Jose Mourinho was pleased with his side’s performance, but felt the scoreline should have been more convincing following Inter’s 1-0 win over CSKA Moscow.
Diego Milito scored the only goal of the game at Giuseppe Meazza, but Inter squandered a number of opportunities to secure a more comfortable advantage to take to Moscow next week.
Nonetheless, Mourinho is confident Inter can score at the Luzhniki Stadium and make it through to the last four.
“It is difficult against this team and when I said it would be an ugly game, I knew what I was talking about,” he said.
“CSKA kept clammed up and blocked off all the spaces, so it was very tough to get anything done.
“In the second half the spaces opened up a bit and we created so many chances that ending 3-0 would’ve been frankly the least we would expect from such a performance.
“Nonetheless, it’s a win and we got the result, so with a goal in the second leg we can be pretty much secure of qualification.”
Meanwhile, CSKA coach, Leonid Slutsky, lamented his side’s failure to retain possession.
Unfortunately we did not manage to perform in attack,” he said. “We knew Inter would leave space, but we could not exploit it. We gave the ball away too often which put a lot of pressure on our back line, though the defence looked quite confident tonight. It is difficult to remain focused for the full 90 minutes under such pressure and that was the reason we conceded that goal.
“Anyway the score leaves us the chance to play a better game in Moscow. Neither Inter nor our previous rivals underestimated us. I don’t believe we made it to this stage because other teams underestimated us.
“The 1-0 scoreline is comfortable for the winners because if they score again the other side has to reply with three goals and if they concede everything just starts from the scratch. But this result keeps us in with a chance.”