KYIV – In their second Champions League match of the season, Antonio Conte’s Inter side, who spent almost the entirety of the game in the opposition half, weren’t able to break through the Ukrainian wall. The Nerazzurri hit the bar twice and had plenty of chances against Shakhtar Donetsk, but ultimately the game at the Olimpiyskiy National Sports Complex in Kyiv ended in a 0-0 stalemate.
This is what Antonio Conte had to say after the match:
Given that Inter dominated but only came away with a 0-0 draw, how do you feel about the game?
“I’m feeling positive because the team played with the right intensity and displayed the right attitude. We took the game to our opponents and played as a real team, but we weren’t very fortunate. We performed excellently in both phases, creating numerous problems for Shakhtar. They are a very technical and quick side, so the lads really did do well. It’s disappointing because we deserved to win, but performances like this make us aware that we’re on the right track. We want to go for it wherever we play without focusing on the strength of the opponents we’re up against.”
Are the team more prepared compared to last season?
“We’ve been working together for a year and the team have acquired knowledge, gaining self-confidence in the process. Now, we defend from the front and press all over the pitch, leaving no time for our opponents to play. We didn’t sit back waiting to hit Shakhtar on the counter, so I can’t be anything but satisfied. We gave nothing away and took the game to them. There’s disappointment because we created a lot of chances, but I can’t really criticise the lads, also because it was our fourth match in ten days and we began this cycle with eight players missing. We’re holding our ground in every respect, also thanks to the precious work of the staff. Now, we’ll turn our attentions to the league and Parma, after which we’ll prepare for our Champions League match against Real Madrid.”
Did the 5-0 victory in the Europa League put you at a disadvantage given Shakhtar’s defensive setup?
"They played the same way against Real Madrid, aiming to hit them on the break. During that game, they did well to score three goals on the counter, while we were compact this evening. The difference between the Europa League match and tonight is the fact that we didn’t take our chances this evening. Given the characteristics that Shakhtar possess, I’m pleased with how the lads worked. This is the right mentality. We want to impose ourselves wherever we play, and this is the aim of our work.”