November 25, (THEWILL) – Inter Milan bettered their opportunity to book a Round of 16 ticket of the UEFA Champions League knockout stages with a 2-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk, with a second half Edin Dzeko brace.
Simone Inzaghi’s side, who had gone undefeated in their previous seven games, struggled to find their shooting boots in the first half, with Lautaro Martinez missing two clear chances and Andrea Ranocchia heading wide from close range.
Ivan Perisic had a goal disallowed for offside, and the Ukrainians were limited to long-range attempts due to injuries to Lassina Traore, Junior Moraes and Yevhen Konoplyanka.
Martinez had a goal disallowed for a shove in the second half before volleying the ball in. On the hour mark, though, the deadlock was finally broken when Perisic’s early cross was met by a clean effort from Dzeko on the edge of the box.
Perisic also assisted in producing the second goal with a precise cross that was headed home from close range by the former Manchester City striker.
Inter held on to seal an important win, with qualifying to the knockout stages secured if Sheriff fail to beat Real Madrid later this evening at the Bolshaya Sportivnaya ArenaArena in Tiraspol, Moldova.
After taking over from Antonio Conte in the summer after Inter won the league and having lost fantastic players like as Romelu Lukaku, Inzaghi faced a difficult task carrying on the legacy. However, he has made a great start to his time in charge, with his veteran players once again stepping up to the plate.
The win over Napoli on Sunday was a statement victory, and despite his team’s wastefulness against Shakhtar, they did not give up, and their strong bench helped them finish the game.
Inzaghi is now on the verge of accomplishing what Conte, Roberto Mancini, and Luciano Spaletti failed to do while in command of Inter: masterminding the club’s progression to the Champions League’s last 16 round.