SESTO SAN GIOVANNI – It was possibly the best performance of the season so far by the Nerazzurri U-19s. They produced some excellent football in the first half then after the break showed they can hold onto a lead. Inter v Basel was the third match in the NextGen Series for Andrea Stramaccioni's Primavera team. After the game played at the Stadio Breda in Sesto San Giovanni, the coach spoke to Inter Channel about how his players performed: "This team is improving rapidly. It's a team that wants to become a great side and to do that you need both things we saw today: skill and tenacity. You always need a bit of quality - that takes time but we're improving. And you also have to know how to be solid and cynical when required."
Two of the players in the starting line-up against Basel had made a special effort to be there: Lorenzo Crisetig (who made his Champions League debut less than 24 hours ago) and Andrea Romanò (on the bench at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow) got back to Milan late last night but were determined to join their team-mates for this NextGen Series match. "Crisetig and Romanò are exemplary," said Stramaccioni. "We're extremely proud of them for getting called up to the first team. Then they were here today to help the team by giving their all on the pitch. We had a tough match on Saturday [away to Brescia] and it was no easier today, but we maintained our concentration. We're on the right path but this is only the start of the journey."
Stramaccioni also looked ahead to Inter's next fixture in the NextGen Series, against Tottenham on 2 November: "Immediately after the game in London, I stressed how much quality there is in this group; it's a group I have great belief in. Today we proved once more that we can compete in this tournament. We're looking forward to hosting Tottenham here and we'll be ready for them."
But there's still over a month to go before that game. In the meantime, Stramaccioni and his Primavera have to prepare for next Saturday's Coppa Italia first round return leg against Ascoli.