Antonio Conte lauded the "excellent" Samir Handanovic after the goalkeeper helped Inter continue their perfect start to the Serie A season on Wednesday.
Handanovic made four saves in his 300th appearance for the club to help Inter edge Lazio 1-0 at San Siro to retain their two-point lead at the top thanks to five wins from as many games.
Conte praised Handanovic and Inter's performance after the hard-fought victory, which came courtesy of Danilo D'Ambrosio's first-half goal.
"It was a tough, important victory against a very strong side, who have been working together for four years and have done nothing but strengthen in recent seasons. It was by no means an easy win to get," he told Sky Sport.
"When analysing the game you have to split it into two parts. I wasn't happy in the first half, we started aggressively, we looked to stay high and they tried to hurt us on the break.
"Then after the goal we sat back too much, allowing Lazio to come onto us and Handanovic was excellent in that period, he made the difference.
"However, the team showed great character in the second half, we dominated and made sure of our success. All that was missing was the goal to kill the game off. We should have done better with our chances in the second half."
Conte made history with the success, becoming the first Inter boss to win each of his first five Serie A games.
While the Italian was pleased, he still feels Inter – who visit Sampdoria on Saturday – can improve.
"Five wins in a row is no coincidence, we still have to grow a lot more but we're getting the right mentality," Conte said.