Internazionale coach Roberto Mancini remained confident his side could get the better of Valencia, despite twice surrendering the lead in a 2-2 draw.
Looking ahead to the return in Spain, Mancini said Inter were good enough to win anywhere and Valencia coach Quique Sánchez Flores admitted that the tie was evenly balanced.
“I think a 2-1 win for us would have been a fairer result,” said Mancini. “We should have prevented their second goal and would have if we’d paid more attention. However, we know we have enough quality to go there and get a result.
“The Mestalla is a tough stadium to visit but we have enough strength to win anywhere. I’m more confident this year going to Spain than when we were eliminated from the Champions League by Villarreal [in last season’s quarter-finals].
“We are much stronger this term. But, as I said in the pre-match conference, anything can happen over two legs. This competition is different compared to a domestic league where the strongest side always win in the long run, but that is the beauty of cup football.
Valencia coach Quique Sanchez Flores refused to get carried away with the result given the quality in Inter’s expensively-assembled squad.
“It was a very good result for us,” he admitted. “I’m satisfied with the way we managed to keep possession of the ball, especially in the second half. I think the game went pretty much as we were hoping – Inter had more chances to score but our attackers are very good and made the best possible use of their opportunities.
“However, the tie will be decided in Spain and for Italian teams – and especially Inter – it doesn’t make any difference playing at home or away. They will take the same approach as tonight and I think there’s a 50-50 chance for both sides.
“We have been a very consistent team over the last couple of years and after two excellent results against great sides like Barcelona [2-1 last Sunday] and Inter, we have great expectations for the return.”