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Spalletti Praises Team Effort As Inter Milan Move Into Second Place

Luciano Spalletti called Mauro Icardi “a raptor pouncing on its prey,” but spread the credit for Inter’s victory over Atalanta to the whole team.

“Inter have their own identity and tonight played like a mature team that knows when to wait for the important moment, knows where it wants to go and how to get there,” the Coach told Mediaset Premium.

“Icardi is a champion, but I am one of those Coaches who think a victory is always credited to the whole team. We allowed Atalanta very little, kept it tight, recreating those attacking movements that give you the advantage when trying to score.

“At some moments we don’t maintain the idea of the football we want, with these ambushes on their defensive line, but we did harass them all the way to the corner flag and the by-line often. They were creating superiority on the wing and so we adjusted a few things in midfield.”

Icardi made the difference with two goals, both headers, one from an Antonio Candreva free kick.

“Nobody had scored against Atalanta from a set play, but Icardi did, because he’s like a raptor pouncing on its prey,” smiled Spalletti.

Inter had used the same starting XI for five games in a row until tonight, as Davide Santon replaced Yuto Nagatomo.

“When the players lower the intensity level and run low on gas, we can change. I was pleased to see Icardi track back and win back possession in our final third. We’ve made few changes to the starting XI because the team had to find its balance as quickly as possible and this was the best way of doing that.”