Andrea Stramaccioni admits Tottenham “were superior” on the night, but has numerous regrets after the 3-0 defeat.
“I think Tottenham were honestly superior tonight in different ways, but we suffered more than anything on a physical level,” said the Inter Coach.
“Two of the three goals came from situations where we paid for their height and strength in the air. The real regret is we didn’t make the most of those two great scoring opportunities, as we could’ve kept the qualification a lot more open than it is now.
“We had tried to work on not allowing Tottenham to get enthusiastic by scoring early on, but it happened and made them even more aggressive. It was difficult to get service through to the forwards, though we created the two cleanest scoring opportunities of the game.
“We must play the second leg and try to win. Football is strange, so I think we can do well at home and try to score an early goal. Inter have already achieved special comebacks.”
The Nerazzurri did go very close to scoring, as Ricky Alvarez and Rodrigo Palacio wasted when clear on goal through the middle.
“We knew their centre-backs liked to play high and tried to make it difficult for them. We will certainly try to do better on this in the second leg, even if their defensive approach will be different away from home,” continued Stramaccioni.
“We suffered a great deal with their physicality in the penalty area, especially on crosses. Despite limiting them by trying not to allow easy passes between the lines, we paid for that with our defending in the box.”
Inter had a skeleton side at White Hart Lane, as they were missing numerous players who were either injured or cup-tied.
“We have always showed that we believe and there are regrets we had to face this game with a line-up that was forced upon us and players who were not in great shape. Even then, we could’ve scored twice in London.
“Tottenham confirmed their strong current form, now we must turn over a new leaf and look ahead to Bologna.”
Stramaccioni had particular praise for Gareth Bale, who scored the opening goal with a rare header.
“I had already said he was one of the most decisive players in Europe and his header was worthy of a seasoned centre-forward. He can still improve a great deal, is very young and can be decisive, which is the difference between a good player and a champion.”
Strama was also asked about Antonio Cassano, who started after being dropped against Catania for a blazing locker room row.
“There is no need to make peace with Cassano. These things happen in the locker room, it is behind us and he worked hard today to help Inter.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £11,000 to be won monthly!