Wednesday October 23 2019
Conte: 'Borussia scared of Inter'

Antonio Conte said Borussia Dortmund “were afraid of us and changed their system” at San Siro, but Inter kept their Champions League campaign alive.

Lautaro Martinez and Antonio Candreva decided the 2-0 result with a goal in either half.

“Borussia Dortmund changed their system to five at the back, which means they were afraid of us and wanted to play by changing their approach to mirror ours,” the coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“We had prepared for a very different match, but did well to adjust. When Dortmund switched back to 4-2-3-1 after the break, we adjusted again and took control.

“We had prepared to press them in certain areas of the pitch and they changed their system, so that was no longer valid. The most important thing I told the lads was not to lose possession in central areas, as that is where they push forward on the counter.

“Roberto Gagliardini, Nicolò Barella and Marcelo Brozovic did a great job both in defending and attacking. I often tell Brozo off for attacking too much, but he had a great game tonight with both phases.

“Barella is so generous and passionate, but he does give me anxiety attacks when he gets booked after 10-15 minutes…”

This is a crucial victory, because it takes Inter up to four points, on a par with Borussia Dortmund, while Barcelona break away on seven and Slavia Prague have one.

“It’s tough against Borussia Dortmund, who are a very good team. It’s still difficult to qualify, but we know that we’re alive and kicking.

“It is not a simple situation. The lads did well and dealing with a series of injuries, we still put in a great performance. I am happy above all for the players, as these nights reward them for their sacrifices.

“I told the team that they worked so hard with Luciano Spalletti to qualify for the Champions League, so it was important we give our all to keep that dream going.

“We’re not the favourites in this group, but we had to win to stay in the running and we did it. Now we’ve got Parma coming up, not even three days away, so we need to be very wary, as Saturday is the toughest game and not tonight.”

Sebastiano Esposito came off the bench and earned a penalty, saved by Lautaro Martinez, on his Champions League debut.

“I’ve said before in interviews and in the dressing room that I’d be crazy to keep a 17-year-old if I didn’t trust him. I do trust him, he’s an important player for us and I am sorry he was unable to go on the Under-17 World Cup for Italy, but we really did need him and he proved that tonight.”

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