UEFA.com works better on other browsers
For the best possible experience, we recommend using Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

Rangnick champions Schalke's strength in depth

Ralf Rangnick said that if last week's 5-2 victory at FC Internazionale Milano showcased FC Schalke 04's attack, the 2-1 second-leg win was a triumph for their "outstanding" defence.

Rangnick champions Schalke's strength in depth
Rangnick champions Schalke's strength in depth ©UEFA.com

If last week's 5-2 victory at FC Internazionale Milano showcased FC Schalke 04's attacking ability the 2-1 second-leg win was a triumph for their defence, according to an ebullient Ralf Rangnick. "Outstanding" he summised, before turning attention to an "extraordinary" UEFA Champions League semi-final against Manchester United FC. For the Nerazzurri and coach Leonardo it is back to domestic commitments, though the Brazilian concedes his side's campaign has run out of steam.

Ralf Rangnick, Schalke coach
Last week we won the game in attack, playing brave offensive football and laying the foundation for this match. Today the team defended outstandingly. We allowed them maybe two chances from open play and if you look at Inter's attacking options, you know what my boys have done. The goal we conceded came from a set piece and if we had been a bit more clinical we could have won by an even bigger margin.

Anything can happen in football and the Italian media listed examples where ties have been turned around. We just tried to do our thing and the team were outstanding. We played with two holding midfielders, basically four central defenders, and that was the key for me: we were rock solid in the middle.

A semi-final in the Champions League is something extraordinary for all of us and against Manchester United we will start in a similar position to how we began against Inter – as clear outsiders. But again, anything can happen and if it all goes to plan we can reach the final. First we have to produce some good results in the Bundesliga to give us a boost: with every positive result our Champions League chances improve.

Leonardo, Inter coach
Since I arrived [in December] I've asked a lot of the players, ignoring injuries and fatigue. [The players] did a lot, worked hard, yet tonight we are out: Inter are used to doing great things in Europe. But I want to underline that my players have given a lot over the past few months, in at times difficult situations. We arrived at the decisive stage of the season with a few problems and that's a pity.

The main difference between the two teams was that they took their chances while we did not. But there were many little things not working for us – you never lose because of just one mistake. I hoped we could score in the opening minutes but the goal didn't come. I hoped our strikers could get a few and at times we could have done a little bit extra.

We did a lot of attacking towards the end of the game, when it was clear victory was impossible; the problem was the heavy loss in the first leg. I believed we could go through, even if after the first leg it was a really big ask. The key is to be in the right shape at the right time, though. [A season] is a real marathon and at times we got caught up other people's expectations and did not perform at our best. We were punished for it in the first leg.