Simone Inzaghi never doubted his Inter side had what it took to fight back from two goals down to beat Empoli 4-2 in Friday’s thrilling Serie A contest.
Inter were two goals down at San Siro after Andrea Pinamonti, who is registered to the reigning Italian champions, and Kristjan Asllani found the net inside the first 28 minutes.
That had Empoli well on course for a first away win in 10 away league matches, only for Milan youth product Simone Romagnoli to put into his own net and give Inter a lifeline.
Lautaro Martinez then blasted home a couple of first-time finishes either side of half-time, before substitute Alexis Sanchez made certain of the victory in added time.
The win for Inter – their ninth in a row against Empoli in Serie A – moves them one point above Milan, who can reclaim top spot when they travel to Hellas Verona on Sunday.
And despite his side uncharacteristically gifting the visitors two early goals, Inzaghi was ultimately pleased with the response.
“We’ve said in the past few days that we must pay attention to Empoli and defend well. But I always knew that the team would have the right reaction,” he told DAZN.
“We created chances and took many shots. [Guglielmo] Vicario was very good in goal.”
Inter registered 37 shots in total – 10 of those on target – which is the most of any side in a single game in Europe’s top five leagues this season.
In front of a packed home crowd, Inzaghi felt his side tried too hard to make a fast start and were made to pay by their opponents.
“An experienced team like ours shouldn’t concede goals like that, but the feeling is that we wanted to score immediately in front of this crowd,” he said.
“I think we set the record today for the number of shots. In the first 25 minutes or so we were too frenzied to take the lead and Empoli put us under pressure.
“But we showed a great reaction and that has to be congratulated.”
Inter will have one eye on Milan’s trip to Verona on Sunday, but their immediate focus now switches to Wednesday’s Coppa Italia final showdown with Juventus.
And with six wins from their past seven games in all competitions, Inzaghi’s side will enter that match at Stadio Olimpico with the wind in their sails.
“We’ll take a great injection of confidence for what lies ahead,” the Inter head coach added. “This team has been going strong since August, moving forward in all competitions.
“This victory against a very organised opponent will only give us confidence.”
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