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Spalletti hails importance of Inter’s win over Spurs

PUBLISHED: 11:30 19 September 2018

Inter Milan manager Luciano Spalletti (pic: Nick Potts/PA Images).

Inter Milan manager Luciano Spalletti (pic: Nick Potts/PA Images).

PA Archive/PA Images

Two goals in the final five minutes at the San Siro turned the game in favour of the Italian side

Spurs suffered a third loss in a row on Tuesday night, away to Inter Milan, to already find themselves on the back foot in the Champions League.

Mauricio Pochettino’s team headed to Italy off the back of consecutive defeats, but it did seem they would halt that run when Christian Eriksen fired them ahead with 53 played.

Inter captain Mauro Icardi had other ideas, however, and levelled in the 85th minute with a stunning volley before Matias Vecino headed home a winner in stoppage time.

The importance of the result was not lost on Nerazzurri boss Luciano Spalletti, with Barcelona and PSV the other clubs in a tricky Group B.

“You need to try and win these games because you have to go and play away,” Spalletti told Press Association Sport.

“We are right at the start of the group, we need to try and secure the result.

“It was a magnificent win and the reaction at the end showed we are on the right path.”

There was a real sense of what might have been for Spurs, who enjoyed the better of the play in the second half.

A clash at the San Siro was never likely to be easy, but they had the best opportunity of the first 45.

Eriksen’s superb pass found Kane, but his second touch around Samir Handanovic was too heavy and the chance went begging.

It ensured it was goalless at the break, but Eriksen fired Tottenham ahead in the 53rd minute with a deflected shot.

At this stage, Spurs tried to kick on and they dominated possession, but Icardi’s fine strike gave Inter a lifeline.

Michel Vorm was left with no chance from the 25-yard volley and then worst was to follow when the hosts netted a stoppage-time winner.

Stefan de Vrij headed the ball back towards the six-yard area following a corner and Vecino powered an effort into the net.

It was a real sucker-punch for Tottenham and Pochettino as he suffered third defeats in a row for the first time since taking over the club.

Serge Aurier, who lost Vecino in the area for Inter’s winner, told BT Sport: “We controlled the game but we conceded two goals.

“Every player played very, very good, but I don’t know how we conceded the goals. We need to stay focused and stay together for next week.”

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