Inter boss Simone Inzaghi blamed fatigue levels for his team's limp performance against Milan in the Coppa Italia semi-finals, admitting the Nerazzurri are still "licking their wounds" after losing to their rivals in Serie A last month.

Inzaghi's men managed just seven shots at goal and created a disappointing 0.30 expected goals in the 0-0 first-leg stalemate, extending their winless run to five matches in all competitions.

That is their longest such streak since a sequence of 10 without winning in February 2018, and has also seen the reigning champions surrender top spot in Serie A to Napoli.

Inter have also failed to win any of the three Milan derbies played this season, going down to an Olivier Giroud double in league action just last month, and Inzaghi believes their previous loss to the Rossoneri, as well as their recent physical exertions, have taken a heavy toll.

"I think the draw was the right result," Inzaghi told Mediaset. "We are still licking our wounds after losing the Serie A derby 2-1, that looked completely different until the 75th minute [Inter led for the majority of that contest].

"I think this derby was less spectacular compared to the other two, as there was a lot at stake. The two teams were anxious and looking at the 180 minutes.

"We want to reach the Final and win another trophy [but] knowing this was our 36th game of the season, we need to regain sharpness, but we are working on it.

"We're playing a lot. Apart from one error we made playing out from the back and a Handanovic save, I don't remember other Milan chances."

Milan boss Stefano Pioli believes his side deserved to beat rivals Inter in the first leg of their Coppa Italia semi-final clash, but also claimed the goalless draw represented a "good result".

The Milanese giants, who are split by just two points in a fierce Serie A title race, could not be separated at San Siro, with the lively Rafael Leao and Rade Krunic going closest for the more adventurous Rossoneri. 

Milan managed 13 attempts to Inter's seven in a cagey encounter, also creating 0.70 expected goals to the below-par Nerazzurri's 0.30, but were unable to break the deadlock. 

Although Pioli felt his team merited more from the encounter, he also professed himself pleased with the result, with Italy's preservation of the away goals rule perhaps making the Rossoneri slight favourites ahead of April's second leg.

"Milan played well and deserved something more," Pioli told Mediaset. "But if we look at it over the two legs, it is a good result. I still think we deserved a victory.

"It's only a partial result, we know the second [leg] will be very difficult, but I am satisfied with the performance. 

"We've made progress over the last two and a half years, we would like to win something and make this a wonderful season.

"The team was aggressive against an Inter side with a great deal of quality. We didn't allow Inter any real shots on goal and had chances of our own.

"It's disappointing we were unable to win the match and it all goes down to the second leg, [but] I really liked the performance and we should gain even more confidence from it, because we are a team who belong at this level."

Neither Milan nor Inter could establish a lead in the first leg of their Coppa Italia semi-final tie, as the Serie A title contenders played out a goalless draw at San Siro.

Rafeal Leao caused problems for Inter in a match where chances were at a premium, but the Rossoneri were unable to make their superiority count against their out-of-form city rivals.

With Italy's domestic cup not following UEFA's example of removing the away goals rule, however, the stalemate will certainly be more kindly looked upon on the red side of Milan, who are level on points with Napoli at the top and two ahead of Inter in a fierce race for the Scudetto.

Alexis Saelemaekers tested Samir Handanovic during a frantic start after the stadium observed a heartfelt message from Milan's Ukrainian legend Andriy Shevchenko, who scored in their last Coppa Italia final win in 2003.

Milan's Theo Hernandez shot wide after a trademark burst forward, while Alessio Romagnoli denied Inter with a superb defensive header on 20 minutes before limping out of the contest injured.

Stefano Pioli's men enjoyed the better of the first period, with Rade Krunic shooting over from a great position and the lively Leao troubling Inter in an otherwise uninspiring opening 45 minutes.

Andre Onana acknowledged his "time is over in Ajax" as he seems set to move to Inter but insisted he would step in for Erik ten Hag's men this season if needed.

Onana, 25, is expected to join reigning Serie A champions Inter next season, with his current contract set to expire at the end of the current campaign.

