Inter 4 Tottenham 1: It was a real lesson for us, admits Villas-Boas
Inter 4 Tottenham 1: Andre Villas-Boas admits Spurs were taught a real lesson despite edging into the quarter-finals after extra-time
Andre Villas-Boas admitted Tottenham Hotspur were taught “a real lesson” by Inter Milan after Emmanuel Adebayor’s extra-time strike salvaged an aggregate victory at the San Siro.
Italy international Antonio Cassano struck inside 20 minutes with a guided header before Rodrigo Palacio made it 2-0 after the break to leave Inter on the brink of levelling the tie.
And Kyle Walker’s cheap foul on Javier Zanetti provided Cassano with the chance to sweep a free-kick past Brad Friedel, albeit aided by a deflection off William Gallas, in the 75th minute.
Esteban Cambiasso came close to scoring a winner in the dying seconds of normal time before Adebayor finished from close range in the sixth minute of extra-time after Mousa Dembele’s low shot was parried into his path.
Inter scored again through Ricardo Álvarez but the home side failed to score a vital fifth as Villas-Boas’s side held on to book their place in the quarter-final draw.
“Tonight we suffered what Inter did in London. When the mind isn’t working, everything becomes a catastrophe,” Villas-Boas told Sky Sport Italia.
“I think every time Inter scored, they felt stronger and it was like a knife wound for us. We really struggled a lot.
“The players did brilliantly to go through. I could not be afraid, because I felt the team was going towards its objective.
“However, this was a real lesson for us and we must learn from it if we are to become great in Europe.”
Villas-Boas also admitted Tottenham missed Gareth Bale, who was suspended for the San Siro tie after picking up a booking in the first leg.
“Bale is an important and decisive player, so yes he was missed, just as Rodrigo Palacio was missed by Inter in the first half at White Hart Lane,” added Villas-Boas. W