Jose Mourinho felt Inter deserved their 3-1 victory over Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League.
The Portuguese coach saw his side take a huge step towards the final with an impressive performance at Giuseppe Meazza.
Barca, the reigning European champions, took the lead in an entertaining contest but saw Wesley Sneijder, Maicon and Diego Milito score to turn the tie Inter’s way.
“They gave everything,” Mourinho said afterwards.
“We studied our opponent well and we prepared for the game well, but they were unbelievable in their character, in their mentality.
“We won and we deserved it but experience tells us that we still have a long way to go. Today we did it, though, and we deserved it.”
Mourinho insists he never doubted that Inter were capable of pulling off a win, despite falling behind.
“No, on the bench you don’t have time to think a lot or to feel that kind of emotion,” he said.
“You just keep going and playing, that’s the mentality.
“We made a mistake for their goal, a mistake in something that we know they do and shouldn’t have allowed them to do, but they created a big problem. After that I felt they were really in trouble when we were exploring and every time we kicked the long ball and pressed for a second goal. We did really well.”
Mourinho also revealed the tactics he used to keep the likes of Lionel Messi quiet on the night.
“I was saying yesterday that we weren’t going to play man to man,” he said.
“We didn’t want the game to be man to man against Xavi and Messi and nine against nine, we wanted 11 against 11.
“We wanted to play with the lines very close and not give them room between the lines and press them in the positions they get the ball.
“We played like this, but any little detail and they can change the game because they are incredible players.”