Conte: “Napoli closed off all the space”
MILAN – It was Fabian Ruiz’s goal that decided the first leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final between Inter and Napoli.
A result that didn’t reflect the football on the pitch, with the Nerazzurri in control for the full 90 minutes and being punished courtesy of the Spanish midfielder’s moment of magic in the 57th minute.
Antonio Conte spoke after full-time: “Napoli came to San Siro to play a very defensive game, Mertens man-marked Brozovic throughout and they closed off all the space by putting all of their men behind the ball. We needed to move the ball faster, congratulations to Napoli and Gattuso who convinced his boys to play this kind of game.
“The Derby certainly took a lot out of us, we expended a lot of nervous energy in particular. Nevertheless, we made five changes compared to Sunday’s game, so we did have fresh legs. We mustn’t forget that Napoli are a team with excellent characteristics, irrespective of their league position. They have quality, something they demonstrated in their win against Juventus in the league and Lazio in the Coppa Italia.
“We had our chances this evening and it wouldn’t have been unfair if the match had ended in a draw. We need to continue to work and also take lessons from games like this one in order to grow.” The Coach then answered a question relating to Eriksen: “He has great quality, he needs to get back up to speed a little bit because he didn’t play a lot at Tottenham this season. He’s a professional lad and is training in the right way. He’ll soon become an important figure.”