Antonio Conte: Borussia Dortmund was afraid of Inter

Inter head coach Antonio Conte admitted Borussia Dortmund's tactics surprised him and praised his team for reacting in its 2-0 win on Wednesday.

Inter head coach Antonio Conte said Borussia Dortmund was nervous during the Champions League game between the sides.   -  Getty Images

Antonio Conte claimed Borussia Dortmund feared Inter Milan following the Nerazzurri's 2-0 Champions League victory on Wednesday.

Lautaro Martinez – who had a second-half penalty saved – made it five goals in four games for Inter as he opened the scoring in the 22nd minute before Antonio Candreva sealed the Group F points with a minute of regulation remaining.

It was Inter's first victory over German opposition since March 2011 and head coach Conte told Sky Sport Italia: "Borussia Dortmund changed their system to five at the back, which means they were afraid of us and wanted to play by changing their approach to mirror ours.

"We had prepared for a very different match, but did well to adjust. When Dortmund switched back to 4-2-3-1 after the break, we adjusted again and took control.

"We had prepared to press them in certain areas of the pitch and they changed their system, so that was no longer valid. The most important thing I told the lads was not to lose possession in central areas, as that is where they push forward on the counter."

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"Roberto Gagliardini, Nicolo Barella and Marcelo Brozovic did a great job both in defending and attacking. I often tell Brozo off for attacking too much, but he had a great game tonight with both phases. Barella is so generous and passionate, but he does give me anxiety attacks when he gets booked after 10-15 minutes."

Inter now has four points from three games in Group F and moved up to second – ahead of Dortmund on goal difference – and three points adrift of leader Barcelona.

"It's tough against Borussia Dortmund, who are a very good team. It's still difficult to qualify, but we know that we're alive and kicking," Conte added.

"It is not a simple situation. The lads did well and dealing with a series of injuries, we still put in a great performance. I am happy above all for the players, as these nights reward them for their sacrifices.

"I told the team that they worked so hard with Luciano Spalletti to qualify for the Champions League, so it was important we give our all to keep that dream going.

"We're not the favourites in this group, but we had to win to stay in the running and we did it. Now we've got Parma coming up, not even three days away, so we need to be very wary, as Saturday is the toughest game and not tonight."

- FAVRE: EVERYTHING STILL POSSIBLE DESPITE DEFEAT -

Borussia Dortmund head coach Lucien Favre remains upbeat about his team's qualification chances, despite its loss to Inter in the Champions League. Dortmund left Milan emptyhanded after going down 2-0 to host Inter.

Favre's side succumbed to goals from Martinez and Candreva at San Siro, where Inter leapfrogged Dortmund into second position on goal difference.

Borussia Dortmund head coach Lucien Favre felt his side played well against Inter Milan despite losing 0-2.   -  Getty Images

 

Reflecting on the match, Favre – whose position has reportedly come into question amid Jose Mourinho being linked to his job – said: "We played well; in the first half we were very solid, too bad that we conceded that first goal.

"Except for that, it was okay. We didn't have lots of chances but played rather well. We waited patiently and avoided counterattacks. We had a clear chance which we should have done better with.

"We went in at the break a goal down, then had a couple of chances before they made it 2-0. We should have done better with those chances.

"It was our plan to play a compact game and press them in the right moment. We cannot expect to have 10 chances against this team. It is a difficult group, but everything is still possible."

Dortmund is fourth in the Bundesliga and only one point off the pace after its win over leader Borussia Monchengladbach last week.

However, Favre – who saw Dortmund finish runner-up to Bayern Munich last season after surrendering a lead atop the table – has still been criticised in Germany.

"Some things were missing, we did not get bodies into the box," Dortmund general manager Sebastian Kehl said, in quotes published on UEFA.com. "Nevertheless, we didn't necessarily have to lose 2-0 today.

"The coach had an idea how to change things, it did work out quite well, we did not allow them a lot, but we were asleep for the opener. I don't think the tactical set-up was the problem."

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