Lukaku begins to pay off his debt with Inter | Sports| The USA Print


At Inter, he believes that he was indebted to the club, that once they had recovered from his last bad experience at Chelsea, he had barely come close to his best version. Last Sunday he scored his third goal of the season. This Wednesday the fourth. He begins to pay Romelu Lukaku, author of a late goal in the 86th minute that could be decisive in a tie between Inter and Porto that was raised in the first leg as close as presumed. It opened, yes, with the expulsion of Otavio, the best footballer in the Portuguese team, who decided the last quarter of an hour of the game for Inter. Porto did a lot there by stabilizing on their feet for the return to O Dragão. Two classics that add up to five European Cups between them, will define there a ticket for the quarterfinals of the Champions League.


Andre Onana, Alessandro Bastoni, Acerbi, Skriniar (Denzel Dumfries, min. 81), Darmian, Mkhitaryan (Brozovic, min. 71), Calhanoglu, Dimarco (Robin Gosens, min. 58), Barella, Lautaro Martínez and Dzeko (Lukaku, min 57)



Diogo Costa, Marcano, Joao Mario (Gonçalo Borges, min. 92), Zaidu Sanusi, Pepe, Wanderson Galeno (Evanilson, min. 51), Pepê, Mateus Uribe, Marko Grujic, Otavinho and Mehdi Taremi (Wendell, min. 83)

goals 1-0 min. 85: Lukaku.

Referee Srdjan Jovanovic

yellow cards Otavinho (min. 41), Pepê (min. 63) and Marceneiro da Conceição (min. 89)

Porto, always in perpetual reinvention, is difficult to sink your teeth into and even more so if you don’t dare. It is a canchero team that competes and squeezes like few others. And Inter does not have too many transgressors. That’s why he got stuck from the start, also because the lure he used to mislead his rival had no effect. It happened that Simone Inzaghi would surely play and play at the back to attract the rival pressure and find the spaces behind his first line. Porto went to look for the ball, ma no troppo. He chose the point to squeeze the rival with just enough precision to bother him and at the same time not give him options to progress.

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The traffic jam at Inter uncorked Porto’s ambition, which was latent. The Portuguese box found spaces because it modified to activate Otavio, who put on the table something different from the rest, the ability to be deep in the pass. He also got into all the trouble. From that distinction came the first scare for Inter, an action in which Taremi maneuvered with a heel that left the midfielder Grujic before the goal. Onana solved with as much speed as heterodoxy, put his knees first and frustrated Porto.

The dictation of the match was written by the goalkeepers. Onana appeared again in the second half to raise a wall in front of the goal line to two shots from Zaidu and Taremi. Earlier, on the edge of halftime, a prodigious hand from Diogo Costa prevented Inter’s goal after a header from Bastoni. And a dubious action went to limbo with a possible penalty on Darmian that the referee did not appreciate and about which the VAR did not deny him.

Inter changed with the passing of the minutes. He wanted to be more specific than in the first section of the game. Inzaghi’s decision to give Lukaku court with half an hour to play deep into that drift. At Inter, he feels that the Belgian striker is indebted to the team: between comings and goings, injuries and discomfort, he has barely scored three goals so far this season. His reference invited Porto to keep around their very veteran center-backs. Pepe turns 40 next Sunday, Marcano is on his way to 36.

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Lukaku went out onto the field motivated. After a couple of races he attacked the stands, full and at times angry at the flat display of his team. But the Belgian and the San Siro began to body up, he began to bellow. The game turned and more than did when Otavio, revolutionized for better and for worse, committed an avoidable foul and saw the second yellow card. Before they had reprimanded him in a brawl with more than half Inter.

Porto will miss them in the second leg at O ​​Dragão. Of course in Milan his absence during the last quarter of an hour, the numerical inferiority weighed him down to the point of punishing him with a new scenario that led to him being at a disadvantage. Lying in their area, Porto was left at the mercy of the exuberance of Lukaku, who fished three balls in the zone of truth, the first one sent it to the post after Barella’s cross, the rebound sent it into the net and, shortly after , an unlikely shot forced Diogo Costa to unleash his reflexes again.

Touched as it was, Porto arrived with its tongue hanging out at the end of the game. He signed his first defeat after 22 games, but he is already counting the days for a return that will predictably be as close as it is unpredictable.

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