Icardi like a 'raptor pouncing on its prey', says Spalletti

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Inter coach Luciano Spalletti described Mauro Icardi as similar to a "raptor pouncing on its prey" after his brace in Sunday's 2-0 win over Atalanta at the San Siro.

The Argentina striker took his tally for the league season to 13 with a pair of superbly taken second-half headers to lift the Nerazzurri into second place in Serie A, two points behind leaders Napoli.

The 24-year-old led the line expertly throughout, but Spalletti was quick to highlight his ability to find space at set-pieces as the key to gaining all three points.

"Nobody had scored against Atalanta from a set-play, but Icardi did, because he's like a raptor pouncing on its prey," he told Mediaset Premium.

"Icardi is a champion, but I am one of those coaches who think a victory is always credited to the whole team. We allowed Atalanta very little, kept it tight, recreating those attacking movements that give you the advantage when trying to score.

"Inter have their own identity and tonight played like a mature team that knows when to wait for the important moment, knows where it wants to go and how to get there."

Icardi was denied an opener in the first half when his low effort was saved by Atalanta goalkeeper Etrit Berisha and, despite his two goals, that miss was still on his mind after the final whistle.

"I made the most of those two great crosses," Icardi said.

"I still have regrets over the first-half chance, as I should've scored that one too.

"It's an important victory because it's what we needed to do. We just had to focus on ourselves and to win."