Inter Milan manager Simone Inzaghi during a training session at the club’s Appiano Gentile complex on May 15, 2023.
Hit by criticism as his Inter Milan languished in the Championship, knockout specialist Simone Inzaghi responded in style by taking his team to the Coppa Italia final and to the brink of a Champions League title clash.
In the Champions League semi-final first leg on Wednesday, his team secured a valuable 2-0 win against Milan which they will need to confirm in the second leg on Tuesday.
“Tomorrow is one of the most important matches in Inter’s history. We have to play with our head and heart to achieve our dream of reaching the final. Despite the 2-0 deficit, Milan are formidable and have great players are,” Inzaghi recalled. this Monday.
With the Scudetto won brilliantly by Napoli, the 47-year-old coach has the consolation that his team is in contention to win the other competitions it participates in after lifting the Super Cup against Milan (3-0).
A potential hat-trick for a coach who has been on the brink of the sack on several occasions this year, according to the Italian press.
The Champions League has been his salvation on every occasion. This was the case in October: after four losses in eight league games, they raised their heads with a high-class double against Barcelona (1–0, 3–3), which saw them finish second in the group behind Bayern Munich. Got permission to access. And send the Catalans to the Europa League.
Similar situation in April: after four defeats in five matches in the league, Inzaghi knocked out Benfica in the quarter-finals (2-0, 3-3) and Juventus in the semi-finals of the Italian Cup (1-1, 1-) Saved the chair. 0).
– Collection of glasses –
Tired of the rumors of his departure? “I’m used to it, it’s part of the job,” he settled in April with his usual raspy voice, broken by much shouting at the edge of the pitch. “I read and listen a little, but I know everything,” the former Lazio striker added on Monday.
Inzaghi prefers to argue with the trophies won as a coach, six in six years, first with Lazio (2016-2021) and then with Inter, where he succeeded Antonio Conte in 2021: four Super Cups (a record for a coach he shared with Fabio Capello and Marcello Lippi) and two Italian Cups.
The coach will never please everyone: some believe his football is limited and others believe it does not develop players.
But his success in the knockout tournaments confirmed him as a coach of character, a winner who turns the bench into a stage, allowing his team to bring out their best when it’s against the wall.
On Tuesday there is a chance Inter could play in their first Champions League final since Jose Mourinho’s side won the title in 2010. If he plays in Istanbul on June 10, he will again have everything against defending champions Real Madrid or Pep Guardiola’s bright Manchester City. Just the situation in which Inzaghi runs best.