Conte: ‘Inter paid for first leg’

Antonio Conte said Inter ‘paid for the first leg’ after the 2-1 defeat on aggregate against Juventus in the Coppa Italia semi-finals.

The Nerazzurri are out of the Coppa Italia with a 0-0 draw at the Allianz Stadium and Antonio Conte felt his men did enough to score against the Bianconeri on the night.

“In my opinion we should have materialised the chances we created and it’s a shame, because after 180 minutes we saw two teams that fought until the end,” Conte told Rai1.

“We paid for the first leg, for some gifts we gave them. We tried to score until the end, because with one goal, they would have had more difficulty.

“I’m sorry because these are matches that are played in 180 minutes. Today we tried in every way, with desire and determination.

“You make mistakes, you have to learn from mistakes and then start over and try again.”

Romelu Lukaku had a quiet day for the visitors, but Conte stressed the Belgian ‘gave his all’.

“It was a difficult match, we were playing against Juventus, who have excellent players,” he said. “Romelu didn’t seem at 100 per cent, but even today he gave his all. There are some moments when you are in better shape and others where you aren’t.

“He’s an important player for us.”

Christian Eriksen was replaced by Stefano Sensi in the second half.

“Christian played his part, we wanted to have two playmakers with him and [Marcelo] Brozovic, and we put Juventus in difficulty.

“We played the game, I’m happy with what he gave.”

Inter are out of the Champions League and out of the Coppa Italia, but Conte believes his men will ‘learn from the mistakes’.

“We always try to look up, even in the Champions League we tried to get there,” he said. “Sometimes you succeed, others not.

“In the Coppa Italia, we go out in the semi-finals like last year. We have to work to try to be where we would like to be, but we aren’t there yet.

“A journey has begun, we learn from the mistakes and continue to work. But Inter have regained credibility. We scare the opponents and today we scared Juve.”

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