Inter coach Antonio Conte praised his players for their role in making Shakhtar Donetsk look average in their 5-0 demolition on Monday, though he’s now keen to bring some joy to Nerazzurri fans.
The Italian giants booked their spot in Friday’s final against Sevilla with the biggest scoreline in Europa League semi-final history, along with becoming the first Italian club to reach the final of the competition since Parma did so in 1999.
“I have to say well done to the lads because we’ve reached the final by beating a team that we made look average, even if they are strong,” he told Sky Sport Italia.
“We did well in not allowing them to play, pressing them all across the pitch and by creating problems. They have some issues in possession, but we made them run and defend. We had the right plan and played with courage
“I’m happy because the players made me happy by putting in a great European performances. They deserve all the credit.
“It’s a big satisfaction for everyone. A lot of these players are playing in these matches for the first time and are gaining experience in an important competition like this, which we haven’t won in awhile.
“We have a desire to impress and surprise. We were worried about this match because we respect Shakhtar a lot. We made them look like a normal side.
“Now we have to recover in an attempt to bring joy to Inter fans, who are following us with a lot of excitement. I think they can be proud of these players who are giving it their all.
“Like I’ve said before, we can’t have any regrets.”
Conte made headlines for a post-match rant after defeating Atalanta that seemed to criticize Inter management, but the Italian downplayed things by stating it was all done in an attempt to improve matters at the club.
“I’m not in the mood to go back to certain situations,” he added. “At that time I felt as though I had to say some things and I did. However I’m always constructive when I speak.
“The media always look to make things bigger than they are. At the same time, we have to take certain steps to be protagonists in the future.
“I’m not a political person, I look at the work being done and say things constructively without wanting to offend anyone.”