Reports in Italy suggested the Cameroon goalkeeper underwent a medical at Simone Inzaghi's side in January ahead of a potential move.

Onana has come under scrutiny for his decision to turn down new terms with Eredivisie champions Ajax, who he joined from Barcelona in 2015.

"I did my best for this club, so I think it's important for me to look for a new challenge," he told Dutch broadcaster NOS. "I believe it is my right to sign or not to sign a new contract.

"In the end, life revolves around making choices. I believe I have done a great job for this club for many years, and now I think my time at Ajax is over."

Onana returned to the team for Sunday's 2-1 defeat to Go Ahead Eagles after Remko Pasveer sustained a finger injury that could keep him out for eight weeks.

Jay Gorter, another of Ten Hag's options in goal, is also out for two weeks as Ajax prepare to face AZ in the semi-final of the KNVB Beker on Thursday.

Onana's appearance against Go Ahead Eagles was his first league outing since January 2021, but he assured he will be available whenever required for his current side.

"I'm used to playing big games; for me, it's nothing new," he added. "If I have to play, I will play; if I don't have to play, I will support the team as I always do. 

"I'm just here to help the team, and if the team needs me, I will be available – because at the end of the day, I still have a contract with Ajax."

Stefano Pioli called for Milan to "turn into winners" and battle through an underwhelming run of form ahead of crucial clashes with Inter and Napoli.

The Rossoneri sit level on points with Serie A leaders Napoli, who required a last-gasp winner against Lazio on Sunday, after being held in consecutive games by strugglers Salernitana and Udinese.

Pioli's side are two points ahead of Inter, who they face in the first leg of their Coppa Italia semi-final tie on Tuesday, but the Nerazzurri boast a game in hand on both their fellow title contenders.

Ahead of what is likely to be a pivotal week, Pioli demanded improvements from his team, though he insisted Milan can only focus on the future from now on.

"It's only the first leg, but it's an important step. The help from our fans will be decisive," Pili said at Monday's pre-match news conference ahead of the cup meeting with Inter.

"We are in the decisive moment of the season. We've done an extraordinary path in the last two and a half years, but only what we'll do from tomorrow will count.

"We can be better than in the last two games. We've done a lot and it's time to reap the rewards. It's the last step, the most difficult one, which is turning into winners."

While stressing the importance of improving sooner rather than later, Pioli acknowledged that there still remains a healthy portion of the season left to play as the title race continues to ebb and flow.

"The table is telling that this is a balanced league, it's a difficult season for everybody and there are no favourites in the derby," he added.

"Those who win the most duels will have more chances to win. It's an important week, but not decisive. There is a second leg in Coppa Italia and there will be 10 more Serie A games after the match with Napoli."

Pioli also did not hide away from his side's recent struggles, after they recorded consecutive top-flight draws for the first time since December 2020.

"Numbers do not lie. We've had difficulties," Pioli continued.

"We were not able to kill the games off and we should have kept more control. Anything can happen when you defend deep, we must be more aggressive when we do not have the ball.

"We do well when we go at full pace, but we must improve handling certain situations, especially when the opponents are waiting for us. 

"We have analysed what didn't work and we are ready to put what we've learned into practice."

Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri previously suggested that 85 points will be required to win the Scudetto, and Pioli does not think his fellow boss was too far off the mark.

"The top five teams are in the race for the title and a Champions League spot," he responded when asked about the title race.

"Everyone has slowed down a little, 11 games are remaining and every game will be difficult. Surely more than 80 points will be needed."

Simone Inzaghi believed Inter deserved more against Genoa after his side missed the chance to go level with Milan at the top of Serie A.

Inter were given the chance to reel in the Rossoneri after Milan were held to a 1-1 draw at San Siro by Udinese earlier on Friday.

Yet the Nerazzurri were unable to take that opportunity, left to settle for a goalless draw at Stadio Luigi Ferraris despite finishing the game with 21 shots to Genoa's seven.

Danilo D'Ambrosio hit the crossbar with the best chance for Inter, who have now won just once in their last six matches across all competitions, while they have collected only two points from their last four league games.

