Inter assistant coach Cristian Stellini hailed the impact of substitutes Christian Eriksen and Alexis Sanchez in the Serie A leaders’ 2-1 win over Torino on Sunday.
The Nerazzurri’s winning streak looked in danger when Antonio Sanabria cancelled out Romelu Lukaku’s 62nd-minute penalty – Inter’s first shot on target – 20 minutes from full-time.
Lautaro Martinez sealed all three points for Inter, though, heading home a teasing cross from Sanchez in the 85th minute.
Stellini – in charge due to Antonio Conte serving a one-match suspension – praised the contribution of the Chile international and Eriksen, who had been linked with a move away from San Siro in the mid-season transfer window.
“This win was crucial against a team that sits back. They don’t concede a lot,” he told Sky Sport Italia.
“We needed an episode to break the deadlock. We were lucky to get that penalty kick and then we did well when we scored that second goal.
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“Sanchez and Eriksen changed the game. We knew it. Eriksen was ready, albeit with some physical problems. We had prepared it this week. We knew they could be dangerous coming off the bench.
“Christian has changed his performances. He’s always tried hard. In the beginning, it could be challenging to adapt to a different kind of football, but now he’s settled in well.
“Lautaro and Lukaku have many qualities, they are solid, they complete each other, and they sacrifice for the team.
“Sometimes we have to stop them, telling them they can’t train too much. Now we can breathe a little bit, and we can take care of every detail.”
Martinez’s winner means he is up to 14 goals in 27 Serie A matches this season, equalling his best-ever return in the Italian top flight.
It was the fourth consecutive game against Torino in which he has scored and the Argentina striker said Inter needed “heart and soul” to edge past Davide Nicola’s side.
“We knew Torino needed points, but we needed them too. It was a tough game, but we managed to win, and we are so happy,” he said.
“We train every day to do the right things. We prepared the game differently. We needed quality, heart and soul. We proved we aim for something important.
“We want to win, it doesn’t matter who scores. It’s important to find the net, I am happy to score and I am happy.”