Simone Inzaghi admits to feeling ‘regret’ that Inter only beat Atletico Madrid 1-0 in the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16 and gives an injury update on Marcus Thuram.

The Nerazzurri had to fight hard to break down the notoriously rugged Diego Simeone side, who had been set out to tactically neutralise their opponents in the away leg.

Marko Arnautovic had to replace injured Thuram at half-time and missed several huge opportunities before the decider, meeting the rebound from a parried Lautaro Martinez shot to score from a tight angle.

“It’s very satisfying, the lads were wonderful against a physical, technical side that did not make it at all easy,” Inzaghi told Sky Sport Italia.

“We know this is only the first leg, the second match will be tough, and certainly there are regrets for the result considering with all that we created, we deserved a wider scoreline. This is football, we keep going.”

The second leg will be at the Wanda Metropolitano on March 13 and there is no away goals rule now in Europe, so if Atleti win by any one-goal margin, it will go to extra time.

“I said yesterday in my press conference that Arnautovic and Alexis Sanchez are doing really well in training and when called upon. I am happy that Marko got the goal, he deserved to score earlier, then Alexis came on with the right spirit.

“Thuram felt the adductor pull during the sprint on the Lautaro Martinez pass, then felt pain again when he hit the finish. He will have tests and we hope that we won’t lose him for long.”

Atletico Madrid did not manage a single shot on target, the first time Inter have had such a quiet night at the back since November 2006 against Sporting CP.

Just like last season, Inter have won the first leg of the Round of 16 with a 1-0 scoreline at San Siro.

“I will be honest, looking back at last season, Porto caused us the most problems on the road to the Final. Every team is tough to beat when you get to this stage of the competition.”

The Inter midfielders traditionally pour forward on the attack, but this evening they had to work in helping the defence too.

“We were up against quality opponents, but Inter played very well. Let us not forget that when Atletico Madrid have the ball, it is tough to get it off them. We probably made a few too many misplaced passes in the first half, but Atleti were clammed up with two lines.

“We moved the ball around better after the break and I think we deserved more than 1-0. The midfielders sacrificed themselves and we worked as a team. The substitutions helped, as we weren’t our usual selves in the first seven or eight minutes of the second half, but we got back on track, created chances that we should’ve scored.

“I know that Sommer didn’t make any actual saves, but there were a few situations like the Samuel Lino shot and Alvaro Morata header where we could’ve done better.”

Inter have now won all nine of their competitive matches played in 2024 between Serie A, the Supercoppa Italiana and Champions League.

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