Mancini identifies key midfield switch in Empoli win

The Inter boss swapped Geoffrey Kondogbia and Marcelo Brozovic’s midfield roles at the break after Mauro Icardi’s opening goal and felt his side improved in the second half

Roberto Mancini says a half-time tactical tweak helped Inter see out a 1-0 Serie A victory at Empoli.

The league leaders returned to winning ways – having lost 2-1 at home to Lazio before the mid-season break – thanks to Mauro Icardi’s goal on the stroke of half-time.

Mancini admitted that his team had been second best during the opening 45 minutes but believes they improved after Geoffrey Kondogbia and Marcelo Brozovic swapped sides in their three-man central midfield.

“In the first half Empoli did better than us,” Mancini said. “In the second half we were much better. Brozovic and Kondogbia swapped position and have done well.

“I always though Mauro could make a difference. I’m sure of his quality.”

Mancini reserved praise for his opposite number Marco Giampaolo, whose team sit eighth in Serie A and entered the contest on a four-match winning run.

“Empoli is a difficult place to come and they are a team that plays well,” he added. “Giampaolo is doing a great job.

“The 1-0 was enough and we had a chance to double our lead, while our mistakes meant we risked something.”

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