Inter manager Luciano Spalletti refused to give any post-match interviews after his side’s stunning comeback win over Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday evening. I Nerazzurri netted two quick goals late in the second half to overturn a 2-1 deficit and leapfrog their hosts into fourth place in Serie A, thus qualifying for the UEFA Champions League at Lazio’s expense.
According to the Passione Inter website, Spalletti left his players with the responsibility of speaking to the media – which at least three of them were happy to do.
Defender Andrea Ranocchia, who came on as a late substitute, hailed his side’s achievement in what he called an ‘insane match’. Speaking to Mediaset Premium, and quoted by Football Italia, Ranocchia said:
“I would’ve come on for that late corner even if there hadn’t been a substitution. I felt good, I felt it was the night. I had to come on and take part. It was an insane match, but we achieved something fundamental.”
Ranocchia was full of praise both for Sunday’s opponents and especially for his own side, whom he hailed as ‘real men’: “Lazio are such a strong side and proved it again this evening, but we believed from start to finish,” he said, adding:
“First and foremost, before being players, we are men and that is what’s important. This Inter is full of real men.”
The Inter defender also hailed his side’s fans: “We have a rapport with the fans that few other sides in the world can boast. This is the reward for them believing in us, even when we lost our way and seemed to be out of the running.”
Captain Mauro Icardi and defender Joao Cancelo were also quoted by Football Italia after speaking to Mediaset Premium. Cancelo praised his ‘splendid’ side, while Icardi said: “Lazio play well, but we showed strength and desire to turn the result around.”
Like Lazio manager Simone Inzaghi, Icardi also rejected the notion that Stefan De Vrij’s pending move to Inter may have influenced his performance, in which he conceded the penalty from which the Argentine levelled the match:
“All players are professionals, I don’t think he fouled me on purpose. He tried to stop me scoring, it was just destiny,” said Icardi – echoing Inzaghi, who also attributed his side’s loss to ‘destiny’.
Perhaps worryingly for Inter fans, neither Cancelo nor Icardi committed their future to the Milanese club, with the striker heavily linked with a move away from the San Siro.
Cancelo – currently on loan from Valencia – said his future was ‘up to the two clubs and what they decide’, while Icardi – whose penalty put him level with Lazio’s Ciro Immobile in the race for the Capocannoniere – said diplomatically: “We’ll talk with the club and do what is best for Inter.”