Internazionale booked their place in the last eight of the Champions League last night with an impressive 2-0 victory in Leverkusen.
With Inter needing to beat Leverkusen in case Newcastle overcame Barcelona, Hector Cuper’s side overpowered the German side with relative ease.
Cuper was happy with the way his team performed and picked out 18-year-old Nigerian Obefemi Martins for individual praise. Martins, who was called up to the Nigerian squad during the week after an injury to Julius Agahowa has been a revelation since replacing the injured Hernan Crespo, and Crespo will find it hard to drop the youngster when he has a full squad to choose from.
When asked about the performance of Martins Cuper joked: “I was really worried he might injure himself doing all those back-flips. Seriously, I think he played fantastically today. He was a real threat with his pace and got the vital first goal.
‘ In the end the players did a job and I would like to compliment them on the performance, ” said Cuper.
“All in all I think we deserved to win the game. We had the better chances and could have got a few more goals. The reason we won today is because my players were very disciplined.”
With Martins and Emre Belozoglu sealing thewin for Inter, Leverkusen coach Thomas Horster was left disappointed that he could not have tested his strongest side in the last few games due to the club’s current domestic plight.
“Believe me, I would have loved to have played Jens Nowotny, Lucio and all the others.” said Horster.
“It would have given us a good chance of winning, but that is not the situation we are in. I realise that I may never be able to feel the special atmosphere of the Champion League again.”