Simone Inzaghi cannot say if Inter are weaker or at the same level as last season, but he can see a ‘competitive squad’ after they fought back to beat Hellas Verona 3-1 with Joaquin Correa’s debut double.
“It was a hard-fought win, because we started well for the opening 15 minutes, then conceded that goal and struggled for the rest of the half. We weren’t sharp, made the wrong choices and didn’t move enough, but Verona also had a good first half,” Inzaghi told Sky Sport Italia.
“We re-organised during the break, did well to get the equaliser quickly through Lautaro Martinez and the changes off the bench gave us that little something extra we needed at that moment. It’s an important win, as I had told the lads during the week this would not be easy, as Inter struggled both home and away against Verona last season. They are very aggressive and we did well to bring the victory home.”
It was the first time using Edin Dzeko and Lautaro Martinez together, creating a different approach to the 3-5-1-1 that beat Genoa.
“Nicolò Barella and Hakan Calhanoglu were meant to open up to create the spaces for the strikers, but it got a bit too busy in there and the spaces were reduced. Verona kept a high tempo and made it difficult for us.”
Before kick-off, the coach said Correa was ‘the cherry on the cake,’ so Inzaghi was then asked if Inter are now weaker than last season, much weaker or at the same level?
“It’s a good question! As I said before the opening game with Genoa, I am satisfied with what I see on the field. I know Achraf Hakimi is great, but I never actually got to work with him. I trained Romelu Lukaku for a week and he’s remarkable, but he made that decision and took us by surprise. Fortunately, the club was able to react quickly and in 10 days bring in both Edin Dzeko and Correa, so we have a competitive squad.
“The club and President Steven Zhang were clear from the start with me, there were financial difficulties and the first thing we needed to do was ensure the safety of the club. That has been done, now we have a competitive team and now prepare for the Champions League to begin.”
Inter will make their Champions League debut against Real Madrid on September 15, but Inzaghi has already got the ultras on his side.
“It’s pleasing, as already from the first friendly against Parma I felt the fans had adopted me as one of their own. Even when we were trailing, they never stopped singing for us and we dedicate this victory to them.”