"Naturally, the result leaves a bitter taste in the mouth," Inzaghi told Sky Sport Italia afterwards.

"We knew that we could've had a better approach, that Genoa are in good shape and created problems for us in the opening 20 minutes, but after that we certainly deserved more.

"Just like last week with Sassuolo, we had 20 shots on goal and didn't score. Evidently, we need to work better, it's just one of those periods, but we mustn't let our heads drop. I saw the right performance and we need to get back to winning ways.

"Genoa were not easy to break down, but we got into their penalty area 37 times, had 20 shots, hit the crossbar, there were other chances too that could easily have gone in.

"Evidently, what we are doing right now isn't enough to win games, we need to do more.

"None of the top six won last week, there is some fatigue for everyone at this stage of the season and it is a bit odd. Perhaps we should've run and worked smarter and not just harder.

"Genoa were pressing hard, the pitch was not in good condition. At the start of the season, we'd score at least one every five corners, today we had 14 corners to zero and didn't find the net. It's just one of those periods where it's not going in.

"We know that games are decided by incidents and we are not fortunate at the moment. It's disappointing for the fans, who supported us from the first to the 90th minute, but I feel they are proud of what we're doing this season.

"We already have the Supercoppa, we're in the Scudetto race, in the Champions League Round of 16 and the Coppa Italia semi-final."

Inter failed to capitalise on Milan's slip-up as the Nerazzurri were held to a 0-0 draw by Serie A strugglers Genoa.

Simone Inzaghi's side went into Friday's clash at Stadio Luigi Ferraris knowing a win would take them level on points with leaders Milan, who could only draw with Udinese.

Despite seeing plenty of the ball, Inter failed to forge many clear-cut chances against a team that has won only once in Serie A this term, with Danilo D'Ambrosio's header against the crossbar the nearest they came to a winner.

Inter have now won just once in their last six matches across all competitions, while they have collected only two points from their last four league games.

Ivan Perisic's snapshot brought an early save out of Salvatore Sirigu, though Inter would have been behind had Albert Gudmundsson kept his cool when one-on-one with Samir Handanovic.

Inter's goalkeeper made a fantastic save in the 28th minute, sticking out his right hand despite leaning to his left to keep out Filippo Melegoni's swerving shot.

Denzel Dumfries sliced over and Edin Dzeko went close to connecting with Perisic's cross before half-time, while Nicolo Barella blazed over shortly after the break.

Having only come on in the 53rd minute, Genoa's Andrea Cambiaso had to go off in the 60th after he appeared to suffer a knee injury while blocking Hakan Calhanoglu's close-range strike.

Calhanoglu turned provider for Inter's best chance when his corner was met by D'Ambrosio, but the bar denied the defender, with Sirigu reacting sharply to clear the rebound as the deadlock remained unbroken.

Simone Inzaghi was left "very angry" with Inter's approach in their 2-0 defeat against Sassuolo and warned his side to buck up their ideas if they want to retain the Serie A title.

Early goals from Giacomo Raspadori and Gianluca Scamacca made it a third straight league game without a win for the Nerazzurri, who also lost the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie to Liverpool in midweek.

Inter consequently failed to reach the summit of the table despite leaders Milan being held by Salernitana on Saturday, though only three points separate the top three in the table. Inter sit two points adrift of Milan, with Napoli in third.

Sassuolo have now clocked up away wins against both Milan sides and Juventus this term, with head coach Inzaghi left frustrated by his team's poor application.

"I am very angry with the approach, because we had three days since Wednesday's game. We talked about the fact Sassuolo beat Juve and Milan away, they play great football and we had to be wary," Inzaghi said.

"We tried to do everything in the second half, created so many chances and were unlucky, but the fact remains we should have had a different approach.

"Sassuolo had great technical quality, they were fresher physically and it showed.

"We will analyse the situation, we know there are 13 games to go, we are all up there and want to keep going forward.

"The fact is a team that wants to win the Scudetto cannot get the approach as wrong as we did today."

