Edin Dzeko at the double as Internazionale reach knockout stages with win over Shakhtar Donetsk
Champions League Group D, Stadio Giuseppe Meazza – Internazionale 2 (Dzeko 61’, 67’) Shakhtar Donetsk 0
MILAN, ITALY - NOVEMBER 24: Edin Dzeko of FC Internazionale celebrates after scoring their side's first goal during the UEFA Champions League group D match between FC Internazionale and Shakhtar Donetsk at Giuseppe Meazza Stadium on November 24, 2021 in M
Edin Džeko scored twice in the second half to put Inter Milan in the last 16 of the Champions league with a 2-0 win against Shakhtar Donetsk.
Simone Inzaghi's side, who came into this game unbeaten in seven matches, forgot their shooting boots in the first half with the normally reliable Lautaro Martinez spurning two good opportunities while Andrea Ranocchia headed wide from close range.
Ivan Perisic had a goal disallowed for an offside while the injury-ravaged Ukrainians were limited to long-range opportunities.
Inter Milan's Bosnian forward Edin Dzeko (C) celebrates after opening the scoring during the UEFA Champions League Group D Football match between Inter Milan and Shakhtar Donetsk on November 24, 2021 at the San Siro stadium in Milan. (Photo by Marco BERTO
Image credit: Getty Images
Martinez had a goal chalked off in the second half for a push before he volleyed the ball in. But the deadlock was finally broken on the hour mark after Perisic's early cross eventually led to a crisp strike from Dzeko on the edge of the box.
And it was Perisic again who provided the second with a pinpoint cross for the former Manchester City striker to head it in from close range.
The visitors improved in the latter stages and Dodo hit the post as Inter held to get a crucial win, with qualification to the knockouts as if Sheriff failed to beat Real Madrid later this evening.
Simone Inzaghi's stock continues to rise.
Inzaghi had a tricky job after taking over from Antonio Conte in the summer after Inter won the title last season and losing star players like Romelu Lukaku. But he has made an impressive start to his reign with his experienced players coming through for him again. The win over Napoli un Sunday was a statement victory and although his side were largely wasteful against Shakhtar they did not give up and their strong bench helped them see the game out. And Inzaghi is on the brink of doing what Conte, Roberto Mancini and Luciano Spaletti could not do while in charge of Inter, which is masterminding their progression to the last 16 of the Champions League.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Edin Džeko (Inter Milan): It was looking like a frustrating night for the Nerazzurri until the former Roma striker arrowed a shot into the corner with a first-time effort. And he was killed off the game by getting on the end of Perisic's inviting cross for his 50th goal in European competitions. He may be 35-years-old but still looks in his prime.