UEFA Champions League: Inter Milan Frustrate Porto to Reach Quarters
Inter Milan held off Porto in a gritty 0-0 draw on Tuesday to succeed in the Champions League quarter-finals, with a 1-0 combination triumph.
The Italian facet, three-time winners of this competitors, progressed to the final eight for the primary time since 2011.
For the primary time since 2006, each Inter and AC Milan have reached the quarter-finals.
Clutching a one-goal benefit from Romelu Lukaku’s final 16 first leg late winner, Inter set as much as frustrate on the Estadio do Dragao.
Porto had the higher of the sport however solely managed to check Inter goalkeeper Andre Onana on a number of events and did not make the final eight for the third time of their final 5 makes an attempt.
Their most interesting probabilities got here in stoppage time on the finish, when Mehdi Taremi and Marko Grujic each hit the woodwork and Marcano had an effort cleared off the road.
“There are so many feelings proper now, after so a few years we’re happy with this achievement,” Inter midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu mentioned.
“We made some mistakes but we did a great job, it was very difficult but I congratulate the team for the great job.”
Inter have confronted criticism for his or her home kind however Calhanoglu mentioned this sport offered a morale enhance.
“Anything can occur within the Champions League — this match restores motivation for us,” he added.
“We did a great job, we didn’t score but we worked hard until the final whistle and we qualified.”
Inter coach Simone Inzaghi, aiming to finish a nasty run of kind away from dwelling, began with Edin Dzeko and Lautaro Martinez up entrance, with first-leg match-winner Romelu Lukaku on the bench.
Porto have a powerful latest report in opposition to Italian sides, knocking out Juventus and Roma lately, however the Portuguese champions couldn’t rating in opposition to Inter in 180 minutes.
They have been unable to incorporate veteran centre-back Pepe, 40, within the squad, shorn of their captain on the final minute.
Porto have been additionally with out Otavio, despatched off on the San Siro, however Stephen Eustaquio stepped in for him and impressed.
Matheus Uribe lashed a vicious strike simply broad of Inter’s aim early on, whereas Porto goalkeeper Diogo Costa made strong saves from Dzeko and Nicolo Barella.
Sergio Conceicao’s facet have been within the ascendancy for a lot of the primary half and solely a high quality sliding block by Federico Dimarco denied Evanilson.
The hosts might need taken the lead simply earlier than the break however Eustaquio couldn’t attain Brazilian winger Pepe’s tempting cross.
Grujic examined Andre Onana with a low drive as Porto’s urgency rose, whereas Galeno additionally pressured the Cameroon worldwide right into a save.
Inter misplaced Alessandro Bastoni to an obvious hamstring harm, however held on tightly to their slim first-leg benefit.
Milan Skriniar made his return from harm within the last levels as Inzaghi’s facet knuckled down and denied Porto at each flip.
Porto’s first clear probability of the sport arrived deep in stoppage time, when Marcano’s effort was cleared off the road by Denzel Dumfries.
The Portuguese facet struck the woodwork twice in an agonising finale, with Onana pushing Taremi’s header onto the publish, earlier than Grujic nodded in opposition to the crossbar.
“In the second half we have been higher, extra possession and extra alternatives — I nonetheless can’t consider the ball didn’t go in,” Grujic said.
“The fans were supportive and it was good to see that they understood that we gave everything. We really wanted to win the game.
“The Dragao atmosphere was spectacular and now we are very disappointed.”
Porto’s broad man Pepe was despatched off for a second yellow card on the dying, with Inter surviving the late onslaught.
The Italians have solely gained one sport on the highway in 2023 and Inzaghi is underneath stress, however development to the quarter-finals buys him extra respiratory room.
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