Spalletti: 'Inter character in Frankfurt'

Luciano Spalletti concedes Inter did better in the first half than the second, but the Europa League draw with Eintracht Frankfurt was “a great game.”

The 0-0 away draw in the first leg of the Round of 16 is a positive result, considering how strong the Germans are on home turf, but there are also regrets after Marcelo Brozovic’s penalty was saved.

“Inter played with authority and character, especially at the start, as that was the most difficult period of the game,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia on his 60th birthday.

“We have to consider the performance more than the result, because in these two-legged affairs, the result only means something after both games have been played.”

It wasn’t entirely clear who was meant to take the penalty, but Brozovic stepped up and his weak effort was parried by Kevin Trapp.

“I believe he can take penalties, just like Ivan Perisic and Matteo Politano. These are players who are very good from the spot, then of course anyone can make mistakes. He wanted to take it and that’s fine with me.

“In the first half, we made the right choices after recovering the ball, but after the break we let them pile on to us, hesitated in our decisions and were too timid. We started just passing it around with no real intent and lost too many physical battles.

“Some players can give more in certain situations, but it was a great game.”

Lautaro Martinez and Kwadwo Asamoah were booked, so will be suspended for the second leg at San Siro. Does that mean Inter will try to get Mauro Icardi back from his self-imposed exile?

“I have to focus on the players at my disposal. There were several missing in midfield today, but when it suits you (in the media), you don’t care about that.

“It’ll be important to have Keita back from injury, as for the rest, I am not the person to ask. Ivan Perisic has a muscular issue, but it shouldn’t be serious, he stopped before it could get worse.”

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