Martinez gives Inter win over Dortmund
Champions League Group F, Stadio Giuseppe Mezza - Internazionale 2 (Martinez 22', Candreva 89') Borussia Dortmund 0
Thanks largely to the lively Lautaro Martinez and industrious Antonio Candreva, both of whom fully deserved their goals, Inter put themselves back in the Group F mix, joining a disappointing Dortmund in second place. The two sides meet again in a fortnight, and a win for either will leave them well set to progress alongside Barcelona.
It is true that Dortmund were missing various of their attacking players, but quite why Michael Zorc thought they could out-Inter Inter, only he knows. They failed to commit men forward, doing little with a lot of possession, and eventually, on 22 minutes, Inter produced a moment of quality, Stefan de Vrij clipping a long, straight pass which Martinez controlled on his chest before slotting under Roman Burki.
Dortmund improved slightly after the break but still struggled to find any kind of tempo or wit in their passing and movement, unable to test Samir Handanovic in the Inter goal. And the hosts looked to have sealed things when Mats Hummels fouled Sebastiano Esposito, only for Burki to save Martinez's weak penalty.
But Inter were not to be denied, Marcelo Brozovic seizing on Raphael Guerreiro's error to feed Candreva, and his finish was unerring.
Will Lukaku ever improve? Withdrawn after just 63 minutes, Lukaku produced another Lukaku performance, moving little and contributing less, shown up by his junior partner. If Inter are to do anything in this competition, he needs to find a way of scoring against the best and contributing when not playing well.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Lautaro Martinez (Inter) Lively, sharp and a nause to mark, and scored a fine goal.
Sebastiano Esposito (17 years 113 days) is the youngest Inter player to play in the European Cup/Champions League since Giuseppe Bergomi in 1981 (17 years 72 days).
Lautaro Martinez (22 years 62 days) is the youngest Inter player to score in consecutive Champions League games since Obafemi Martins (20 years 118 days) in 2005.
Inter Milan's Argentinian forward Lautaro Martinez celebrates (L) after opening the scoring during the UEFA Champions League Group F football match Inter Milan vs Borussia Dortmund on October 23, 2019 at the San Siro stadiumGetty Images
22’ - GOAL! Internazionale 1-0 Borussia Dortmund (Lautaro) De Vrij clips a long, straight ball over the top - a good one, but one nonetheless - which Lautaro chests down, pursues, and swivels to fire home low under Burki.
45+1’ - Inter need to relax themselves: Skriniar fouls Sancho needlessly, and all of a sudden Sancho weaves into the box, moving the ball wideish, away from Skriniar, before shooting low. Handanovic, who's had nothing to do until now, dives to palm away, and there's no one following up to tap home.
75’ - Dortmund's best move of the match, Hazard skating down the left and crossing low, but instead of finding Bruub Larsen, close to goal, he pulls back for Sancho ... behind Sancho ... and he can't get a proper shot away, allowing Candreva to clear.
81’ - Esposito looks a player, and he tanks towards the Dortmund box with Weigl one side and Hummels the other, hauling himself between them like a man dashing onto the Tube as the doors close. Hummels slides in, catches his trailing leg, and that's a penalty!
82’ - Burki saves! Lautaro doesn't look confident and his shot is nether down the middle nor in the corner, the keeper diving right to parry before Esposito takes a swing at the rebound and misses the ball completely! The game is still alive!
89’ - GOAL! Internazionale 2-0 Borussia Dortmund (Candreva) Done! Guerreiro gives it away on halfway and Candreva sets off, Brozovic playing him through as Weigl fails to step up. Alongside him, Lautaro is screaming for a pass but Candreva doesn't need him, curving a lovely rising finish into the roof at Burki's near post. The group is alive!;;™áÿ¿m