Inter secured an important 3-1 victory over Sheriff Tiraspol on Wednesday night with the result that left the Champions League Group D nicely balanced with only two matches left to play.
After Real Madrid secured a 2-1 victory over the basement population of Shakhtar Donetsk in the early kick-off, the Nerazzurri knew that it would take three points to keep in touch with Los Blancos at the top of the group.
They did just that with Marcelo Brozovic, Milan Skriniar and Alexis Sanchez all running to secure victory.
Inter dominated ball possession in the first half and peppered the opponent’s goal, registering 1.12 xG from 13 shots without finding a breakthrough.
Lautaro Martinez came closest to opening the goal five minutes before half-time, by swinging from 25 meters before rolling a bet into the woodwork. Edin Dzeko was lively even in the initial substitutions and shot off five attempts in the first period without finding the nets.
After the break, Inter continued to tighten the screw and eventually got the breakthrough via an unlikely source. Marcelo Brozovic is not used to scoring goals, but you would not have known about seeing him send two Sheriff players on a hot dog on the edge of the box before driving home his first Champions League goal ever.
Shortly after the hour, Inter doubled their advantage. Brozovic was involved again and swung in a corner that Milan Skriniar bundled over the line after his first header was kept out.
Substitute Alexis Sanchez then added a third just seconds after his introduction, drove in on a long ball before hitting his man and buzzing past Georgios Athanasiadis. However, the sheriff got a consolation with one of the last kicks of the match, with Adama Traore – no, not the one – who rose high to nod Sebastien Thill’s free kick into the Inter net.
Here are your Inter players’ ratings …
Skriniar scored a rare goal / SERGEI GAPON / GettyImages
Samir Handanovic (GK) – 6/10 – Not much to say. He barely touched it. Will be annoyed at losing zero on him right at death.
Milan Skriniar (CB) – 6/10 – He is a world-class defender and unsurprisingly handled the sheriff’s modest threats without going out of first gear. Screwed by Joaquin Correa’s weak defense of the sheriff’s consolation.
Stefan de Vrij (CB) – 6/10 – Composed in the middle of the three backs. Exact distribution.
Alessandro Bastoni (CB) – 6/10 – I run out of things to say here … Inter’s third really didn’t have to do much.
Brozovic’s teammates were happy with his goal / SERGEI GAPON / GettyImages
Matteo Darmian (RWB) – 5/10 – Pretty meh display. Hooked at half time after creating nothing.
Nicolo Barrella (CM) – 6/10 – Always busy, always probing. However, the sheriff gave him plenty of room to maneuver.
Marcelo Brozovic (CM) – 8/10 – Excellent turn and finish for the goal. The highlight of a fairly flawless display. Also lined up Skriniar with a mean, whipped corner.
Arturo Vidal (CM) – 8/10 – Helped his side to dominate the guy with his energy, positive runs and combative attitude. Assisted Brozovic’s goals and was powerfully creative at all times.
Federico Dimarco (LWB) – 7/10 – Solid like a rock defensively and did well up and down on the left wing. Subbed.
Dzeko started / SERGEI GAPON / GettyImages
Edin Dzeko (ST) – 6/10 – Constantly asked questions to the defense with their runs behind. Will have wanted to score.
Lautaro Martinez (ST) – 7/10 – So almost opened the scoring with a fine effort in the first half. Coupled well with Dzeko and unlucky not to finish with an assist.
Denzel Dumfries (RWB) – 6/10 – Wanted to see a little more from one of the stars of Euro 2020.
Ivan Perisic (LWB) – 6/10 – As above, without the “starring at the Euros” bit.
Alexis Sanchez (ST) – 7/10 – Did not waste any time getting on the results record for the first time since his days at Arsenal.
Joaquin Correa (ST) – 6/10
Andrea Ranocchia (CB) – N / A
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