winning their first Scudetto since 2010.
Of course, Spalletti remains well aware of the fact that there is a long way to go before Inter can claim to be on an equal footing with the likes of Juve, but the signs are positive. Six successive victories in all competitions certainly gives the Tuscan tactician and his players something to build on once they resume domestic action after the international break. Whether they can sustain their current run of form for the remainder of the campaign remains to be seen, but the fans can rest assured that their beloved club is finally on the right track.
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