FC Internazionale Milano were unlucky to concede two goals at home in their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first-leg draw against Valencia CF but midfielder Olivier Dacourt insists that the 2-2 result could prove to be a blessing in disguise.
Dacourt came on as a first-half substitute for the injured Esteban Cambiasso, two minutes after the Argentinian international had given the Nerazzurri a 1-0 lead, and put in a battling performance despite picking up a knee injury during the match. However, the former AS Roma player was frustrated at the way Valencia twice came back into the match to earn a share of the spoils given the way his side dominated for long periods.
'A bit less lucky'
"I received a knock behind the knee so it was hard going but the most annoying part was that we came so close to making it 2-0 just before half-time," Dacourt told uefa.com. "If we'd have scored at that point it would have been a different match entirely." Dacourt believes that Inter have been unfortunate in this season's European campaign, saying: "While we've been going strong in Serie A we've been a bit less lucky in the Champions League. Valencia created two chances and scored from both of them."
Fortune has not smiled on the runaway Italian league leaders on the injury front either. After Patrick Vieira pulled up in training the day before the first leg with a thigh injury that will keep him out for up to a month, Cambiasso was ruled out of the trip to Spain with a similar injury. Even though he missed the 1-1 draw against Udinese Calcio on Wednesday which ended Inter's 17 match winning run in Serie A, Dacourt has recovered from his knock and is ready to take the game to Valencia.
The 32-year-old was not disheartened by the draw, though, bearing in mind what happened in the competition last season, where a 1-0 quarter-final second-leg defeat at Villarreal CF saw Inter crash out on the away goals rule. He said: "In many ways a 2-2 draw is better than a 2-1 win because it means that we have to go over there and win rather than trying to defend a narrow lead, which is what happened against Villarreal. We know that we can take the game to them and win and we're confident that that's exactly what we will do." An exciting second leg is in prospect at the Mestalla.
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