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Benfica 0-2 Inter Milan: Romelu Lukaku and Nicolo Barella put visitors in strong position

Inter Milan's Lautaro Martinez in action with Benfica's Florentino during the Champions League quarter-final in Lisbon
Benfica started their Champions League campaign way back on 2 August in the third qualifying round

Romelu Lukaku scored an 82nd-minute penalty as Inter Milan put themselves in a strong position to advance to the semi-finals of the Champions League after a deserved win away to Benfica.

Nicolo Barella’s downward header gave Inter the lead in the quarter-final first leg in Lisbon.

Benfica struggled to dictate play in front of their own fans as Inter produced a defensive masterclass in Lisbon.

Rafa Silva was denied by Andre Onana’s first-half save before Inter’s Netherlands defender Denzel Dumfries produced a crucial block from close range as Benfica pushed for an equaliser.

The Italian visitors wrapped up a solid win when substitute Lukaku, on loan from Chelsea, scored from the spot after former Inter player Joao Mario handled.

Premier League referee Michael Oliver awarded the penalty after watching the incident on the pitchside monitor, with replays showing the ball struck the side of Mario’s head before hitting his hand.

Simone Inzaghi’s side will fancy their chances of finishing the job in front of their own fans in the return leg on 19 April (20:00 BST).

Inter arrived in Portugal’s capital on the back of a poor run of form after failing to win any of their past six games.

But they took advantage of a hesitant Benfica to take a firm hold of the tie.

Barella’s goal came after an excellent cross by Alessandro Bastoni, with the Italy midfielder heading it back across the keeper and into the net.

It was Inter’s first attempt on target but Benfica keeper Odisseas Vlachodimos prevented further damage by saving from former Manchester United and Arsenal player Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

This was Benfica’s 13th European game of the season after starting their Champions League campaign at the third qualifying round stage back in August.

But they did not create enough and face a mammoth task to turn the tie around after Lukaku wrapped up victory.

The Belgium forward had missed out on a starting place to 37-year-old Edin Dzeko but made an impact from the spot after beating the keeper for pace and power.

There was still time for Benfica to reduce the deficit but Goncalo Ramos’ 89th-minute attempt was kept out by Onana on a memorable night for Inter.

“We cannot think that we are already in the semi-final because we are not,” Onana said.

“We still need another great game like today’s next week. I said that we had to come here and play without fear because we could win – we did just that.”

Player of the match

LukakuRomelu Lukaku


  1. Squad number88Player nameGonçalo Ramos

  2. Squad number66Player nameAntónio Silva

  3. Squad number3Player nameGrimaldo

  4. Squad number20Player nameJoão Mário

  5. Squad number8Player nameAursnes

  6. Squad number61Player nameFlorentino

  7. Squad number2Player nameGilberto

  8. Squad number27Player nameRafa

  9. Squad number22Player nameChiquinho

  10. Squad number91Player nameMorato

  11. Squad number7Player nameDavid Neres

  12. Squad number99Player nameVlachodimos

Inter Milan

  1. Squad number90Player nameLukaku

  2. Squad number23Player nameBarella

  3. Squad number11Player nameCorrea

  4. Squad number2Player nameDumfries

  5. Squad number10Player nameLa Martínez

  6. Squad number8Player nameGosens

  7. Squad number36Player nameDarmian

  8. Squad number95Player nameBastoni

  9. Squad number9Player nameDzeko

  10. Squad number24Player nameOnana

  11. Squad number33Player nameD’Ambrosio

  12. Squad number77Player nameBrozovic

  13. Squad number22Player nameMkhitaryan

  14. Squad number32Player nameDimarco

  15. Squad number6Player namede Vrij

  16. Squad number15Player nameAcerbi



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 99Vlachodimos
  • 2Moraes Júnior
  • 66António SilvaBooked at 22mins
  • 91Rodrigues da Silva
  • 3Grimaldo
  • 61Morris LuísSubstituted forNeres Camposat 64′minutes
  • 22Lima Silva Machado
  • 20João Mário
  • 27Fernandes Ferreira da Silva
  • 8Aursnes
  • 88Gonçalo Ramos


  • 4Veríssimo da Silva
  • 7Neres Campos
  • 15Gonçalo Guedes
  • 19Tengstedt
  • 21Schjelderup
  • 24Jumpe Soares
  • 33Musa
  • 65Vela Rodrigues
  • 71Esteves Baptista
  • 73Ndour
  • 75Nogueira Gomes
  • 87Gonçalves Neves

Inter Milan

Formation 3-5-2

  • 24Onana
  • 36Darmian
  • 15Acerbi
  • 95BastoniSubstituted forde Vrijat 90+1′minutes
  • 2DumfriesSubstituted forD’Ambrosioat 87′minutes
  • 23Barella
  • 77BrozovicBooked at 50mins
  • 22Mkhitaryan
  • 32DimarcoSubstituted forGosensat 63′minutes
  • 10La MartínezSubstituted forCorreaat 63′minutes
  • 9DzekoBooked at 83minsSubstituted forLukakuat 63′minutes


  • 1Handanovic
  • 5Gagliardini
  • 6de Vrij
  • 8Gosens
  • 11Correa
  • 12Bellanova
  • 14Asllani
  • 21Cordaz
  • 33D’Ambrosio
  • 45Carboni
  • 46Zanotti
  • 90Lukaku

Michael Oliver


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