The Nerazzurri, who had not played in the C1 quarter-finals since 2011, somehow withstood the attacking pressure of the Dragons, and at the end of the two matches, the goal scored by the Belgian Romelu Lukaku three weeks ago at the San Siro stadium, when the Lusitania team was reduced to ten, was eliminated.
On Tuesday, the two consecutive balls that hit the folds of Inter goalkeeper Andre Onana in stoppage time will remain a symbol of the Portuguese’s impotence, which will not be below the general level.
Initially, Lukaku was again left on the bench, with Simone Inzaghi favored to field Edin Dzeko alongside captain Lautaro Martinez.
Thus, the Italian coach formed eleven starting players without a surprise, with a moving midfield of Niccolo Barella, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Hakan Calhanoglu, the go-to player who has benefited since January from Marcelo Brozovic’s injury.
It was up to Porto to take the initiative to cancel out their late goal, but the Portuguese suffered the unexpected absence of Portugal international Pepe, who was believed to have a physical problem and replaced him in the midfield with compatriot Fabio Cardoso.
Onana lights up
The Dragon defense coach would have become, at 40 years and 16 days, the second oldest player on the field to play in a Champions League knockout match, overtaking Italy’s Alessandro Costacurta to become runner-up to Welshman Ryan Giggs (40 years and 123 days).
And if playmaker Ottavio was suspended, then coach Sergio Conceicao was at least able to release the Iranian ball, Mehdi Taremi, who lacked accuracy when he entered the Italian area (28).
Nerazzurri goalkeeper Andre Onana shone more, in parade against attempts by Oribe (3rd), Eustacchio (19th) or Evanilson (39th).
Portuguese goalkeeper Diogo Costa also showed his good reactions in an attempt by Dzeko (21). Then Martinez found himself very alone in exploiting Uribe’s mistake, who had just stolen the ball from him (45 + 2).
At the break, Porto had 68% possession of the ball, but only 1 shot (5 vs 4).
Same scenario after the locker room. On the Porto side, Uribe shot over the crossbar (48th), and then Galeno and Grujić lost their matches against Onana (55th and 76th). On the other hand, Barella did not take advantage of the ball, which was lost by midfielder Pepe (53rd).
FC Porto gave its last strength in stoppage time, but in two games in a row Onana headed Tarime to his post and Grujic found the crossbar (90 + 5).