Simone Inzaghi believes Inter ‘showed the world’ what a tough fight they gave Manchester City in the Champions League Final and will be ‘back here again in future.’



Everyone had Pep Guardiola’s juggernaut as the overwhelming favourites going into the Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul, but it was a very even match, decided by a single goal scored by Rodri.

The Nerazzurri had numerous chances to equalise, with Federico Dimarco thumping the crossbar and big saves on Romelu Lukaku and Robin Gosens.

“We had a great game and ought to be proud of that. We mustn’t think of the what ifs, we deserved more. I hugged my players one by one, as they were extraordinary, just as our fans were and deserved a different result, but I hope they were happy seeing the way the team played tonight,” Inzaghi told Sport Mediaset.

“The last 25 minutes were there for all to see, it felt like the ball didn’t want to go in. It happens, unfortunately it happened in the Champions League Final. We hit the crossbar, there was a goal-line clearance, a shot that hit a teammate, everything happened.

“We played against Manchester City with our own strengths and we did it very, very well.”

It was a tactical masterclass from Inzaghi to largely neutralise Pep Guardiola’s side and Erling Haaland, who barely had a sniff against Francesco Acerbi and Alessandro Bastoni.

“With this spirit, organisation and determination, I think we will be back here again in future.”

Hakan Calhanoglu and Lautaro Martinez were expected to make the difference this evening, but instead failed to raise their game for the occasion.

“On a night like this, I can’t single players out who played below par. I said yesterday I would not change my players for anyone else and tonight the world saw why.”

Inzaghi had famously won his last seven Cup Finals in a row, so how does he feel after experiencing a defeat?

“It is a strange sensation, I need to get used to it, but I embraced all my players. I rarely speak straight after a match, as I like to wait 24-48 hours, but today I told them they ought to be proud of what they have achieved. They showed the whole world how well they stood up to Manchester City, a side that everyone knows has so much quality.”

Inzaghi is under contract with Inter until June 2024, but is expected to put pen to paper on a new deal over the summer.

“Right now we need a few days to go by. We are in sync with the club, so will meet up and plan the future. There hasn’t been much time to talk this season, but I am so proud of these lads and the fans. We deserved more, but we tip our hats to Manchester City, we know how much they have worked to reach this moment in recent years.”

Despite these results, and eventually finishing third in Serie A, Inzaghi was bitterly criticised by some fans and media, who wanted him fired.

“Both I and my players were attacked and admittedly we lost some games that we shouldn’t have lost, but I think we learned valuable lessons from those defeats and after all over the last two years we have won four trophies and reached the Champions League Final.”

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