The significance of Inter’s 2-0 Champions League victory over Viktoria Plzen was clear to Simone Inzaghi as he attempted to make his way through a group that included Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
Inter was facing the possibility of beginning a Champions League campaign with back-to-back losses for the second time after losing to Bayern 2-0 last Wednesday (after doing so in 2006-07).
However, Edin Dzeko’s artistic first-half goal gave the Nerazzurri the upper hand.
And when Pavel Bucha was benched at the hour mark, Denzel Dumfries secured the points.
Inter has now won three of its past four away games in the Champions League, matching its previous 12-game streak.
Having won 1-0 at Liverpool during the second leg of a round of 16 matchup in March.
For the first time since October 2011, the Nerazzurri have won back-to-back away games in the tournament.
Inzaghi was aware of the significance of earning all three points in the Czech Republic when he opened his press conference by referring to Barcelona and Bayern as “the two finest teams in the world right now.”
“We know we will face them, and today, the goal was to bring home the points.
“We made easy a match that was not. No Italian team had won here in Plzen.
“It’s a well-deserved victory, wanted by the boys. I’m happy.
“And we are happy because we knew that the opponent could not be underestimated.
“We knew the path of all the Italian teams that came here in Plzen.
“The boys were good, they remained focused, and I congratulated them in the locker room.”
After Dzeko swept into the bottom-right corner, Inter never seemed like they would lose the game.
In his last 21 Champions League games, he has contributed to 20 goals (14 goals, six assists).
Romelu Lukaku should return from injury after this month’s international break, and Inzaghi emphasized the value of competition in the Inter attack while appreciating the forward’s performance.
“Edin was good, like all his teammates. I need everyone in defence, in midfield and in the attack.
“After the break, Lukaku will return from match to match.
“I will choose the attacking couple who will enter the field.”
Plzen coach Michal Bilek, meanwhile, rued the ruthlessness of the Bosnia and Herzegovina international, declaring:
“I said yesterday that a shot on goal was enough for him to score.
“He is a very good player, and even today, he scored like this.
“For the rest of the match, I think that our players managed to control him well.”
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