MARSEILLE – “It was a shock,” were ClaudioRanieri‘s opening words at the end of the match between Olympique Marseille and Inter. “The match seemed to be heading for a 0-0. They had only really looked dangerous at the start of the match; after that we were largely in control, we kept hold of the ball, we moved it around well. And then… But this team deserves to complete the comeback in a full Stadio Meazza, with the crowd putting the wind in our sails,” declared the coach, calling the Nerazzurri faithful to get behind the side.
“It doesn’t end here, there are still 90 minutes to play. What will we do in the return leg? Go on the attack… patiently,” Ranieri stressed, before analysing his selection choices up front: “I needed players with technical ability who could surprise the opponents with their skill on the ground. That’s why I went with Sneijder, Zarate and Forlan: I needed agile players. With Pazzini I would have needed men playing more down the wings to provide him with decent service, while Milito hasn’t been well all week. The game went as I expected it would; what I expected to see happen did happen – except for us scoring. Julio Cesar only made one save from a corner and then they went and scored. Inter can’t find the net at the moment? It’s true, we haven’t scored for a long time: we must work even harder.”
The coach continued: “The lads know they played well. It’s difficult to turn it around now but Inter are capable of scoring two goals at home. Afraid? No. The result is against us at the moment but the team is determined and we’ll get out of it. I’m sorry for the result but it was a positive game. We weren’t able to take advantage of the openings we created but the lads have plenty of experience in picking themselves up and knuckling down; only by trying to be even more determined, hard-working and positive can we get out of this. And we will. Sneijder? He played well.”
The coach was then asked for an injury update on Maicon, who was substituted at half time: “Maicon was having problems with his knee; now we’ll evaluate him properly.”