Luciano Spalletti hails Inter Milan bounceback in derby triumph

Inter Milan coach Luciano Spalletti hailed his side for the way they fought back from their midweek Europa League exit to win a thrilling Milan derby 3-2 at San Siro on Sunday.

Matias Vecino’s third-minute strike sent Inter on their way to a victory which saw them tighten their grip on a Champions League place and reportedly could have saved Spalletti his job.

The second goal arrived six minutes into the second half when Stefan De Vrij was left free in the box to head home but Milan responded within six minutes through Tiemoue Bakayoko’s first goal for the club.

Lautaro Martinez netted a 67th-minute penalty for Inter after Samu Castillejo was adjudged to have tripped Matteo Politano in the box and Milan hit back again through Mateo Musacchio as Inter held on.

Milan thought they had Andrea Conti sent off for a foul on Martinez only for the decision to be reversed by VAR as tempers began to fray on the bench.

Spalletti, who has increasingly come under fire in recent weeks as his team’s form nose-dived, told a press conference: “We did well to put it (the Europa League defeat) straight behind us and show the right attitude again as a team.

“We forgot about what happened on Thursday, we drew a line under it and we came back with a different sort of performance.”

Vecino also paid tribute to the way his team-mates fought back from the midweek disappointment and believes the upcoming international break could be at a good time.

Vecino told his club’s official website: “The true version of Inter was on show today – we did well to forget about Thursday and start again from zero.

“It is always nice to rest a bit, so after a game like that it helps. Some will be on international duty but a bit of rest will do us good.”

AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso said the defeat would not change the confidence he has in his team to continue pushing for a Champions League place.

Quoted on his club’s official website, Gattuso said: “Despite the defeat, I continue to trust this team.

“Today we could not play what we wanted. In the first half Inter played better than us, while in the second half we changed our attitude but were unable to put things right.

“We have been too passive and we made certain errors that you cannot make in high-level matches. But we are still alive and we are a solid team.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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