Benfica opened the Champions League quarter-finals with a 0:2 home defeat, putting Inter Milan in a better position to advance to the rematch. The latter lost the victory on Wednesday night with late goals, but the clash with the city rival in the semi-finals of the most prestigious club competition will not pass them by.
There was only one change in the starting line-ups compared to the first leg, and that was on the Lisbon side. Argentine stopper Nicolás Otamendi returned to coach Roger Schmidt’s starting eleven after serving a card penalty, replacing Brazilian Morato.
The Nerazzurri took another step towards the semi-finals in the 14th minute. Nicolò Barella, after a header by Edin Džeko and a quick interplay with Lautar Martínez, got into a good position in the whitewash and fired an unstoppable shot into the top left corner of Odissas Vlachodimos’ goal. The 26-year-old midfielder followed up his goal from the previous match.
Another quarter of an hour later, the visitors had the opportunity to play a direct free kick from an interesting position at San Siro. It was taken by Grimaldo, who headed into the bottom of the Inter goal. However, the equaliser was prevented by a confident save from goalkeeper André Onana.
Martínez, who assisted the opening goal of the match, could have increased the lead for Simone Inzaghi’s side in the 33rd minute. However, his goal was disallowed by the referee due to a foul on Gilberto.
Five minutes later, the Eagles equalised. Rafa Silva centred from the right and Fredrik Aursnes headed accurately into the penalty area. VAR then quickly reviewed the offside but found no offence.
The Portuguese team made one substitution at the break. Defender Gilberto was replaced on the pitch by striker David Neres.
Benfica entered the second half more active, but they did not have any dangerous offensive actions and did not threaten the home goal. And so in the 65th minute came another penalty. Lautaro Martínez ran into the box and uncompromisingly finished under the crossbar.
78. a minute later, the score increased to 3-1. Joaquín Correa broke free from the defending team in the sixth and sent his shot into the opponent’s net thanks to the rebound off the bar. Assisted by Federico Dimarco.
For the final ten minutes, ex-Slav Petar Musa came on for Chiquinho. The Croatian forward was immediately shown a yellow card for a slip on Çalhanoğlu. By the way, another former footballer who used to wear the Sešice jersey, Alexander Bah, is still among the injured.
Neres came close to scoring in the 83rd minute, but only hit the bar. Four minutes later, however, the scoreboard read 3:2, as Grimaldo’s cross from a standard situation was headed behind Onana by António Silva.
The aforementioned Musa at least secured the equaliser in the set-up. He found the ball in the penalty area and sent it beyond the reach of the goalkeeper to make it 3-3.
However, this did not change Inter’s progression to the semi-finals, which will feature the Derby della Madonnina. AC Milan had already advanced to the next stage of the Champions League playoffs over Napoli on Tuesday.
NHL7 days ago
Jonathan Quick recorded his 60th clean sheet in the NHL regular season
Champions League3 days ago
PSG equalise with a special penalty in stoppage time, Dortmund and Barcelona are certain to progress
Champions League4 days ago
PSG ultras attacked a bar with Newcastle fans in Paris. Flares and chairs flew
Champions League2 days ago
Pioli still has confidence in the American owner of AC Milan. Who is to blame for the Rossoneri’s current crisis?