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Ibrahimović steals show for Inter

Published: Wednesday 17 September 2008
Panathinaikos FC coach Henk Ten Cate described Zlatan Ibrahimović as "the best striker in the world" while José Mourinho said his "contribution was huge" after a brilliant display brought victory for FC Internazionale Milano.
by Vassiliki Papantonopoulou
from OACA Spiro Louis Stadium
Ibrahimović steals show for Inter
Zlatan Ibrahimović congratulates Adriano after setting up his team-mate to score Inter's second goal ©Getty Images

Match statistics

PanathinaikosInternazionale

Goals scored0
2
Attempts on target7
 
5
Attempts off target8
 
5
Corners7
 
4
Offsides4
 
6
Fouls committed18
 
19
Yellow cards1
 
2
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Last updated: 03/10/2013 16:22 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Wednesday 17 September 2008

Ibrahimović steals show for Inter

Panathinaikos FC coach Henk Ten Cate described Zlatan Ibrahimović as "the best striker in the world" while José Mourinho said his "contribution was huge" after a brilliant display brought victory for FC Internazionale Milano.

Zlatan Ibrahimović was singled out for praise from both coaches after setting up goals for Mancini and Adriano as FC Internazionale Milano kicked off their Group B campaign with a 2-0 win away to Panathinaikos FC. Home coach Henk Ten Cate described the Swedish international as "the best striker in the world" while José Mourinho said his "contribution was huge". Ten Cate added that individual mistakes had cost Panathinaikos but took heart from his side's performances, stressing that "for large parts of the encounter we were equal to Inter."

Henk Ten Cate, Panathinaikos coach
We played fairly well. If you look back at the game, Inter had three chances and they scored twice, but we had three chances and did not score. That's the story of the match. It was decided by the experience and the individual quality on the pitch. Ibrahimović is the best striker in the world at the moment. He is always there in the air and on the ground to receive the ball and he gives his team-mates the time and space to find good positions on the pitch. The way he set up the two goals is evidence of his quality, even though we made an error in the first goal. The youngest player on the field, Simão, made that mistake [when he was beaten to the ball by Ibrahimović] and he learned a lesson today.

Instead of kicking the ball away, he let it bounce. I don't blame him because he is just 20 years old and is playing for the first time at this level. But errors like this in the Champions League are deadly. Our main objective is to win the Greek title, that hasn't changed. We just started two months ago to build a new team and, looking back at the game tonight, I don't think we have anything to worry about. For large parts of the encounter we were equal to Inter. It's all about work and dedication. But we are realistic and know where we stand. I know the qualities of the team and the progress we are making. Of course the fans are disappointed, but the applause in the end said we did a good job.

José Mourinho, Inter coach
It was a job well done by the team, but I always want more. I'm satisfied with the way my players read the match. In the second half we found ourselves in some difficulty, but we managed to get out of it without fear and also scored a second goal. The three points are very important. It's not easy to play away in the Champions League, no matter the strength of the opponent. Our first aim is to qualify, but given tonight's result, we can also aim for top spot in our group. Adriano is working very hard and I had faith in him. I am satisfied with all the players, but I have to single out the exceptional job done by Zlatan Ibrahimović.

He didn't score, but his contribution was huge. Especially the assist he provided on the second goal which was a textbook move, incredible. The most important thing is the victory, because for the last two seasons Inter lost their first group matches away at Fenerbahçe and Sporting. Tonight's result means that if we win our three home games we will qualify. Anorthosis's draw in Bremen is surprising, but they had already impressed us when they eliminated Olympiacos. The situation in the group is getting interesting, because all the teams have a chance of qualifying.

Last updated: 17/09/08 1.12CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2009/matches/round=15276/match=302699/postmatch/quotes/index.html#ibrahimovic+steals+show+inter

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