Champions League final in Istanbul: Manchester City vs Inter Milan, June 10, 2023. Inter Milan football coach Simone Inzaghi (right) consoles his players after their 0-1 defeat to Manchester City in Champions League final.
Istanbul – Inter Milan coach Simone Inzaghi praised the performance of his charges in the Champions League final despite the 0-1 defeat by Manchester City. According to the forty-seven-year-old coach, the “Nerazzurri” played a great match against the favourites, the result of which was decided by small things and Inter's unconverted chances at the end of the match.
“Defeat is the worst thing in sport, so I could criticize the team. But I can't do that after such an evening, everyone gave their best on the pitch. The loss is cruel for us, Inter played a great final against the best team in the world,” Inzaghi said at the press conference .
Manchester City went into the duel in Istanbul as a big favorite, but the course of the game was more balanced than expected. Midfielder Rodri scored the only goal in the 68th minute, even though Inter then went for an equaliser. Dimarco's header hit the crossbar, and goalkeeper Ederson flashed Gosens' chance and another Lukaku header from close range.
“We hit the goal structure, in the next chance the goalkeeper kicked the ball off the goal line. We missed millimeters, that's how it sometimes happens in football,” regretted Inzaghi. “I am proud of what we have achieved this season. I would not trade any of my players for another. I hugged everyone after the final and thanked them for their performance,” said the former forward.
Inter has relied mainly on defense in the Champions League play-offs so far, but they did not keep their sixth clean sheet in the seventh game on Saturday. “With this kind of game organization, determination and team spirit, we will be back in the future. I have no doubt about that,” said the Italian coach, whose team knocked out city rivals AC and Portuguese sides Porto and Benfica Lisbon en route to the final. In the group, he dealt with Viktoria Plzeň twice.
Inzaghi finished the second season on the bench of the big Milan club, with which he already won four trophies. In both years, he dominated the Italian Cup and the Super Cup. In the league, the “Nerazzurri” eventually reached third place, although they were under fire during the season. From mid-March to mid-April, they won only one of nine competitive matches, but then the situation turned around.
“There were some unnecessary defeats, we found ourselves under pressure. However, we learned from this situation as well. The fans live with the team and even for them the failure in the final is a big disappointment. I believe they were happy with the way their team played today,” added Inzaghi.
Inter became the third Italian team this season not to reach the cup final. AS Roma lost to Sevilla in the European League, Fiorentina was not enough against West Ham in the European Conference League in Prague.