Champions League: Ghost from the past

Inter face Real, look to put group stage misery behind them

Champions League: Ghost from the past

Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann during training. REUTERS

London, September 14

Inter Milan must put their troubled past in the Champions League group stages behind them when they begin a new campaign against Real Madrid, coach Simone Inzaghi said today.

The Italian champions have failed to get out of their group for the last three seasons and suffered the embarrassment of finishing bottom last year under Antonio Conte, behind Real Madrid, Borussia Monchengladbach and Shakhtar Donetsk.

Inzaghi’s side were again drawn with two of those teams in Group D this season, Real and Shakhtar, as well as Moldova’s FC Sheriff, and welcome the Spanish giants to San Siro on Wednesday.

“The past is the past, last season included. We have a great chance to write history in the present. It is a complicated group but we want to go through,” Inzaghi told a news conference. “Inter have not reached the knockout stages since 2011, so we are starting from tomorrow with that objective in mind.”

Game of gaffers

Inzaghi led Lazio to the last-16 of the Champions League last season before joining Inter. He now faces a big tactical battle at San Siro, coming up against Italian coaching royalty in Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti.

“I think that as a coach I have close to 50 matches between the Champions League and Europa League,” Inzaghi said. “Obviously Ancelotti has a lot more, but we will try to prepare ourselves in the best way possible and play with a knife between the teeth, hoping to be at our best.” “Ancelotti is one of the most successful managers in history. We have exchanged a few words in the past, it is a pleasure to talk football with him. Tomorrow we need to have the perfect game,” he added. — Reuters

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