FC Internazionale Milano coach José Mourinho saw his team reach their first UEFA Champions League semi-final in seven years with a 1-0 win at PFC CSKA Moskva – and said his players' new-found maturity had transformed their fortunes in the competition. Wesley Sneijder scored with a sixth-minute free-kick, and after Vasili Berezutski succumbed to injury and his replacement Chidi Odiah was sent off, Leonid Slutsky admitted the task was beyond CSKA.
José Mourinho, Inter coach
We have now won five games in a row in the Champions League and reaching the semi-finals is more than deserved. I can say that
Inter's fortunes in the Champions League have completely changed because now the team have the right mentality and confidence. Anything can happen now, we can win the trophy or not, but every time we enter the pitch in this competition it will be completely different compared to the past. The team has improved and matured, I hope we can continue on this path. We have two dreams, reaching the final and winning it.
It's important not to have players suspended in the first leg of the semi-final, even though our opponents will have the advantage of playing the return leg at home. Today we could have scored more goals but we controlled the game well when needed and this is also an important quality for a team. The six players defending, the back four and two midfielders, did a tremendous job. Maybe it was not a beautiful game but reaching the semi-finals was the most important thing of all. We had 500 Inter supporters following us in Moscow and we had to pay them back with progress, not with a spectacular game.
The dream is still alive. Personally this is the fourth time I have reached the Champions League semi-finals. Once I won it, other times I lost only through small details. It's impossible to predict what can happen at this stage.
Leonid Slutsky, CSKA coach
We knew before the game that Wesley Sneijder was dangerous from set-pieces. But it's really hard to avoid dangerous free-kicks against such an attacking side as Inter.
An early goal and Vasili Berezutski's injury made our mission almost impossible, and at the beginning of the second half came the red card. I have to thank the lads as they didn't give up and were still fighting. I believe, we played worthily and proved that it was not just luck that we made it to the quarter-finals.
©UEFA.com 1998-2017. All rights reserved.