Inter Milan head coach Simone Inzaghi has claimed his side have ‘never played a team of Liverpool’s quality’ as the Reds won 2-0 at San Siro on Wednesday evening.
The Italian champions put in a solid and impressive display in the Champions League round of 16 first-leg tie and could have come away from the fixture with something to hold on to with Eden Dzeko and Ivan Perisic coming close.
Their dominance in the opening 15 minutes of the second half wasn’t made the most of and Jurgen Klopp’s side made Inzaghi’s side pay.
Roberto Firmino’s excellent front post header was too good for Samir Handanovic before Mohamed Salah’s low drive sealed the 2-0 lead and handed the Reds a handy advantage going into the second leg.
“I’m proud of the team”
Inzaghi’s Inter progressed to the knockout stages of the competition after finishing second and five points behind Spanish giants Real Madrid, winning only three of their six games.
Compared to Liverpool, who finished top of a difficult group that included Atletico Madrid, AC Milan and FC Porto, winning six from six.
The former Italy striker has insisted he hopes his side don’t face Klopp’s side every match after their quality showed in the clash at San Siro.
“We hope that we don’t have to face Liverpool in every match,” he told the Italian press after the game.
“I’m proud of the team, we had a great match, but we didn’t get the rewards we wanted from our best moments. Then the first time we switched off we were punished by an incredible goal.”
Like Liverpool, Inter now faces five different opponents before travelling to Anfield for the second leg, with them sitting one point behind fierce rivals AC Milan by one point with a game in hand.
After losing to Milan, drawing to Napoli and defeating AS Roma ahead of Wednesday’s game, Inzaghi has heaped praise on his players for their spirit and performance against Liverpool.
“I congratulated the team on their performance,” the Italian added. “We would have deserved more but what we showed tonight should bode well for what comes in the future.
“Inter have stood up to one of the two strongest teams in Europe, evenings like this must give us self-belief because we played a great match.”
Inzaghi added: “I think this match must be a starting point. We’ve played many excellent matches during the season, but we’ve never come up against a team of the quality of Liverpool before.”