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Simone Inzaghi hopes Barcelona game can act as springboard for Inter Milan

Simone Inzaghi hopes Barcelona game can act as springboard for Inter Milan

Inter Milan boss Simone Inzaghi has called on his players to use Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Barcelona as a springboard following a difficult start to the season.

The Italian giants have only picked up 12 points from their opening eight matches of the 2022-23 Serie A campaign, which has left them down in ninth position in the table.

Inter will enter Tuesday’s game off the back of successive league defeats to Udinese and Roma, with the latter beating them 2-1 at San Siro on Saturday courtesy of a 75th-minute goal from Chris Smalling.

Inzaghi’s side also lost their Champions League opener to Bayern Munich on September 7 but did record a 2-0 victory over Viktoria Plzen in their last European fixture on September 13.

A total of three points from two matches has left them third in Group C, level on points with second-placed Barcelona, who also lost to Bayern last time out.

Inter Milan coach Simone Inzaghi on August 26, 2022© Reuters

Inzaghi is aware of the size of the task facing his side on Tuesday evening, calling Barcelona “a complete team”, but the Italian is confident that the hosts can pick up a positive result.

“We’ll analyse the game with Roma and then focus on Barcelona. It’s a tough moment because of the results. I think we played a good game [against Roma], we would have deserved a different result but we are aware that we must do more,” Inzaghi told reporters.

“With wins and results (how to improve the enthusiasm). We have a great opportunity tomorrow, we face a strong team, one of the best in Europe who undeservedly lost against Bayern Munich.

“They have high quality in every department, we should be very determined. The only way to end this moment is through victories, we could have started on Saturday, but the result was not on our side.

Inter Milan coach Simone Inzaghi reacts on April 9, 2022© Reuters

“Barcelona are very strong, they’re one of the teams that play the best football in Europe. We know what importance the match has, the group is open. The round is prohibitive, but we are Inter and we will try to play with all our strengths.

“They’re a complete team, strong, they can do everything. They are organised, they have the best ball recovery in Europe. They know how to be in possession and non-possession, they even put Lewandowski in.”

“We know the difficulty of the match. We already paid with Bayern despite a good game. We were not there in the key moments.

“We should have defended better on Sané’s goal and we should have taken better advantage of the opportunities. Tomorrow we have a strong opponent, we will have to limit them and strike at the right moment.”

Inzaghi is believed to be fighting to keep hold of his job at San Siro due to Inter’s struggles this season, with the upcoming games against Barcelona and Sassuolo likely to be crucial when it comes to his future.

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