UDINE – Simone Inzaghi praised his team's resilience after they hung on to claim a vital victory at Udinese on Sunday.
Ivan Perisic headed the Nerazzurri into an early lead from Federico Dimarco's corner then Lautaro Martinez added a second when he turned in the rebound after his penalty came back off the post.
Udinese got themselves back in it when Ignacio Pussetto scored from the only chance created the hosts in 98 minutes, but Samir Handanovic and Co. managed to see out the game and move back within two points of the Serie A summit.
"We showed tremendous character and courage today against a team that were second only to us in terms of points picked up in April,” Inzaghi began as he spoke to DAZN following the final whistle.
“Udinese found themselves up against an Inter side determined to win and with no intention of leaving anything at this very tough ground.
“I want to thank our fans for making us feel at home. They turned up in their droves today and got behind us from start to finish.
“Pussetto's goal made us drop off a bit but we hardly ever came under serious threat.
“I think this was our 50th match this season and despite everything we played well. We've won the Super Cup, reached the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time in 11 years, and we're still in the running to win both the Coppa Italia and the league. We have four matches left to play, we're in good shape and we'll keep fighting right till the very end.”
The coach went on to explain that AC Milan's victory over Fiorentina earlier in the day had done nothing to unsettle him or the team.
“I was concentrating on the game we had to play, just as the lads were. Playing before or after our rivals doesn't change anything. It's been like this for years and we're used to adapting to the TV schedule and the fixture list.
“We're taking things one game at a time. Before the cup final we have a hugely important game on Friday against Empoli in front of our fans. We know we need to perform as Inter should always perform. There are nine points still to play for and anything is possible.
“The lads ran hard and fought hard with real grit and determination today. You need all of that in intense games like this. We had another tough away match just three days ago. We were desperate to win this one and we did that.”
The coach ended with an update on Nicolo Barella's condition after the midfielder was forced off shortly before full time due to a knock to the knee.
“It looks like it's just bruising. We hope it's not serious because he's a tremendously important player for us. He was excellent today. The doctors have reassured me to some extent but we're keeping our fingers crossed because we need him for these last few games.”