Inter must ‘make no mistakes’ in final against Man City: Head coach Inzaghi

Inter Milan head coach Simone Inzaghi on Friday said their opponents Manchester City in Saturday’s UEFA Champions League final are “very strong”, and that the Italian club must limit their mistakes on the pitch.

“Manchester City right now is probably the best team in the world. But we are aware of the Champions League campaign, and we are proud of what we did. We will do our very best to play the final with high concentration and must make no mistakes. We have to do this because our opponent is a very strong team,” Inzaghi said at a pre-match press conference in Istanbul, Trkiye.

Inzaghi said the midfield, as well as physical and mental power, will be crucial for the winning final.

“The midfield will be the crucial part of the match. But aside from the midfield, I think what really matters a lot is fitness, legs, mind, and heart. Because you need to be fit to run, you need your mind to stay focused at all times during the match, and you must really put all your heart into these games,” Inzaghi said.

He said Inter know how strong Manchester City and their star forward Erling Haaland are, so the Italian team took measures for him.

“Clearly, we will have a special eye for him. We have prepared something (to stop him). However, all Inter players will have to defend not only Haaland, but all of Manchester City,” said the head coach.

Manchester City lead this season’s Champions League scoring charts with 31 goals, miles ahead of Inter’s tally of 19.

Haaland is the top scorer with 12 strikes and will be the English club’s main goal threat in the final.

In response to a question, Inzaghi said Inter trained and prepared for penalties throughout the season in case the 2023 Champions League winning team is decided by a penalty shootout.

Meanwhile, Inter’s Turkish midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu was in the press conference to express his happiness and pride at playing in the final in his home country.

“I am sure my country supports me and pray for me,” Calhanoglu said.

“I know it will not be easy. Manchester City is a powerful opponent,” the 29-year-old said, adding that the entire Inter team will put their hearts and souls into this match in order to play the final.

Calhanoglu responded to a question about Ilkay Gundogan, Manchester City’s German midfielder of Turkish descent, by saying he had not had the opportunity to speak with him but would face him on the field on Saturday.

However, he wished him good luck, saying it will be a special match for him and Gundogan because it will be the first time two Turkish descent players face off in a Champions League final.

“We will focus on our game tomorrow. Of course, we analyzed our opponents. We do not let them play their own game. As we know, City keep the ball in their possession and they play well at offense,” he said, adding that Inter will try to get them into trouble and spoil the English team’s plans.

– ‘Be patient, stable during match’

Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola advised his players to stay focused on their task and be patient against Inter in the final.

“You have to be stable in the finals. Defend well, attack (effectively), and have control. You have to be patient. The most important thing in this type of game is to believe we are 0-0 and that we are losing.

“Italian teams are 0-0 and believe they are winning. They are not winning… it is 0-0. We have to be stable here, and get rhythm and be stable,” Guardiola said.

“In bad moments, we need to step forward. It will happen. 1-0 down or 1-0 up… so in both circumstances… be stable,” he said.

“… I will have a plan. We are ready. I have the feeling the players will give absolutely everything. Go for it!” Guardiola added.

Manchester City’s Belgian star Kevin De Bruyne said they should not be nervous during the game and that they will “find openings” to create chances.

“I think we understand what Inter are, they’re very compact… We understand what they are as a team, they defend well. So we don’t expect it to be an open game, so we have to understand not to get nervous too quickly.

“We have to try and play the way we do and hopefully we will find openings and start to create chances and score some goals,” De Bruyne said.

The final between Manchester City and Inter will kick off at Istanbul’s Ataturk Olympic Stadium at 1900GMT.

Source: Anadolu Agency