Lautaro Martinez drew a blank for a seventh straight game, while Opta data shows that since the resumption of the league after the mid-season break Inter have recorded 100 shots (36 on target) but managed only six goals.

They remain the top scorers in Serie A, though, and Inzaghi is sure his side will soon start finding the net with more regularity.

"I don't think there is anxiety, the great champions are accustomed to these games. I think there was a lack of sharpness, there was some fatigue, both physical and mental," Inzaghi added.

"My staff and I tried to focus the players this week, but we conceded two early goals that we usually don't allow.

"We remain the most prolific side in Serie A this season and will get back to scoring goals soon. When you are a striker and don't score, you just have to stay calm, the goal will come."

Matteo Darmian and Roberto Gagliardini were hauled off at half-time for Denzel Dumfries and Edin Dzeko, and Inzaghi would have liked to have made more alterations.

"I would have happily changed more than two at half-time," he said. "We lost some of our organisation, we tried to open it up again, but we have to analyse what went wrong today.

"There's another match in [five] days [against Genoa], we know that we play continually and need to be stronger than absences, bans, injuries, setbacks, everything.

"We're all in there and will see what happens at the end of the season."

Inter missed the opportunity to move top of Serie A as they fell to a 2-0 defeat to Sassuolo on Sunday.

Giacomo Raspadori struck after eight minutes at San Siro, with Gianluca Scamacca adding a second in the first half.

Simone Inzaghi's side dominated possession throughout but were unable to breach Alessio Dionisi's defence, leaving the Nerazzurri with just one win from their last five games across all competitions.
 
Leaders Milan were held by Salernitana on Saturday, but Inter – who have played a game fewer – failed to grasp the opportunity to move a point clear at the summit.

Hamed Traore skewed the first presentable chance of the contest off target before Raspadori squirmed a finish from inside the area under Samir Handanovic to open the scoring in the eighth minute.

Hakan Calhanoglu responded by firing just wide from range, but Sassuolo doubled their lead shortly after when Scamacca headed Traore's cross home with the help of the post. 

Smart Andrea Consigli stops from Milan Skriniar and Roberto Gagliardini maintained the visitors' advantage, while Domenico Berardi curled onto the crossbar in a frantic first half.

Inzaghi made two changes at the break, with substitute Edin Dzeko almost having an immediate impact.

Dzeko was thwarted from close range by a fine double stop by Consigli, before Lautaro Martinez inexplicably poked wide of an open goal.

Skriniar was then required to clear Raspadori's chip off the line and Berardi angled just wide of the far post with another sumptuous curling strike.

Inter (17) have gained the most points from trailing situations in the Italian top flight this season, and Stefan de Vrij thought he had sparked another late comeback only for his header to be ruled out by VAR for a Federico Dimarco handball.

 

What does it mean? Inter slip up in pursuit of Scudetto

After seeing Milan held, Inzaghi's side knew a win would take them top – a point clear of Stefano Pioli's team and four clear of third-placed Napoli.

However, after the Nerazzurri's six-game unbeaten league run against Sassuolo ended, Inter remain two behind Milan and just one clear of Luciano Spalletti's men as the race for the Scudetto continues to twist and turn.

Dionisi's side had won just one of their last eight league games, but victory on the road saw them climb above Empoli and into 11th.

Brilliant Berardi

Berardi may feel unfortunate he did not get on the scoresheet in the opening 45 minutes after sending a glorious left-footed strike against the crossbar from just outside the area.

However, the Sassuolo captain did assist Raspadori's opener, which made him the first player across Europe's top-five leagues to register double figures for both goals and assists this season.

Missing Martinez

Martinez has scored four goals against Sassuolo in the competition – only registering more against Cagliari – but the striker struggled here as he fired another blank.

The Argentina international missed a glorious second-half chance and has now not found the net in seven league appearances, his joint-longest run in Serie A (also seven matches in August 2019). 

What's next?

Inter visit Genoa on Friday, while Sassuolo host Fiorentina the next day.

