'We proved we've got balls' – Barella, Lukaku revel in Inter victory

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Romelu Lukaku and Nicolo Barella revelled in Inter's progression to the UEFA Europa League semi-finals on Monday, with the latter claiming their win over Bayer Leverkusen proved their doubters wrong.

Barella and Lukaku scored as Inter sealed their place in the last four with a 2-1 triumph over Leverkusen, who pulled one back through Kai Havertz.

Inter squandered several chances to add to their lead, while the Nerazzurri also had two penalties overturned by the referee after he consulted with VAR.

Ultimately, though, the early strikes from Barella and Lukaku proved enough, and the former believes Inter showed real grit to get through.

"We proved to everyone who said we weren't a team that we are a great group and we've got balls,” Barella told Sky Italia.

"We could've killed it off earlier and rested a little more, but Leverkusen are a very strong side and caused us problems.

"Now we have proved ourselves as a team and want to reach the final. Just as we respect everyone in the competition, they have to worry about us too."

Lukaku's goal set a new record in the Europa League, as he became the first player to net in nine successive appearances in the competition.

However, the former Manchester United forward's focus is not on personal achievements.

"Records are records, but the victory was so important, Leverkusen are a team with great quality and an excellent coach," Lukaku told Sky Italia.

"The defence did a great job and in my view the man of the match was Barella, as in recent weeks he has been just fantastic, he's everywhere.

"We've been clearly improving recently, we just need to finish more of our chances and kill games off earlier. Now we have a week to prepare for the semi-final.

"That is going to be another huge game and we have to be ready."

Source Omnisport