September 28, (THEWILL) – Inter Milan were held to a 0-0 tie by Shakhtar Donetsk in Kiev, as both sides finally registered a point on the Group D standings on matchday two of the UEFA Champions League.
However, the Italian champions were not exactly good enough, with their caution being their undoing, as the rigidity of their 5-3-2 form prevented them from transitioning fluidly between phases, and they were subjected to wave after wave of pressure as the home crowd screamed Shakhtar on.
For the visitors, Nicolo Barella smashed the crossbar with a curling effort, and Edin Dzeko missed a sitter at the back post, while Alan Patrick and Dodo were firmly denied by Slovenian goalkeeper Samir Handanovic between the posts.
The Ukrainians took the game by the scruff of the neck, seeking to disturb their Italian opponents with a slower tempo focused on complex build-up, mixed in with a lack of fluidity owing to Simone Inzaghi’s formational choice.
With half an hour to go, the Inter manager made a personnel change, bringing in Turkish playmaker Hakan Calhanoglu and Joaquin Correa to offer more directness to the visitors frontline.
The hosts, though, appeared to be the more likely to score: they lacked a focal point up front after a dreadful early injury to their new striker Lassina Traore following a clash with Denzel Dumfries, but they were creating chances, repeatedly cutting open an often watertight Inter defense.
Both teams will now go back to the drawing board as neither will be satisfied with this draw and Shakhtar will need Real Madrid to have a bad day if they are to have any hope of progressing.