Inter Milan have set their Champions League campaign back on track with a 2-0 win over Group F rivals Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday night. Lautaro Martinez and Antonio Candreva were on the mark in either half for the Italian giants.
Marinez struck in the 22 minute but missed a spot kick late into the second half in San Siro. With three minutes remaining, Canderva struck to pull Milan on level terms with Dortmund in points tally who are now just separated by their goal difference.
Milan manager Conte said the timely win has boosted their chances to qualify for the next round in a ‘difficult group’.
“We knew we had our backs to the wall after picking up just one point before tonight,” Conte said . “This victory extends our expectation of qualification in a very, very difficult group. I’m happy especially for my players. They went to great lengths to earn a place in the Champions League last season and to experience these kinds of matches, with the full stadium and the tifosi. It’s now about making sure we get the result we need in Dortmund. Barcelona and Dortmund are favourites in this group, but it’s up to us now.”
Meanwhile, Barcelona maintained their top spot in Group F with Lionel Messi becoming the first player in Champions League history to score at least once in 15 straight seasons. Barcelona struck through Messi in the third minute before Jan Boril equalised for Slavia Prague in the 50th minute. Two minutes later, a deflection into his own net from Slavia winger Peter Olayinka handed them a 2-1 lead which earned Barca their sixth consecutive competitive win.
In a Group E clash, Liverpool thrashed Racing Genk 4-1 thanks to midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s double-strike in Belgium. Oxlade-Chamberlain, who missed the entire last season, opened the scoring as early as the second minute and struck again to double the lead in the 57th minute. Sadia Mane and Mohamed Salah made it 4-0 with strikes of their own before Genk pulled one back through Stephen Odey with two minutes before the regulation time.
“Absolutely great moment for him. Ox’s performance was exactly like that of the team — the goals were great but all the rest could have been better, but that’s how it is, it’s no problem,” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said.
Napoli though managed to hold on their top spot in Group E through their first European away win since December 2016. They beat Salzburg 3-2 thanks to a brace from Dries Mertens (17′, 64′) and Lorenzo Insigne’s 73rd minute winner.
Mertents gave them a 1-0 lead to draw level with Diego Maradona’s tally of 115 goals for the Italian club but five minutes before the half-time whistle, Erling Braut Haland converted a penalty to draw level. Mertens struck again to put his side in the lead but Haland again equalised. A minute later, Insigne’s found the back of the net which proved to be the difference.