Inter boss Luciano Spalletti has found very few reasons to complain about after his side defeated mid-table team Cagliari by 3-1 on Saturday night.
Captain Mauro Icardi scored a brace and Marcelo Brozovic provided the rest, although Cagliari tried their best to make things difficult for the guests.
The Sardinian team were predominant during the first half and managed to net thanks to a beautiful volley by Leonardo Pavoletti.
“This was the performance of a strong side, because we started with some difficulties,” Spalletti told Mediaset Premium.
“Icardi got this knock early on and for 10 minutes he couldn’t run smoothly. We tried to press them higher, as we were reacting as individuals rather than as units, and Cagliari were flinging themselves into the fire to get to these loose balls first."
The Italian coach praised the home team's determination to fight back: “We had some difficulties creating moves from the back, as Cagliari were pressing us so hard it was violent. They were rushing at us at full force the second we got the ball.”
He had to make several tactical changes during the game, as the hosts proved to be tougher than expected: “I wanted to change our shape, so we basically mirrored Cagliari’s tactics, but it was an issue of getting to grips with the distances and movements. In the second half, we went back to a four-man defence and played more of our football.”
Inter underdog Antonio Candreva was one of the best players on Saturday night, often providing providential crosses. Spalletti defended him from the latest critics by saying: “Candreva has to listen to us, not what comes from the outside.
"We have great faith in him, as he has courage, power and these reactions late on even when he looks like he might not have anything left in the tank.
"He went on a coast-to-coast in the final minutes to create another scoring opportunity, so we are very happy with him.”
He jokingly concluded: "What makes Inter better than other teams? I usually offer dinner to all the team!"