Romelu Lukaku starred as Internazionale booked their Europa League semi-finals spot with a 2-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen although manager Antonio Conte declined to heap praise on the Belgian.
Nicolo Barellla had put the Italians ahead in the 15th minute, with Lukaku adding the second six minutes later. Leverkusen applied pressure with Kai Havertz pulling a goal back in the 24th minute but Inter triumphed.
But former Manchester United striker Lukaku’s performance had people talking, although Conte wouldn’t be drawn on him, preferring to focus on the team.
“Romelu has had a great season, but he’s been supported by the whole team,” Conte said.
“If all the players do well and play as a team, it puts everyone in a position to perform on an individual level too.
“Having strikers such as Lukaku, Lautaro and Sanchez is important, but they need to thank the team, because the group allows individuals to best express themselves.”
Inter were the better side across the 90 minutes although they were made to sweat by Leverkusen, but Conte wasn’t fazed.
“Its difficult to be annoyed after a game like tonight,” he said.
“I can only compliment the lads on their performance. As is the case after every game, well analyse every situation and see where we can improve.
Inter will play either Shakhtar Donetsk or FC Basel in the semi-finals on Monday.
“Weve now got the chance to play in a European semi-final and should be happy about this,” he said.
“From tomorrow, we need to start thinking about our next fixture, because we want to aim for the maximum without having any regrets.