FC Internazionale Milano beat CFR 1907 Cluj 2-0 in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie but there was little celebration after the game when the extent of the serious knee injury suffered by Diego Milito was confirmed. "It is something that could affect the rest of our season," Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovič told UEFA.com while CFR's Italian defender Felice Piccolo added: "I'm really sad about his injury, I wish him all the best." Ironically, Milito's replacement Rodrigo Palacio scored both goals for the Nerazzurri.
Samir Handanovič, Inter goalkeeper
We played a good game, 2-0 is a very good result ahead of the return leg. We are happy about this. The only bad thing is the injury to Milito, a terrible blow for us, something that could affect the rest of our season. I had a relatively quiet night but these kinds of games are the most difficult for goalkeepers – you might not have much to do for most of the game and all of a sudden a set piece can feel very dangerous. You can never lose your focus. I'm very happy because we did not concede tonight – the rest we can forget and move on.
Andrea Stramaccioni, Inter coach
We are satisfied because we played a good game, spectacular at times. Unfortunately we cannot deny that the evening was completely ruined by the serious injury to Diego Milito. His injury took centre stage tonight but, talking about the football, I think it was an excellent performance by Inter.
Mateo Kovačić? For someone who is only 18 making a [full] debut like this at San Siro means he has talent and personality. What struck me most is that he did exactly what I wanted and he never lost his composure, even when he made mistakes. It's a very important sign. Losing the ball in a dangerous part of the pitch but fighting hard to win it back immediately is something great players do. Now let's keep him humble, he needs to grow up and I will take care of it.
Nicolas Godemèche, CFR midfielder
We knew before the game that against a team like Inter, any small details could make the difference. We saw tonight they based their tactics around counterattacks and they scored twice like that. However, if we believe and if we score first in Cluj, we can come back.
Diego Milito is a great player and it was not good to see him forced out like that, especially because you never know when he will be able to come back from this kind of injury. What I want to say to him is that I hope he comes back as quickly as possible and as strong as possible.
Felice Piccolo, CFR defender
Losing only 1-0 would have left us with hope, but now we leave with a bad taste in our mouths after conceding a late second, especially because we knew we should have defended better. Starting from tomorrow we have to work hard to prepare the return leg and we have to give everything to try to turn the tie in our favour. Certainly we believe we can do it. This is our job and we must remain focused.
I'm very sad about Milito's injury. I know he had just returned after suffering a series of injuries and he will be sorely missed by Inter and Italian football in general. I just hope it's not as serious as feared and I wish him all the best.
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