Luciano Spalletti was glad Inter suffered under pressure and fought back after beating SPAL 2-1. “That reaction is something we didn’t used to have.”
It was a very hard-fought win, as SPAL poured forward throughout the second half, forced some tough saves and missed a penalty through Mirco Antenucci.
Mauro Icardi scored both Inter goals, even if the first took a big deflection off Johan Djourou, meaning SPAL’s equaliser lasted only five minutes.
“The first enemy after a Champions League win is complacency, the risk everything might seem as if it’s normal,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.
“We had to make choices, ensuring the team didn’t feel they weren’t first choice players. Some choices were forced, as Danilo D’Ambrosio had a few issues and we ended the game with some tiredness.
“The players worked so hard, suffered under pressure when SPAL returned with a vengeance and at times we have difficulty playing our way out of defence, so we lost some balls that allowed SPAL to really pin us back for a while.”
Keita Balde Diao played on the right side of a supporting trident, but is still struggling to find his best role.
“He is probably a support striker left free to experience the game the way he wants. He has great physical strength and can change pace with remarkable ease. He keeps the sprint on for 50 metres, not just 10 metres.
“When he has finished with that sprint, you need everyone to get back into shape quickly, because otherwise we pay for the gap he leaves behind.
“He has immense quality, I have several players of immense quality. He did really well to snatch the ball away from the defender and go on that counter, when he got a little tied up undecided on whether to cross or shoot.”
Manuel Lazzari wreaked havoc down the SPAL right, while Mohamed Fares put in the cross from the left for Alberto Paloschi’s temporary equaliser.
“At the start we were meant to press SPAL and ensure the wing-backs couldn’t find that position somewhere between striker and midfielder. When you are able to press them, they are unable to take those positions that can cause tactical difficulties.
“At times we went too deep and they pinned back our full-backs. We needed to fill the gaps and try to cover their men going very wide.”
When Paloschi did equalise, it took only five minutes for Icardi and Inter to restore their advantage.
“When we’ve come up against teams that cause us problems with intensity, we have allowed them something, the way we did tonight. The good news is that when SPAL equalised, we poured forward, we reacted and went to get the three points.
“That kind of belief and reaction is something my team did not used to have, but does now and that is very, very important.”