MILAN – Simone Inzaghi praised his side's resilience and never-say-die attitude after they wrapped up a demanding January with another three points against Venezia.
The Nerazzurri had to fight back after Thomas Henry's first-half opener but Nicolo Barella restored parity before the break. The second half was spent on the front foot but only in the 90th minute did Edin Dzeko finally make the breakthrough, powering home a header from Denzel Dumfries pinpoint delivery,
"The lads never stopped believing, right till the end,” Inzaghi began after the final whistle. “They've done so well considering the run of games we've had to play. We've had two matches go to 120 minutes, as well as a very tiring match in Bergamo.
“Going behind early on today could have been a big psychological blow. The pitch is a problem too – it's becoming unplayable. The club are trying to fix the problem, together with Milan, because something needs to be done about it. That's not an excuse but objectively speaking it's been difficult to play on in January.
“The five subs were decisive today because we needed an injection of power and pace. [Federico] Dimarco, [Arturo] Vidal, [Alexis] Sanchez, Dumfries and [Matias] Vecino all did brilliantly.
“This victory today is worth more than three points because in our last ten games we've won nine and drawn one. We're through to the next round of the Champions League and the Coppa Italia and we've won the Super Cup. These are all good signs. We want to keep going in every competition but we know it's going to become more and more difficult with every passing week.
“We'll enjoy this win now, rest up a bit, and then from Wednesday we'll get back to work with those who aren't away on international duty, and start focusing on the derby. Unfortunately the South Americans won't return until two or three days before the match but we'll keep going, as we have from July until now.”
Inter have conceded three goals in their last two league and Coppa Italia matches after conceding only one goal in eight league games.
“We could have done a lot better with the goal we conceded, although Henry did well to find a pocket of space. We need to start being ruthless once again because otherwise you can make life difficult for yourself. We were controlling the game and the goal could have knocked us out of our stride. As it happened we stayed in the game and we got three very important points which we fought for until the final whistle.”
Serie A has a weekend off next weekend and after that there is the derby.
“We'll work as best as we can during the break. Fortunately a lot of players are staying put, players like Vidal who is suspended. As for the other South Americans they have important qualification games and the Italian players will be on a training camp.
“We've had a demanding run of games with barely two-and-a-half days to prepare for each one. Venezia were very complimentary towards us after the match there and we wish to be equally so after the performance they put in this evening.”