Claudio Ranieri likes the fact Inter started “with a handicap and ended on a high” against Trabzonspor.
Gian Piero Gasperini was in charge when the Turks earned a shock opening 1-0 victory at San Siro, but tonight’s 1-1 draw mathematically ensured the Nerazzurri win Group B.
“We must remember that, precisely because we lost against Trabzonspor, this team started with a handicap, but instead we ended on a high,” said the Coach.
“It was a bit of a strange game, because we already knew before kick-off that we had qualified, but the team played well anyway and was fired up. It’s never easy to earn a result in these stadiums.
“I doubly compliment the lads because they deserved this qualification, especially away from home. I am satisfied, as it was a good performance and the draw was the right result.”
Ricky Alvarez was given a rare start and scored his first goal in an Inter jersey.
“Alvarez looks sluggish and slow, but when he takes on his man, he gets past,” continued Ranieri.
“He needed this goal and I’m happy, he was impressive. He is talented, listens and works hard.”
The second place in Group B is up for grabs, as Trabzonspor have six points compared to CSKA Moscow and Lille on five.
“The Trabzonspor fans can relax, as we will do our duty against CSKA and want to end the group well in front of the San Siro crowd.”
Inter are comfortably through in Europe, but are hovering on the edge of the relegation zone in Serie A.
“We have proved that we’ve got something more in the Champions League and hope to take that into Serie A as well. I already told the lads they have to focus on Siena now, a strong side that moves as a unit and with a talented Coach.”