Serie A leaders Inter Milan takes the first-leg of two; defeating Atléti 1-0

3 min read

Diego Simeone’s 100th Champions League match did not go as planned as Italian league leaders Inter Milan spoiled the fun with a 1-0 victory over Atlético de Madrid at Giuseppe Meazza Stadium. The Austrian international, Marko Arnautovic, was tonight’s only goal scorer; where he slotted one in near the goal area in the 79th minute after a rebound shot from Lautaro Martínez.

“It’s very satisfying. The lads were wonderful against a physical, technical side…the boys were extraordinary…we saw a beautiful Inter [Milan] and a beautiful evening,” said Inter Milan’s head coach Simone Inzaghi.

Tonight’s fixture was the third reunion between both sides as the last time the teams met was during an International Champions Cup match in 2018, where Inter Milan won 1-0, and in 2010 during the UEFA Super Cup (marking their last competitive meeting), where the Italian club fell to Los Colchoneros.

The fixture also marked the second time that Inter Milan defeated a Spanish club in the knockout stages of the Champions League since the 2010 semi-final, when Jose Mourinho and the Italian side overcame Barcelona to bring them closer to their unforgettable treble glory.

Going into the match, the black and blues definitely entered the pitch as the stronger team, already earning nine straight victories across all competitions so far in 2024; with their sensational display in league play not going unnoticed, leading the Serie A table with a nine point difference.

In addition, Inter have only lost one game in 14 of their last Champions League matches with the one defeat coming from last year’s final against Manchester City – while also managing to keep nine clean sheets during the process.

Match Action

Throughout the match, the host had the better of chances by controlling the game’s possession and tempo as well as putting up five shots on target while Atlético stayed at zero shots at goal.

The goal scoring opportunities came during the second half after Inter’s striker Arnautovic replaced the injured Marcus Thuram during the halftime intermission. The striker had two chances to put his name on the scoring sheet earlier than the 79th minute mark, but on both occasions he shot high from close range.

The third time was the charm however, as the 34-year-old was able to redeem himself after gaining possession from a short mix-up in Atlético’s half.

Martínez received the ball in the visitor’s final third, where he smashed it towards Jan Oblak, ricocheting off his legs and towards the left side of the box. Arnautovic sprinted and met the ball at the edge of the goal area before finishing and giving Inter the one goal cushion.

Inter Milan’s defense was also intact with goalkeeper Yann Sommer not having to make a save the whole game – earning his 21st clean sheet in all competitions this season.

Up Next for Inter Milan

Nerazzurri fans hope to see the team’s piping hot form continue in their upcoming league games against Lecce, Atalanta, Genoa, and Bologna before matchuping with the red and whites for their second leg in the Champions League Round of 16 in Madrid, Spain on Wednesday, March 13.

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