Inter Milan coach Leonardo wary of Bayern's vengeance

17:14, February 23, 2011      

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Inter Milan coach Leonardo (R) believes Louis van Gaal's Bayern Munich will be gunning for revenge when it arrives in Italy for the Champions League clash on Wednesday. The German side was defeated by Jose Mourinho's Inter in the final last year. (Photo/Agencies)

Van Gaal's German giant looks to win the rematch of last year's final

Inter Milan coach Leonardo believes Bayern Munich will be gunning for revenge when it arrives in Italy for the Champions League clash between the teams on Wednesday.

Inter claimed its first European title in 45 years when Jose Mourinho led it to a 2-0 victory over the Germans in the final in Madrid last May.

But having finished second to Tottenham in the group stages, Inter was handed one of the toughest second-round draws possible.

And Leonardo, who took over the club's reins in late December after the dismissal of Mourinho's successor Rafael Benitez, is expecting Louis van Gaal's team to be highly motivated.

"That will still be playing on their minds," said Leonardo about the Madrid final.

"It will still be fresh in the Bayern players' memory that Inter ended years of Champions League frustration by winning it when they beat them. A lot of things have changed since then but the past will always be there."

When the draw was made it was debatable as to which side would have been considered favorite as Inter was struggling at home and in Europe.

But Leonardo has revived its fortunes and 10 wins in his 12 matches in charge is testament to the Brazilian's effect on the team.

Inter has also become an expansive and attacking team under Leonardo, scoring goals at will but also leaking a few.

And that's not likely to change on Wednesday or in the second leg in Munich three weeks later.

"I don't believe that our style of play will alter dramatically between the home match and the away clash but, of course, we respect our opponents and we will have a good look at them beforehand," said Leonardo.

"In theory, at home in the second leg Bayern will have a better chance to turn the tie around or to retain any advantage they may have from the first leg. But I think if we secure a good result in the first leg we can contain them away."

With Bayern being a van Gaal team, there is no doubt the game should be a swashbuckling affair as the Germans certainly won't come to defend.

"The self-confidence is there. We want to win; any other result would be rubbish," insisted young forward Thomas Mueller.

And if precedence is anything to go by, then Inter can expect Bayern to have a go at it.


Last season Bayern reached the last game in the group stages at risk of crashing out and needing a win away to Juventus to snatch second place in its group.

And despite going down a goal, Bayern produced a stunning, positive, attacking display to run out a 4-1 winner.

However, it has not always been at its best this season and although it won 3-1 away to Mainz at the weekend, van Gaal is expecting more from his team.

"We gave the ball away unnecessarily far too often, we were very careless in the final quarter of the field," he said. "We know that, and we'll improve. But overall, I'm very satisfied."

In fact both sides are upwardly mobile in their domestic leagues and Inter centerback Ivan Cordoba believes his side will have to perform to progress.

"We know they had a difficult patch this season but now they're back in great form and that should be an extra motivation for us," he said.

"We need to play a great match and then go away and get a result there too. We can't expect Bayern to leave gaps on Wednesday so we will have to work hard to create them and be up for it from the first minute."

Source:China Daily/Agence France-Presse
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