Friday, September 18, 2020

Handanovic: Bitter Europa League defeat to Sevilla can be ´starting point´ for Inter

SoccerNews in UEFA Europa League 21 Aug 2020

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Inter were left with “a great bitterness” after their Europa League final defeat to Sevilla but Samir Handanovic believes it can be the starting point for more positive things.

The Nerazzurri last won a trophy in 2011 and in his pre-match news conference Inter captain Handanovic said securing the silverware would enable the club to head back towards their previous heights.

They appeared to be on course to do just that when Romelu Lukaku fired home a penalty after being felled by Diego Carlos in the fifth minute in Cologne, before a pair of headers from Luuk de Jong put Sevilla in front.

Diego Godin restored parity before the break but Diego Carlos saw his overhead kick deflected into the back of the net by Lukaku with 16 minutes remaining.

Sevilla keeper Yassine Bounou produced a phenomenal save from Lukaku prior to the winner and Handanovic felt it would have been a different story if the Belgium international had found the back of the net. However, he tried to look on the bright side.

“There is a great bitterness, but we must move forward. As I said yesterday, this is a starting point and we hope to play many more of these games,” Handanovic told Sky Sport Italia.

“It’d be easy to point to various things that went wrong. We had opportunities, especially with Lukaku. It’s too bad, it could’ve been a different game.

“We faced each other head on. It was open, we both wanted to win. We should’ve held the ball better in the second half, as I think they were more tired and we had more fuel in the tank.

“The third goal was unfortunate, as it was going wide and it just hit Romelu’s foot, so that was bad luck and ultimately decided the match.

“We can build on the solid foundations for next season. Sevilla are a tough opponent and I congratulate them, now let’s move one.”

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