Nicolò Barella admits he had ‘some ups and downs this season, just like Inter in Serie A,’ but they are now ready to take the game to Manchester City in the Champions League Final.
It was a blistering start to the match at San Siro, as Romelu Lukaku and Barella had the ball in the net twice before the clock had ticked round for the third minute.
Mario Pasalic got one back for Atalanta and Lautaro Martinez finished off a wonderful team move inspired by Lukaku’s hold-up play, leading to a Marcelo Brozovic roll across.
Luis Muriel’s rocket in stoppages set up a tense finale, but even a point would’ve been enough to guarantee a top four finish.
“It was certainly the best way to send a signal,” Barella told DAZN, as Inter had originally protested at the scheduling of this match so soon after Wednesday’s 2-1 Coppa Italia Final victory over Fiorentina.
“Playing two days after against Atalanta was not easy, but we managed it. We were thinking of securing a place in the Champions League, next up there’s Torino and then we can think about Istanbul.”
It wasn’t always smooth sailing for Inter in Serie A this season, or for Barella, who had some form issues and occasional arguments with teammates.
“I had a season of ups and downs, just like Inter in Serie A. I could’ve done better at some times, physically I feel pretty good now and hope to help my teammates in this big adventure that awaits us.”
This was the final home game of the season for Inter, as their last Serie A match will be away to Torino before the Champions League showdown in Istanbul.
“San Siro is San Siro and the Inter fans are the Inter fans. I don’t have to say anything more than that.”