Antonio Conte has linked Inter’s Copa Italia defeat to Napoli with the Milan derby.
The Nerazzurri won the fixture 4-2 but it ended up taking a lot of energy out of them, as per Conte. Inter fell to a 1-0 defeat in the first leg of the semi-final cup tie through Fabian Ruz’s wonder strike in the second half.
“I made five changes from Sunday to bring in fresh legs, but Napoli beat Juventus, Lazio and Liverpool this season, so that means they’ve got quality there. I’d say that, after Juventus, Napoli have the most impressive squad in Serie A. Gennaro Gattuso was smart to sit back, wait and go on the counter. We had the chances and it would’ve been a fair result if we had played out a draw.
“When you’re up against defensive teams like this, you have to move the ball around faster and create spaces. We are at the start of this journey, so if some think we are at the same level as a side that was at the top for many years, then I say we’re a long way off and have to use these defeats to improve.”
Christian Eriksen was among the substitutes once again after signing from Tottenham in January. “He is certainly a player of quality, he needs to rediscover that intensity, seeing as he hasn’t played much in the last six months,” the ex-Italy boss said of the Denmark international.
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