‘We made Shakhtar look average’: Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte praises his side’s ‘super performance’ as Nerazzuri reach Europa League final
- Inter Milan thrashed Shakhtar Donetsk 5-0 to reach the Europa League Final
- Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez scored twice each for the Serie A side
- Danilo D’Ambrosio got the fifth as Antonio Conte produced a ‘super’ display
- Conte said that Inter made their Ukrainian opponents look average
Antonio Conte claimed his Inter Milan side made Shakhtar Donetsk look ‘average’ following their 5-0 win over the Ukrainian champions in the Europa League semi-final.
Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez scored two goals each while Danilo D’Ambrosio got the other goal as Inter reached their first European final in a decade.
The Italian side’s manager praised his side’s ‘super’ and ‘courageous’ performance in what was a very ‘European game’.
Antonio Conte claimed his Inter Milan side made Shakhtar Donetsk look average on Monday
Romelu Lukaku scored twice as the Nerazzuri defeated their Ukrainian opponents 5-0
Conte told Sky Sport Italia: ‘I think we reached the final playing against a team that we made look less strong than it was, but Shakhtar have a lot of talent and we stopped them playing with the pressing all over the pitch.
‘They have a lot of quality in their passing, also pace, but we did well to force them into defending, which we know full well they aren’t as comfortable with as keeping the ball.
‘We played with courage, had the right plan, played a very European game in the right way and the players deserve all the credit.
‘It was a super performance and we made Shakhtar look average.’
Lautaro Martinez (left) also scored a brace while Danilo D’Ambrosio grabbed the other goal
After Juventus and Atalanta were both knocked out of the Champions League after lockdown, Inter remain Italy’s only hope of achieving European glory this year, with them taking on Sevilla in the Europa League final later this week.
A win on Friday over their Spanish opponents would cap off a promising first season in charge at the San Siro for Conte, who is aiming to reinstall Inter to the top of the European football scene.
The Italia boss believes the experience of a final will do well for the club in the long-term.
Conte says the experience of a final will do his players the world of good in experience
He continued: ‘It’s satisfying for everyone. The most important thing for me is that many lads are playing this type of game for the first time.
‘They are gaining experience at an important level in a tournament that Italy have not been protagonists in for a long time.
‘Sevilla have a great deal of experience, I think they won it four times in the last six or seven years. However, we have enthusiasm, hunger and the desire to amaze people.
‘Now we need to rest, recuperate and try to give some joy to the Inter fans, who I think will be proud of these lads, because they are giving their heart and soul.
‘As I always said, we have to leave the field with no regrets. We must know that we’ve given our all, done everything we possibly could, so if we do lose, it’s because the opponents were better.’
Conte claimed his side has been giving their heart and soul during matches in recent weeks
Inter finished as Serie A runners-up to Juventus, while they were also beaten in the Coppa Italia semi-finals by eventual winners Napoli.
Conte was also vocal in his criticism of the Inter hierarchy at the start of the month, accusing Inter officials of ‘soft management’, with his side having to eat ‘dung for months’ throughout the season.
‘The work we did throughout the year, including the post-lockdown period, finally paid off. The lads knew, I genuinely believed we could be protagonists at the end of the season and in the various Cup competitions.
The Italian was previously critical of the Inter hierarchy but is more positive now
But promising performances since Conte’s criticism is enough to convince him that his side can perform well next season too.
He added: ‘I think we’ve been unlucky in the Champions League and Coppa Italia, as we deserved more.
‘However, I believe you learn more from negative situations than positive ones. We learned, used those lessons, and you can see the progress. At the end of it all, we finished Serie A one point off Juventus, and superior to them in many statistics.
‘We wanted to be protagonists in the Europa League, we’re in the Final, so let’s enjoy that tonight and then think about Sevilla tomorrow.’
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