Jurgen Klopp hailed an "adult performance" from Liverpool after they claimed a 2-0 win over Inter at San Siro.

The Reds were far from at their sparkling best in the first leg of the sides' Champions League last-16 tie but still carved out an aggregate advantage thanks to late goals from Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.

And Klopp was delighted to see his team prove once again that they can pick up results from games where they do not find top gear.

He told BT Sport; "We had to fight. We started really well, played around their formation in the beginning, but then the direct play with the switches to the wing-backs we didn't defend too well. 

"Too often our full-backs were alone in the one-on-one situation, it doesn't work properly like that. 

"In a game like this you have to keep the ball longer and that's what didn't happen long enough. 

"But you cannot come here and hope that you have a brilliant day and that's the only chance to get a result. 

"We had not a brilliant day but a good enough day to be a deserved win. We scored two wonderful goals, yes they had their moments [and] counter-attacks, but mainly counter-attacks when we lost the ball in the wrong spaces. 

"It's another adult performance and I'm really happy about that."

The only downside for the visitors on a successful night was the half-time loss of the prolific Diogo Jota to an ankle injury.

Of that blow, Klopp said: "I'm really happy with everything apart from that Diogo had to go off with something around the ankle ligament, we will see. 

"We don't know exactly, he could play on, and that's maybe a good sign, but at half-time the ankle was swollen anyway, so we had to change."

However, the German was able to strike a more positive note when discussing his substitutes, who played a key role in Liverpool's strong finish to the game.

He continued: "That was perfect, how the boys reacted. 

"All of them want to start but, coming on, all my respect for Hendo's [Jordan Henderson's] performance today and Naby [Keita], who came on, and Luis [Diaz] is so natural so that helps as well. 

"That was all very helpful and at half-time when you can bring Bobby Firmino on."

Simone Inzaghi joked he was relieved Inter did not have to face Liverpool in every match after they suffered a late 2-0 loss in their Champions League encounter. 

The last-16 first leg at San Siro looked destined for a 0-0 draw but Roberto Firmino glanced home a header – the first effort on target of the match – in the 75th minute to put Liverpool in front. 

Mohamed Salah then marked his 50th Champions League appearance for the club with his 33rd goal for the Reds in the competition – only Cristiano Ronaldo (51 for Real Madrid) and Robert Lewandowski (36 for Bayern Munich) had managed more at the same point for a single team. 

Inter performed well until Firmino broke the deadlock. They looked more threatening and hit the crossbar through Hakan Calhanoglu in the first half. 

However, they were unable to stop Jurgen Klopp becoming just the eight coach to reach 50 wins in the Champions League, with Inzaghi pleased they do not have to lock horns too often. 

"We hope not to face Liverpool every game," Inzaghi told Amazon Prime. 

"I am happy and proud of the team. Unfortunately, during our best period of the game, we were not rewarded with the goal we deserved, then Liverpool scored at the first half-distraction we had. 

"We certainly deserved more, but this performance has to bode well for what is to come in the future. Liverpool are one of the two best teams in Europe in my view. We held out well and deserved more. 

"We know these evenings can be like this, but it has to give us a self-esteem boost because it was an excellent performance. 

"It's difficult to comment after a result like this, but it has to be a starting point for Inter at this level. I think this is the strongest opponent we've faced this season." 

Edin Dzeko, who had a goal correctly ruled out for offside in the 60th minute, also felt there were positives for Inter to take ahead of the second leg at Anfield on March 8. 

"We did well for 75 minutes, giving away very little to Liverpool. It's a shame to concede from a corner, where we are usually strong. But this is what happens with great teams; if you don't score, they'll punish you," said Dzeko. 

"Everyone gave their all for 90 minutes, but it wasn't enough. We come out of this defeat with our heads held high because we know we have given everything. 

"It's not a positive result for us, but first we have to focus on Serie A and then we'll see." 

Jurgen Klopp perhaps left San Siro with more questions about his Liverpool side than he might have expected following a crucial Champions League win.

