Simone Inzaghi explains it ‘would’ve been easy to change four or five players at the break,’ but he instead gave those Inter men the opportunity to redeem themselves in a Benfica thriller.

It was a frankly bizarre night in Lisbon, as for the first time in their history, the Nerazzurri conceded two goals in the opening 15 minutes of a Champions League or European Cup tie.

Joao Mario completed the hat-trick within the 34th minute, but Inter were a completely different team after the restart, with Marko Arnautovic, Davide Frattesi and an Alexis Sanchez penalty to make it 3-3.

“We actually went close to a victory with Nicolò Barella if that shot had gone in off the woodwork,” Inzaghi told Mediaset Infinity.

“I will take the positives from the match, which means our reaction in the second half. We all should’ve done more in the first half, including myself, as we had a really sluggish approach.”

If he had made more substitutions at half-time, it would perhaps have taken something away from the ‘reserve’ players who struggled so badly.

Instead, the same figures got the opportunity to redeem themselves with a completely different attitude.

“I have 20 first team players and I can count on them all. It would’ve been easy to change four or five at the break, but the fault lay with the whole team and not any individuals.

“We stepped out there with a different spirit, also making a few tactical adjustments. With Barella’s effort, we could’ve won a memorable match.”

Inzaghi had to rotate his squad because of the upcoming Serie A showdown with reigning Champions of Italy Napoli.

As Real Sociedad were also held to a 0-0 draw by RB Salzburg, it means Inter must win the final head-to-head with the Spanish side at San Siro.

If that ends in a draw, then they will have an identical head-to-head record and Real Sociedad have the superior overall goal difference in the group.

“We knew that it would all go down to the final game with Real Sociedad for first place.”

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