NEWS | 15/09/2021"The team deserves the win because they dug in well during the first half and then played better in the second", reflected the coach.
"If we're playing a low block, we've got more chances on the counter attack and we didn't do that well in the first half. We moved the ball out differently, with three at the back and Vini Jr. being more open. Later, Inter slowed up a bit because they showed real intensity in the first half and when they were slower, we had more control and created more chances".
Play in the wide areas
“We played with more width once Rodrygo came on. We looked for solutions on the outside. I was impressed with the performance because the team really had to dig in, stay compact. This team not only has quality, it shows real commitment and that's hugely important. The clean sheet helps our confidence from a defensive standpoint. All four of them at the back did brilliantly. Sometimes you have to switch it up to press the winger and they did that really well".
“I've already spoken to the players, but it's always the way that the guys who come on can decide the game. I've told Rodrygo it's not important how many minutes he plays, but how he plays them. Rodrygo played a crucial role tonight, not just with the goal but because of how he helped out, he did a lot of defensive running and I was pleased with his display. He can have a key role to play. Sometimes he might play from the start and others he can come on and be decisive".
“He's a guy who can play at Real Madrid, that's precisely why we signed him. He's very young, but he's got a lot of quality and has the potential to really come on. He has to improve from a defensive perspective and he will do so in the future".
“The players deserved the win because they were really under pressure in the first half and improved greatly in the second half. When you make changes and bring on players with fresh legs in such a tense game it really makes a difference and they did really well. I thought about bringing on Hazard in the second half, but when Inter packed out the centre so much so I decided to bring on players to use down the flanks like Rodrygo and Vini Jr. to attack from out wide”.
“Courtois saved us in the first half. He made two or three world-class saves, but defensively we weren’t so bad. We lost a few second balls in the area, but in other aspects everyone played really well. They were focussed on the defensive side because they (Inter) really strong, but we did well”.
“It was an intense game, but Inter used up a lot of energy in the first half with their high pressing and that affected them in the second half. They did really well in the first half and we played better in the second half. The team’s level of fitness is good because I’ve got players who are full of energy, like Vini Jr., Casemiro, Camavinga, Valverde, and so on. They are players who bring a lot of energy to the game. We’ve got very strong young players, with great quality. I have to introduce experience to this type of game, which is normal”.
Alaba and Nacho
“The decision to play Nacho is down to experience. Miguel is still young and played on Sunday evening. Today’s game was one when experience really counted. I really like Alaba as a centre-back and if he’s ok and there are no emergencies, he’s going to play in that position”.