Luciano Spalletti singled out Lautaro Martinez for praise after the striker scored the winner in Inter’s 1-0 Europa League victory at Rapid Wien on Thursday.
The Argentine smashed home a penalty after being brought down in the box, sealing an important victory for the Nerazzurri who were without star man Mauro Icardi after the forward was stripped of the club’s captaincy and fell injured before the game.
Speaking after the game, Spalletti praised the 21-year-old, stating his performance was one of the key factors in I?nter’s ?victory.
He said, as quoted by Inter’s ?official w?ebsite: ?“He had lots of responsibility and we have to give him credit because he put in a great performance.
“He often helped the team get forward with the ball at his feet, he pressed, he won the penalty and he took it. A lot from the result is thanks to his desire to fight for every ball.
“Centre forward is his role, he’s in his element there and he needs to show that he’s always lethal inside the area. But he’s a strong player and he has quality in tight spaces, he can turn with an opponent on his back and get a shot away.”
Inter now have a great chance to secure qualification to the last 16 in the return leg at San Siro next week and Spalletti also thanked the club’s fans for their turnout in Vienna.
He added: “For them, it’s always Saint Valentine’s Day because they always show their love for Inter. They’re always there for us wherever we go. They were also here in huge numbers today.”