Walter Mazzarri praised Inter for their character and insisted Fiorentina were never in control at San Siro.
The Viola had more possession and took the lead with a Giuseppe Rossi penalty, but Esteban Cambiasso and Jonathan turned it around for a 2-1 victory.
“You could see we were affected for five minutes by that goal, but then shook off the tension and at the end deserved this victory. It was a struggle against a very strong team with real quality,” he told Sky Sport Italia.
“Fiorentina play very tight and that makes it look as if they have more possession, but the statistics showed it was in the end 52 per cent to our 48, so the difference was minimal.
“Their only real scoring opportunities were created by our mistakes, whereas we had the chance to finish off two really good counter-attacks in the first half alone.
“We tried pressing Fiorentina high up the pitch, but they are so good in terms of technique that it was difficult to shake them up. We need to grow, but thankfully these lads are achieving something exceptional with the time I’ve had to impart my ideas.
“We do want to run a few more risks at the back by pressing our opponents, but it takes a little more courage than we have right now.”
Ricky Alvarez looks like a new player and Mazzarri is transforming him into a version of Napoli’s Marek Hamsik.
“He has very similar characteristics to Hamsik, in my view. If he can have a little more faith in himself and whittle down a few issues then he can do great things. He could also play in different roles, just like Hamsik.”
It is curious that Alvarez and Jonathan have become some of Inter’s best performers when they were the most bitterly criticised by fans last season.
“It is wonderful and enormously satisfying to see their fortunes transformed, but it’s the players who do it all for me and I must always thank them for making me look good,” smiled Mazzarri.
There was one ugly moment, as Fredy Guarin gestured to the fans when they jeered him during a substitution.
“He made a few mistakes and apologised. These are moments, just as the crowd grumble when they should resist to the end of the game, but we know this is football. Guarin has to stay calm and not get affected if he makes mistakes.”
He was also asked about Vincenzo Montella’s comment in a Press conference that Mazzarri “might get offended” if told Inter are title contenders.
“With the players at his disposal, Fiorentina should win the Scudetto. If he talks about my players then I’ll talk about his. It’s a compliment.”
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