Leonardo: This is best Inter ever
Leonardo celebrated his debut on the Inter Milan bench with a crucial 3-1 win over Napoli which keeps the reigning champions' slim Scudetto hopes alive.
And the Brazilian cut a happy figure after the game, claiming this was the best Inter side of all time. Despite missing the likes of star striker Samuel Eto'o, goalkeeper Julio Cesar and centre-back Walter Samuel, Inter proved too clinical for their fellow title chasers.
Although they lived dangerously at times at the back, there were shades of the dominant Inter side of last season about this performance.
"When people talk about us in 20 years' time, they'll talk about the best Inter of all time," said Leonardo. "This is the best time in the club's history. This team has a soul." Inter didn't appear to under previous coach Rafael Benitez, whose unhappy six months in charge ended in December after winning the FIFA Club World Cup.
"He did very well at Valencia and Liverpool but sometimes the empathy doesn't work," added Leonardo who enthused about his first two weeks at Inter. "It's all gone very quickly and very well, it's an intriguing situation," said the coach who lasted only one year on the AC Milan bench in his first coaching job last season.
Inter's win, which leaves them seventh and 13 points off leaders and arch city rivals Milan -- although with two games in hand -- hit Napoli's own title hopes. They dropped to third and six points off top and left coach Walter Mazzarri pleading for reinforcements.
"We have to evaluate the strength of our squad, we're doing some excellent things, above and beyond expectations," he said.
"There's no process to go through after a night like this [against Inter], it's disappointing to lose but we came into the game off four consecutive wins. This match is behind us and now we have to look to bounce back [on Sunday at home to Juventus]."