Inter coach Roberto Mancini is adamant that his side fully deserved their desperately late 1-0 win over Atalanta on Sunday, declaring it a “wonderful” Serie A season opener.
An eighth-place finish last season ushered in a pre-season of upheaval, with the squad undergoing a significant overhaul in an attempt to make the club a force once again.
Inter dominated Sunday’s clash from start to finish, though they initially struggled to make the most of their superiority.
A 71st-minute sending off for Carlos Carmona gave Inter the advantage they needed and Stevan Jovetic curled in a delightful winner right at the end on his debut, leaving Mancini lauding a “wonderful” day despite his team’s wastefulness.
“I celebrated because I was very happy for the lads,” he told Sky Sport Italia.
“They gave their all until the end, played well and did not deserve to only get a draw.
“Plus, Stevan scored a goal on his debut, so it was all wonderful.
“I expected it to be tough, as Serie A is always extremely difficult at the beginning and Atalanta defended very well.
“Despite us having about 20 shots on target, we had to wait until the very end to score.”
Geoffrey Kondogbia was another to make his club debut on the day and impressed in midfield, and Mancini only expects him to go from strength to strength.
“He is a very young player and he struggled at first because he was unaccustomed to the heavy workload in pre-season training that we do in Italy,” he added.
“He was therefore a little heavy for a while, but over the last few days he’s getting stronger.
“I don’t want too much pressure put on him, as he too needs time to adapt.”