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Hernandez: Cruz Azul vs. Tigres pivotal

Liga MX
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By ESPN Staff

Stramaccioni praises Inter resilience

Inter Milan coach Andrea Stramaccioni put aside his usually modest assessments of the club's performances to heap praise on the attitude shown by his players during the 1-0 win over AC Milan on Sunday.

• Horncastle: Inter win "different" derby
• Blog: Derby heartache for Milan

Stramaccioni's side moved up to fourth position and are just four points behind league leaders Juventus, while Milan remains in 11th spot.

The Inter boss outlined two critical moments in the game that swung momentum in favour of the visitors at the San Siro – the opening half and the reaction after having defender Yuto Nagatomo sent off.

"I think we did well in two areas in particular. First, the way we approached the game, something we'd worked a lot on," Stramaccioni said. "We wanted to being the game strongly and that was the best start we've made this season in terms of tempo.

"The second aspect which pleased me was how we reacted to being a man light after Nagatomo was sent off. We managed to prevent AC Milan from just playing the ball about on the edge of our penalty area, something we're very good at."

Inter have won all four matches away from home this season, although Stramaccioni is more focused on performance than results.

"I've said it before and I'll say it again. Let's not worry too much about the table, what matters is the progress these lads make, both psychologically and in terms of organisation," he said. "I think the fact we conceded so little space this evening is a sign of mental strength. These days it's very tough to play when you're a man down."

The home side were left to rue a number of missed chances, especially with Inter down to ten men and Stramaccioni realised that Inter were somewhat fortunate to hold onto their lead.

"We need to be more consistent in taking the game to our opponents. This is our biggest weakness at the moment, but I now feel I have a well-organised team, capable of hurting our opponents.

"Our approach at the back was to drop deep at every available opportunity, to sit back and not give the Rossoneri strikers spce in behind in which to cause us problems.

"I got annoyed on two occasions when we lost the ball – both from Juan Jesus I think – when AC Milan could have really punished us."

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