Inter looking for goals at Valencia

Inter Milan needs to attack the goal on Tuesday at Valencia in order to reach the quarterfinals of the Champions League.

updated: March 22, 2007 06:37 IST
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Valencia, Spain:

Inter Milan needs to attack the goal on Tuesday at Valencia in order to reach the quarterfinals of the Champions League, and that suits the Spanish team nicely. Valencia held the Italian league leaders to a 2-2 draw in the first leg of the second round on February 21 at the San Siro, giving the Spaniards the advantage with two away goals. "Inter need to go out and score a goal. They don't want a draw," Valencia midfielder Vicente Rodriguez said. "For that we're going to find a lot of space and many opportunities to score." Inter is hoping the extra pressure will be good for the team. "In many ways a 2-2 draw is better than a 2-1 win because it means that we have to go over there and win rather than trying to defend a narrow lead," Inter midfielder Olivier Dacourt said. "We know that we can take the game to them and win and we're confident that that's exactly what we will do." In their last two meetings over two legs - in the 2003 Champions League and the 2002 UEFA Cup - Inter advanced both times. "Floating in the air is this idea that Inter snatched two (European) seasons away from Valencia and I think, within reason, that we didn't deserve them," Valencia coach Quique Sanchez Flores said on Monday. "We want to rewrite history and calibrate it. If, in taking this sporting revenge, it raises the grade and takes us to the maximum intensity, then it will have been a good way to raise our games." Focussed to win None of that will deter the visitors. "We're going to Valencia to win," Inter striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic said. "We're strong and playing with confidence. Everything is in our hands." Ibrahimovic scored the winning goal in Saturday's 2-1 victory over Livorno - Inter's 22nd victory in 26 league games this season. The Milan club is 16 points ahead of second-place AS Roma in the Serie A. "This game has no impact on the Italian league, so I don't want to talk about it," Inter coach Roberto Mancini said. "It's a Champions League game and for the moment we are only thinking about moving on to the quarterfinals." Valencia has no injury problems, with Spain midfielders Vicente and Ruben Baraja returning for Saturday's 1-0 win over Celta after injury setbacks. Defender Asier del Horno also made his debut for Valencia after recovering from an Achilles tendon injury. Inter will be without Patrick Vieira and Esteban Cambiasso, while striker Adriano will also miss the game after failing to recover from a thigh injury. Valencia has lost only twice in 18 matches at the Mestalla stadium this season, where it went 3-0 in the group stage. "We shouldn't have any fear of Inter," Vicente said. "It's true we're talking about a very strong team, but in these matches the motivation is bigger and concentration also. These are the kinds of games we all like to play." Though it has had trouble defending leads in the Spanish league this season, Valencia twice rallied at the San Siro. Valencia is third in the Spanish league _ four points behind leader Sevilla. "It would be of little convenience to change (our style of play), which has been good," Flores said. "From abroad we are pigeonholed with (a certain) style of play, but we have more means of playing then just defending and attacking. We are capable in big matches, and we have more command in our squad than Inter with less to repair than them, while in attack they are more individualistic." Inter midfielder Luis Figo is confident that Inter can advance to the quarterfinals for the third consecutive year. Figo will play his first match in Spain since joining from Real Madrid in August 2005.