Lucio spoke of the spirit in the FC Internazionale Milano camp after two late goals against FC Dynamo Kyiv handed them a first UEFA Champions League win in over a year and top spot in Group F.
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Defender Lucio spoke proudly of the spirit in the FC Internazionale Milano camp after they scored two late goals against FC Dynamo Kyiv to record their first UEFA Champions League win in over a year and go top of Group F.
Inter, whose last victory in the competition was against Anorthosis Famagusta FC on 22 October last year, had drawn their first three games in the section and the experienced Brazilian stopper had to be on his game, making a series of timely interceptions as Inter endured a first-half onslaught from a spritely Dynamo side. "It was difficult," he told uefa.com. "We didn't play well in the first half. We knew it was going to be a hard match but thankfully we managed to come through it." After going a goal down to perpetual nemesis Andriy Shevchenko's fine strike, his 15th against the Nerazzurri, the Serie A champions eventually made their second-period superiority tell with late goals from Diego Milito, on 86 minutes, and Wesley Sneijder, who sealed a dramatic win a minute from time.
Despite lifting four successive Serie A titles, Inter have struggled in Europe's premier club competition and had not won in eight attempts before arriving in Ukraine. Lucio, though, said he had never doubted Inter's character. "Our determination brought us back into the game in the second half," he said. "We started [the second half] strongly. We believed we could do it and we managed to get a great result in the end. We were by far the better team in the second half; we played in a very attacking way and deserved to win."
Midfielder Sulley Muntari, whose parried shot led to Sneijder's winner, said Dynamo had given José Mourinho's men the stiffest of examinations. "They were first to everything in the first half," he conceded. "Every time we got the ball we had two or three people close on us, so it was very difficult and we couldn't open the game up." The Ghanaian credited his coach's half-time changes – with Mario Balotelli and Thiago Motta replacing Cristian Chivu and Esteban Cambiasso – with changing the flow of the match. "In the second half we changed the tactics – the manager changed everything – to make it easier for us," he said. "We missed a lot of chances, but we kept on trying and managed it right at the end, which makes it even more special." Inter lead a tight section on six points, one more than FC Rubin Kazan and FC Barcelona, who they visit on Matchday 5, with Dynamo a point further back in fourth. Dynamo goalscorer Shevchenko believed Inter's greater experience made the difference. "We are a very young team," he said. "We could not cope with the pressure and that told."