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Montella: Salah is in ‘extraordinary form’
Egypt international Mohamed Salah scored the only goal of the match as Fiorentina defeated Inter Milan 1-0 away from home, a fixture the Viola had previously failed to win in their past 12 visits – since May 2000.
“We are truly satisfied, as for long periods we held the initiative against an Inter side that was in great shape,” Montella told Sky Sport Italia, as translated by Football Italia, after the victory.
“Despite making changes, we kept our usual levels up and that means the squad is united with a clear overall identity.”
Nenad Tomovic and Stefan Savic were both stretchered off after Fiorentina used up all their substitutions, and Montella’s side were forced to finish the match with nine men.
“The team left the pitch like heroes, as everyone had to work hard and even Vargas was forced to become a centre-back,” he said.
“The first half was balanced and we held possession, but I was worried that we didn’t have the right belief or determination to win it. After the break we stepped up the intensity levels and won the game.”
Montella on Salah
Khouma Babacar, who has 7 goals this Serie A season, was injured in the first half, which led to the introduction of Mohamed Salah. Montella was questioned as to why he replaced the Senegalese striker with the Egyptian winger, rather than Italian forward Alberto Gilardino.
“I made a tactical decision and wanted to make the most of Salah’s extraordinary form. I know that when a player is going through that kind of form, it’s the duty of a coach to encourage it.
“I think he can play any position in attack. He attacks the space well and is very good at getting straight into the groove of a game when coming off the bench.”