Thursday, 23 April 2009

Coppa mountain to climb for Inter

Inter President Massimo Moratti admits his team have a mountain to climb in the second leg of their Coppa Italia semi-final against Sampdoria on Thursday.

The Blucerchiati thumped the reigning three-time Serie A champions 3-0 in the first leg in Genoa last month to leave Inter's hopes of bagging a league and cup double in tatters.

And Moratti believes it will take a monumental effort from Jose Mourinho's men to turn the tie around.

"A feat is needed," he said. "Lots of concentration and effort is necessary. The team wants to do well, but we will see.

"We have to believe it's possible. We have seen everything in football but it certainly won't be easy. Our players have to approach this match with concentration and determination."

Inter go into the encounter at the San Siro on the back of Saturday's 1-1 draw at Juventus, an outcome that left Mourinho's side 10 points clear of AC Milan and Juve at the top of the standings.

Walter Mazzarri's Samp will be looking to repeat last month's inspiring performance against the Nerazzurri.

Samp took the first leg by the scruff of the neck, going ahead after nine minutes through Antonio Cassano before a brace from Giampaolo Pazzini completed a wonderful evening for the Blucerchiati.

Goalkeeper Luca Castellazi is calling for his side to do all they can to maintain their focus.

"We took a big advantage at the Stadio Marassi," he said. "But this tie lasts 180 minutes and it would be crazy for us to go to the San Siro and defend the result taken in the opening leg.

"To defend deeply against big teams will never get us anywhere. We have to forget about the first leg result, we will need a similar performance as the one we displayed against Inter in our opening leg.

"For us to reach the final of the Coppa Italia would give a significant value to our season."

Samp's hopes of finishing in Serie A's European qualifying spots appear remote. Last weekend's 2-0 defeat at Catania left the Blucerchiati trailing 12 points behind sixth-placed Roma with six games remaining.

However, the Genoa-based outfit can still hope to play in the Europa League as reaching the Coppa Italia final against Lazio, who beat Juve 4-2 on aggregate on Wednesday, could be sufficient to see Samp return to Europe next season.

Source: Sporting Life

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