Inter Milan manager Andrea Stramaccioni was happy to see his defensive gameplan pay off against Napoli on Sunday.
Stramaccioni’s side chose to sit back and let Napoli enjoy plenty of possession and that plan worked well as Fredy Guarin and Diego Milito both got on the scoresheet as Inter climbed to second on the Serie A table with a 2-1 victory.
“That’s exactly the game I wanted, the game I prepared for,” Stramaccioni said after the match.
“We worked in that direction, we wanted to be dangerous, but limit the extraordinary strong points that make Napoli one of the strongest teams in the league.
“The players interpreted the game perfectly and my compliments go to them, because I can prepare them for 1000 games, but if they don’t interpret them well there’s nothing I can do.
“[Javier] Zanetti and [Walter] Gargano, together with the whole defence and Guarin, these guys performance were the best way to limit [Marek] Hamsik and not allow [Edinson] Cavani to express his incredible talent here at San Siro.”
The 36-year-old manager defended his team selection, which included Guarin being entrusted with playmaking responsibilities and Esteban Cambiasso drafted in at centre-back ahead of the unfavoured Matias Silvestre.
“We do not have a [natural] playmaker in our group, but today [Guarin] took up the position behind the two strikers,” he continued.
“Then I asked him to sacrifice some of his duties to close down Zuniga. He played wonderfully like the rest of the team.
“Napoli have plenty of quality in midfield so I preferred to start with Guarin from the beginning to keep balance in the team.
“I picked Cambiasso to improve both the quality of our defensive distribution and reading of our opponents’ movement. For this reason I did not play Silvestre.”