Rodrigo Palacio has declared his winning goal in the Derby della Madonnina as the most important of his career.
The Argentine popped up with a brilliant backheeled finish to give Inter a 1-0 victory over bitter rival AC Milan at San Siro on Sunday night, and the striker was quick to underline just how much his 86th-minute strike had meant to him.
“It’s an important goal for Inter and the most important goal of my entire career,” the former Boca Juniors forward told Sky Sport Italia.
“We deserved this victory and it will give us more confidence, as derbies are always important. Now we can go on the Christmas break happy and then return to do even better.”
Palacio, who has been leading the Inter line in the absence of the injury-plagued Diego Milito, claimed he doesn’t know whether Inter needs to strengthen up front during the January transfer window.
“We’re all a little tired, as is normal halfway through the season," he reasoned. "The club and the coach (Walter Mazzarri) will decide whether or not to sign another forward.
“Is our objective the Champions League spot? No, we have to just take it one game at a time.”
Inter produced a lethargic display in the opening period and boss Mazzarri admitted he needed to take action at the break to get his side up for the contest.
“Milan kept us under ferocious pressure, so we were afraid and psychologically blocked,” the former Napoli coach explained after the game.
“We needed something to shake us up. We did that in the locker room at halftime and then played the way I wanted us to.
“The goal seemed cursed again today, as we kept going close and missing the finish or the final pass, but we got there in the end.”
Massimiliano Allegri, meanwhile, was left bemoaning Milan’s second-half slump, admitting that his side faded badly as the match reached its conclusion, but he also suggested that he was unhappy with Sulley Muntari's late dismissal.
“The team was a little tired at the end, but unfortunately I had few options,” the Rossoneri boss told Sky Sport Italia.
“I think it was a strong performance for an hour, then we should’ve defended better and Rodrigo Palacio scores a great goal.
“The derby is separate from the rest of the season. What disappoints me is that we concede many more fouls and get many more cards than our opponents. Something has to be wrong, because we get so many bookings.
“It’s a shame to lose the derby, but we have many more games to make up for it.”