Saturday November 25 2017
Lopez: 'Icardi is an animal'

Diego Lopez confessed Cagliari played the way he wanted by putting Inter under pressure, but “Mauro Icardi is an animal in the box.”

The Sardinians dominated for long periods, especially in the first half, but conceded goals against the run of play and were denied by Samir Handanovic heroics in a 3-1 defeat.

“To be honest, the first half-hour was what I had envisaged, not letting Inter breathe and being very aggressive to limit their capabilities,” the Coach told Mediaset Premium.

“It’s not easy to play with this courage against an opponent like Inter, so I am happy with that.

“We did well to stop them getting the ball to Icardi, because he got half-a-chance and he scored. I told the lads Icardi is an animal in the box, so it’s important to ensure he doesn’t get fed.

“It was a great performance and if we’d played like this against a weaker side, we would certainly have won. We had the chances to go 1-1 and also 2-2. Goals might be scored or not, but this is the right path.”

Lopez has seemingly transformed the Cagliari mood since replacing Massimo Rastelli, winning three of the last five games, but refused to take credit.

“When I arrived, I said Rastelli is a great man and he can’t have taken all the blame. We used that to put the responsibility on these lads and demand they give 100 per cent in every training session and every game.

“This team is improving and as the fitness levels grow, so will the performances. The lads are giving their all and at the end of the day, they are the ones on the pitch.”

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