Marko Arnautovic admits he was distraught after missing two sitters against Atletico Madrid, but the reassurance from Inter teammates and fans ‘gave me the energy I needed. That was an incredible moment for me.’

The striker had come off the bench at half-time to step in for injured Marcus Thuram and it really did not seem to be his night, as he wasted at least two golden opportunities to break the deadlock.

It eventually paid off, as he gathered the rebound from a Jan Oblak save on Lautaro Martinez and turned in from a tight angle, despite Samuel Lino’s attempts to clear off the line.

“It is certainly one of the most important goals of my career,” Arnautovic told Sky Sport Italia after the first leg of this Champions League Round of 16 tie.

“This was not an easy time for me after the injury, I took a while to get back and in recent weeks I had a lot of chances where I didn’t score, and scoring goals is what I am here for.

“So when I had those two chances and didn’t score this evening, goals I ought to score…. But the fans and the players all showed they are behind me. That was an incredible moment for me, it gave me the energy I needed to score the goal.”

Lautaro Martinez, Hakan Calhanoglu and others went over to reassure the veteran after the sitter that he fired over from six yards.

“I think we are a fantastic group. Those who start regularly or who are on the bench, they all feel the same. Those on the bench do not let their heads drop, they come on and do what they need to do in order to win the game.”

The second leg will be at the Wanda Metropolitano on March 13, so does Arnautovic feel Inter might regret only winning the first leg 1-0, considering Atletico Madrid did not have a single shot on target?

“No, we won the game. We know that when we go to Madrid it is like 0-0 and we start again. It will be tough, but we are going there playing to win.”

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