Thanks to a hard-fought 2-0 victory in Milan, the Reds are in firm control of their last-16 tie against Inter prior to an Anfield rematch next month. 

And that it was secured thanks in no small part to Klopp being able to use the strongest squad he has ever had at his disposal is hardly cause for concern.

But there are some downsides to possessing such an embarrassment of riches, as was evident across the pitch in Italy.

For starters, a midfield blend that had been unavailable to Klopp during Harvey Elliott's lengthy injury absence did not stake a particularly strong claim for more starts here.

Meanwhile, selection decisions in attack were not made any easier by a mixed bag of performances from both starters and subs in forward areas.

There was, though, at least one man who showed why there should be no debate over his worth to a Liverpool team that is hoping to add yet more major honours this season: Virgil van Dijk.

Let's start with the numbers, which show that the Dutchman made more clearances (seven) than any other player on the pitch across the 90 minutes along with an impressive three interceptions.

He also surrendered possession on fewer occasions than any other starting player on either side (four).

But, what those statistics cannot convey is the wider influence Liverpool's number four had on a game that was far from as straightforward as the scoreline suggests.

It is impossible for any data to explain the first-half moment where Lautaro Martinez had Van Dijk isolated in a one-on-one situation but simply decided against trying to pass him because of his reputation. 

Nor can the figures sum up the sheer resignation on Edin Dzeko's face when he felt a familiar arm come across him just as he looked to be running in on goal during that same period of the game.

And all this is not to mention the effect Van Dijk has on his team-mates, who would not be able to keep that aggressive high line without their leader there to dictate it. 

Every single one of these qualities proved vital on a night when Inter would argue they deserved far more than they got.

Simone Inzaghi deserves credit for a front-footed tactical setup that saw the hosts aggressively harry one of Europe's most feared sides and give them countless uncomfortable moments as a result.

However, that they were unable to capitalise on those opportunities owed much to the man calmly marshalling their opponents' defence even when things weren't quite working perfectly in front of him.

Inter must quickly move on from that disappointment and regroup in time for a return leg that they will hope can provide one of the great comebacks in the history of two-legged European ties.

But the likelihood is that they will not be the last side to come away from facing Liverpool in the Champions League this season wondering what might have been if not for Van Dijk.

Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah struck late to put Liverpool in command of their Champions League tie with Inter thanks to a 2-0 win at San Siro. 

Inter looked the most dangerous of the two sides across the first hour, with Hakan Calhanoglu rattling the crossbar inside 16 minutes. 

However, after replacing Diogo Jota at half-time, substitute Firmino glanced an excellent header across goal to score with the game's first effort on target in the 75th minute. 

Salah doubled Liverpool's advantage eight minutes later with a deflected shot, leaving Inter with it all to do in the return leg of the last-16 showdown at Anfield on March 8. 

Jurgen Klopp's men had a chance to open the scoring in the 14th minute, but Sadio Mane was unable to keep his header from the edge of the six-yard box down. 

Inter went closer two minutes later, with Calhanoglu finding a pocket of space in the box before seeing his snapshot come back off the woodwork. 

Lautaro Martinez arrived just too late to turn in an Ivan Perisic cross as the hosts started the second half brightly, while Edin Dzeko saw a goal correctly disallowed for offside in the 60th minute. 

The introduction of Luis Diaz gave Liverpool fresh impetus, but it was Firmino who broke the deadlock with a fine header. 

Salah ensured the victory was beyond doubt when his shot squirmed over the line in the 83rd minute, putting a place in the quarter-finals firmly within Liverpool's reach. 

Liverpool must be considered favourites for the Champions League last-16 tie with Inter, but the Nerazzurri deserve to be back in the latter stages of the competition, according to Simone Inzaghi.

Inter finished second behind Real Madrid in Group D, progressing to the last 16 of the competition for the first time since 2011-12.

This will be the fifth meeting between Inter and Liverpool. Each of the previous four have been in the knockout stages of the European Cup/Champions League, with the Serie A side progressing over two legs in the 1964-65 semi-finals – a year in which they went on to lift the trophy – and the Reds emerging from the last 16 in 2007-08.

