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UEFA Champions League: FC Porto knocked out by Inter Milan

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Porto 0 0 Inter
Inter held FC Porto to a goalless draw in Portugal. | PHOTO: Sky Sports |
  • FC Porto hosted Serie A side Inter Milan in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16
  • Inter had won the first leg by a goal to nil and needed to add on that to book a slot in the quarter-finals
  • A goalless draw meant the visitors on Tuesdays progressed to the quarter-finals while Porto knocked out

Inter held on to defeat Porto 1-0 on the road to progress to their first UEFA Champions League quarterfinal in over ten years.

Simone Inzaghi’s side, who won the first match 1-0 at San Siro three weeks ago, earned a hard-fought scoreless draw at Estadio do Dragao to advance.

The Nerazzurri subsequently earned their first appearance in the last eight in the top club tournament in Europe since the 2010–11 campaign.

READ: Champions League: The best comebacks

Despite a barrage of last-second opportunities, Porto—who had Pepe dismissed for receiving a second yellow card in extra time—failed to score the goals necessary to advance to a third quarterfinal in five years.

Andre Onana had to jump across and tip away Mateus Uribe’s 30-yard attempt after three minutes as Porto, trailing 1-0 from the first leg, came dangerously close to tying the score.

Porto 0-0 Inter Milan (Agg: 0-1):

Inter Milan players celebrate with the fans after the final whistle in the UEFA Champions League against FC Porto on Tuesday, March 14 2023. | PHOTO: Sky Sports |

Following an aggressive Inter counter, Diogo Costa made a fast reflex save to deny Edin Dzeko at the other end.

Towards the conclusion of the half, Porto increased its pressure. Evanilson was denied a clean shot at goal by Federico Dimarco’s perfectly timed last-ditch intervention, and Stephen Eustaquio came just inches from connecting with Pepe’s inviting cross.

Early in the second half, long-range shots by Uribe and Barella were off goal, giving neither team many clear chances.

Porto, who had triumphed in each of their previous four home games against Italian opposition, maintained control as they frantically tried to even the score.

Ivan Marcano’s last-ditch attempt was blocked by Denzel Dumfries in stoppage time, and Mehdi Taremi and Grujic both hit the woodwork before Pepe was sent off as a remarkably tenacious Inter hung on.

Good defence wins it for Inter in the Champions League

Inter maintained their composure to secure a spot in the round of eight despite only having 32% of the ball and only getting four attempts on goal compared to 21 for their opponents.

The Nerazzurri have advanced from five out of six two-legged Champions League knockout ties when winning the first leg.

Porto has now lost the first leg on eight occasions, and on seven of those instances, they have been eliminated.

The last time Inter advanced from a Champions League knockout match without conceding over both games was in their 2009–10 quarterfinal matchup against CSKA Moscow. Ironically, they eventually won the competition that year.

The Nerazzurri put forth some effort to accomplish the accomplishment again nearly 13 years later. Alessandro Bastoni and Francesco Acerbi both contributed with a game-high five clearances, and Onana did his part in goal with six stops.

Edin Dzeko continues goal drought

Since scoring in Inter’s Supercoppa Italiana victory over rival Milan in January 18, the seasoned attacker has now gone 10 games without scoring for Inter.

He had the second-fewest touches (32) and passes (19) of any starting visitor player despite his team defending its lead the entire second leg. He managed just one shot on goal before being replaced by Romelu Lukaku with 20 minutes left.

For Inter, the big contests just keep coming. On Sunday, they take on Juventus in the derby d’Italia, while on the same day, Porto travels to Sporting Braga in an effort to respond.

 

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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