Hat-trick hero Martinez: Inter's character and determination have been revived

By Sports Desk March 04, 2022

Inter made up for a dip in their determination and character with a resounding 5-0 win over Salernitana, according to Lautaro Martinez. 

A four-game winless run in Serie A and two wins in seven in the competition had seen Inter slip off top spot and fall two points behind leaders Napoli. 

However, the Nerazzurri returned to the summit on Friday after Martinez found the back of the net in a top-flight game for the first time since December. It ended a barren run of no goals in 425 minutes, making it his worst such spell in all competitions since going 430 minutes without a goal in January 2018.

The Argentina international ended the match at San Siro with a hat-trick, while strike partner Edin Dzeko scored the other two as Inter went a point clear at the summit ahead of Napoli's meeting with Milan on Sunday. 

Martinez was pleased to see Simone Inzaghi's side get back on track after a sluggish start to the year. 

"A win was missing and there were no goals for the team. Today we scored five and we are happy," Martinez told Sky Sport Italia. 

"I personally experienced a difficult moment because a striker lives to score goals. Today I was lucky enough to score three goals. 

"I went out on the pitch with a lot of desire and anger because it was an important match for us and an important period is approaching. 

"We had to demonstrate a lot of things because we have lost a bit of determination and character.  

"When I go to bed, I talk a lot with my wife because I'm sad when I can't help the team with goals. I talked a lot with her, with friends and my family. I dedicate these three goals to my daughter. 

"[Inzaghi] always gives me confidence. He fights with us from the sidelines."

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    "We have to have the maximum motivation at every game. I don't think there's any more motivation than what we have already. 

    "It wasn't nice. I don't want to dwell too much on that. I want to focus on what we do on the pitch. We can say things in interviews and I'd rather do our talking on the pitch."

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    "We do things in the right way. That's the example Gareth [Southgate] wants to set. We are fully behind that. We are fully respectful.

    "I think their motivation is going to be extremely high. They are going to give everything to win. It's not an easy game. But we need to focus on what we do."

    England will advance to the knockout stage if they avoid a heavy loss to Wales, though Southgate's side will be targeting a victory to make certain of top spot in Group B.

    Speaking ahead of England's first ever World Cup match against a fellow British side, Southgate said: "We have got to play well. 

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