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FC Internazionale Milano coach Rafael Benítez breathed a sigh of relief after Esteban Cambiasso's goal earned a 1-0 win against FC Twente to take the UEFA Champions League holders into the round of 16 with a match to spare. The Spaniard believes better times are ahead for the European champions, hailing the win as a "new beginning", while his opposite number Michel Preud'homme could only admire Inter's "true warriors" – and was left with the consolation of UEFA Europa League football in the spring.
Rafael Benítez, Inter coach
Tonight the team showed great commitment and played as a whole unit in a very difficult game, certainly psychologically [after five matches without a win in all competitions]. I'm quite satisfied, because we created a lot of chances even if some accuracy is still lacking. But as I said yesterday, I was sure we would win this game and I'm sure this victory should mark a new beginning for Inter.
We have suffered a lot of injuries in the last few months and when some of our big players are fit again things will change very quickly; next week we should have some players back in the squad and maybe we'll start improving. Now we have to beat Werder [Bremen] and try to finish first in the group. We respect them, they are a good team, physical and very dangerous up front. Their weak point is defence, so we must try to put them under pressure and take three vital points.
Michel Preud'homme, Twente coach
Everyone is disappointed again. There's a few mixed feelings because, certainly in the first half, we played very well and had chances to score but did not do so. The second half was more difficult, but with the substitution [of Denny Landzaat] we restored the balance, with the chance of getting back into the match.
Everyone said before the start if we can still be there after the winter, even in the Europa League, that would be a good result in a strong group. That is what we have achieved, so that is one good thing. But we had the feeling we really were competing in the group, and that maybe there could have been more in it for us. It also has to do with the quality of the opponents today of course. Those players [from Inter] fought for their lives; you only have to look at how they went into the personal duels. They are true warriors.
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