Wednesday November 28 2018
Spalletti has Nainggolan regrets

Luciano Spalletti confessed he made a huge mistake in starting Radja Nainggolan against Tottenham, but Inter trust Barcelona to do their duty.

The Nerazzurri lost 1-0 at Wembley thanks to a Christian Eriksen late goal off the bench.

“We did largely what we had to do, apart from a few moments of the game. We are very disappointed with the result, we’ll go into the next game and see what happens,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“I thought we were growing and didn’t make the most of some scoring opportunities, then conceded with a distraction and nobody was able to cut out the pass.

“Tottenham have this physical strength, they always keep you under pressure throughout the match and we interpreted that Sissoko move wrong twice.”

Nainggolan looked out of sorts and went off before half-time, replaced by Borja Valero.

“I think it’s unlikely he can face Roma, as he felt this ankle problem flare up again and a muscular issue too, as he was running badly to avoid leaning on the ankle.

“I probably should’ve realised earlier that the player was in bad shape and fixed it with a substitution earlier. He was limping. I lost a substitution too by making this initial choice, but we had talked to the player and medics, everything seemed fine.

“Borja Valero played well, but he tends to struggle with the physicality of these games. If he’d played from the start, having played at the weekend, he might not have been as sharp as he was coming off the bench.

“Spurs have more players who like the ball at their feet, whereas we need to get it nice and neat and clean first, otherwise we don’t have the right characteristics to finish off ‘ugly’ chances.

“Ivan Perisic and Mauro Icardi have a powerful physique, but have different characteristics to the Tottenham players. It’s hard to shake a player like Harry Wink off the ball.

“We must push ourselves to play with a little more creativity that at the moment might seem difficult, but we’d be less likely ultimately to lose the ball.”

Tottenham pulled some surprises by leaving Eric Dier, Christian Eriksen and Heung-Min Son on the bench.

“They always played 4-2-3-1 in the Champions League. Mauricio Pochettino did what everyone does, which is to take players who were tired from a game three days ago and rest them to ensure they can make the difference in the final stages with fresh legs.

“Having all these matches close together forces us all to make changes.”

Tottenham need a win away to Barcelona in order to be sure of eliminating Inter, but a draw there with the Nerazzurri beating PSV Eindhoven would send the Italians through.

Barcelona haven’t lost a Champions League game on home turf in over five years.

“It doesn’t cross my mind the thought that players like Pique, Messi and Suarez could take their foot off the gas or not care about losing at home. It’s not an issue.”

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