Champions League: Simone Inzaghi and Inter Milan respond to critics as they reach quarterfinals

Inter Milan head coach Simone Inzaghi feels his team has proved critics wrong, but said he has “no revenge to take” following his side’s progression to the quarterfinals of the Champions League.

Inter put in a determined defensive performance to claim a 0-0 draw away at Porto. After winning 1-0 at the San Siro, this was enough to take the Serie A side through on aggregate. The Nerazzurri have reached a Champions League quarterfinal for the first time since 2011 as a result.

Aside from being a tremendous accomplishment, Inter’s advancement in the competition relieves pressure on their manager. Mixed reports suggested that defeat in the UCL could have seen Inter Milan move on from Simone Inzaghi. However, he silenced any doubters thanks to the aggregate victory.

Speaking in the post-match presser, Inzaghi denied that he sought “revenge” on his critics.

“I don’t have any revenge to take,” said Inzaghi, via DAZN. “This isn’t the time to talk. I know the path I’ve taken here at Inter with my staff and great men like the players I have.

“The Scudetto win caused some economic problems. But we have won trophies in the last 18 months and made it to the quarterfinals of the Champions League.

“It’s easy to talk about Simone Inzaghi because perhaps education and intelligence are confused in life,” added the Inter Milan boss. “I’ll speak up at the right moment: I owe it to myself and my family.”

Inter move on to the last eight of Europe’s top competition. They did not make it a relaxing game on Tuesday night, though.

Porto 0-0 Inter Milan: Simone Inzaghi sees side progress

Despite a late onslaught from Porto, Inter held on to their slender first-leg advantage to win 1-0 on aggregate in the round of 16.

Chasing a deficit, Porto started the game brightly, testing Andre Onana in the Inter goal on multiple occasions. However, the Italian side were still a threat on the break, with Edin Dzeko seeing an opportunity parried away.

But Porto had to keep pressing on, hoping that their tempo would eventually force an opening. Multiple half-chances came to nothing throughout both halves as the Nerazzurri stood firm.

Inter fans did have a few heart-stopping moments during injury time. For example, Denzel Dumfries had to make a goal-line clearance after some carnage in the Inter penalty area. Just moments later, Onana pushed a save onto the post, then Marko Grujic saw his header bounce off the crossbar.

Nevertheless, Inzaghi’s men survived the late scare to send Inter Milan through to the last eight. The Italian praised his side following the pulsating match.

Inzaghi praises squad over tough win

“From the group, from the guys I have, we did something historic,” said Inzaghi. “Which had been missing for a very long time, with a thousand difficulties. We had problems on the eve and during the match against a strong opponent.

“We’re enjoying this evening; it’s an important step we wanted. Inter needed it, as did all the fans. We’re satisfied with the quarterfinals; we’ll play them with great enthusiasm.

“These guys are capable of anything.”   

The Nerazzurri await to hear their last-eight opponent at the draw on Friday 17 March.

Featured image credit: Getty