Inzaghi knows his team cannot be considered favourites, given the strength of Liverpool, yet he wants his team to play with freedom on their return to the knockout stages.

He told a news conference: "Liverpool are one of the best teams in Europe, but our players deserve to play these kinds of games.

"We haven't played in the round of 16 for many years and although it will be very difficult, we'll try to make it.

"On paper, Liverpool are the favourite, but the games must be played. I'll ask the lads to go on the pitch and play our football with a free mind, showing our ideas. Determination will make the difference.

"The first step was to reach the round of 16. We'll face a top club with strong players, but all games start from 0-0. In some games, you must take care of every detail.

"We watched Liverpool's matches, the ones against Milan and the most recent ones.

"They have a deep squad, a great coach, they are intense, so we need to do well every time, both when we have the ball and when we defend."

Inter head into the clash having lost their grip on top spot in Serie A following a derby defeat to Milan and a 1-1 draw with their other title rivals, Napoli.

"I am not satisfied with the results, I didn't expect them," the former Lazio coach added.

"But I think we played two great games against two great teams who, along with Juventus, will be title challengers."

Inter have been eliminated from two of their previous three two-legged knockout ties against English opponents. All three of these have been at the round-of-16 stage, losing out to Liverpool in 2007-08 and Manchester United in 2008-09, before eliminating Chelsea a year later en route to winning the Champions League under Jose Mourinho.

They have, however, won their past two home games in the Champions League, one more than they had managed in their previous nine between November 2018 and September 2021 (D5 L3). The last time they recorded three consecutive home wins in the competition was between December 2009 and November 2010.

Trent Alexander-Arnold accepts there is pressure for Liverpool to win at least one trophy every season.

At the same time, Alexander-Arnold knows silverware will not come easily, noting star-studded Manchester City have yet to win the Champions League.

Still only 23, the England right-back is already a Premier League and Champions League winner, as well as holding medals in the UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup.

Liverpool remain in the hunt for silverware on four fronts this term despite trailing holders City by nine points in the league, albeit with a game in hand.

The Reds squad is arguably as strong as it has ever been, with the likes of Ibrahima Konate and Luis Diaz having bolstered strength in depth over the past two windows.

Homegrown talent Alexander-Arnold has noticed a shift in expectations over the past few seasons but does not feel there has been a lack of success in relation to the strength of performances.

"We don't feel disappointed we haven't won enough trophies. We feel the trophies we have won are the biggest and the best you can get your hands on," he said, ahead of Liverpool's Champions League last-16 first-leg tie at Inter.

"Obviously, I'm not making any digs, but you look at Man City's amazing team and they haven't been able to win the Champions League.

"They've won a couple of Prems but haven't won the Champions League; we've won both over the last few years, so it shows we're able to do it in both competitions.

"But I think there's an expectation now as a team, as players, to win trophies. One trophy a season minimum is what we want to be achieving with the squad we've got, the players, the manager. We should be winning trophies; if we don't, it's disappointing.

"We're not at that stage now where we're happy to just get to finals and it's unexpected and a day out. There's an expectation now to do that every season."

Assessing Liverpool's aims for this campaign, Alexander-Arnold acknowledged the title race is out of the Reds' hands to an extent but says there is a confidence among the team in all the other competitions.

"As a team, as a club, we do expect ourselves to go as far as we can in competitions. Looking at it now there's only the league that's not really in our hands, all other cup competitions we believe we can win them and beat anyone on our day if we get it right," he added.

"The only one is the league, anything can happen there, the other three we believe we're able to win them.

"I would say definitely on all four fronts, it makes it easier now having so many great players in the team.

"The season when we won the Champions League we almost won the league, we've shown ourselves and other people we can compete on multiple fronts.

"To have a place in all four competitions at this stage of the season is good for us, we've got a chance in a few weeks to add silverware early doors [in the EFL Cup final against Chelsea].

"That's the focus for us, to have a chance in all four competitions for as long as we can."

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