Claudio Ranieri insists he “believes in Ricky Alvarez” despite originally sending him to the stands and admits Inter’s opener was offside.
The Coach was commenting after today’s 2-1 victory over Cagliari, with Thiago Motta’s controversial goal followed up by Philippe Coutinho.
“It was a game in which we always had our opponents under control and in the first half they didn’t have a single shot on target,” said Ranieri.
“After the break I introduced Alvarez. I am satisfied with his performance. Wesley Sneijder had a muscular problem in the warm-up and I preferred to keep him safe for Tuesday in the Champions League.”
Because of Sneijder’s injury, Coutinho went into the starting XI and Alvarez was recalled from the stands to sit on the bench.
Alvarez proved to be the turning point in the game, as he had a hand in both Inter goals.
“I used him twice as a trequartista, in the first he did well and the second not so impressive. I decided to play him down the right, because he can shoot from there and provide golden assists. I believe in Alvarez and he has incredible technique.
“Was Thiago Motta’s goal offside? Yes, that’s true. The linesman didn’t see that Giampaolo Pazzini got a touch. For once, the officials smiled on us.
“We had to break the deadlock and once we got the first goal it was another Inter, a more vivacious team.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition  - £5,000 monthly.