Inter Milan secures a hard-fought victory against Benfica with a score of 1-0 in a match filled with missed chances. Read on to learn how Inter clinched their first win of the season in the UEFA Champions League group stage.
Inter Milan vs. Benfica, Champions League, Victory
In a closely contested match on October 3, 2023, Inter Milan emerged victorious against Benfica with a narrow scoreline of 1-0 at the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium. This encounter was part of the group stage of the UEFA Champions League. Marcus Thuram, Inter Milan’s striker, scored the solitary goal of the match in the 62nd minute, helping Inter secure their first win of the tournament this season. This victory propelled Inter to 4 points, placing them in second position, level on points with the group leaders, Real Sociedad. In contrast, Benfica languishes at the bottom of the group with no points to their name.
Early Chances for Inter:
Inter Milan started brightly, and in the early minutes, Domfries made a darting run down the right flank, delivering a cross that passed three Inter players inside the penalty area. Unfortunately, Mkhitaryan failed to connect, and the ball went out of play. The referee, however, signaled for an offside.
In the 11th minute, Calhanoglu provided a precise cross from outside the box, and Domfries rose from the right side of the area to meet it with a dangerous header that sailed just above the crossbar.
Benfica’s Missed Opportunity:
In a glaring defensive error by Inter (Bastoni and Skriniar), a throw-in was executed to Ursenis, who found himself in a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper. He unleashed a powerful shot that was brilliantly saved by the goalkeeper, Samir, in the 13th minute.
Domfries’ Squandered Chance:
Domfries squandered a golden opportunity in the 18th minute when Demarco delivered a cross that evaded everyone, reaching the Inter full-back, who fired a shot from six yards out that went over the crossbar.
Benfica Forced into an Early Substitution:
After 20 minutes, Benfica was forced into an early substitution as defender Alexander Bah picked up an injury. He was replaced by Thomas Aránguiz.
In the 41st minute, Samir made a spectacular save to deny a certain goal, diving to stop a shot from Bernat. However, the play was ruled offside, with the referee indicating that Inter had possession.
Barrella came close to scoring in the 42nd minute when he created an opportunity for himself at the edge of the penalty area. He unleashed a powerful ground shot that was parried away by Benfica’s goalkeeper, Trobín.
Seven minutes into the second half, Domfries continued the trend of missed opportunities. From a fresh cross delivered by Mkhitaryan from the left-wing, Denzel rose to meet it with a header that narrowly missed the target, marking his third missed chance of the game.
Inter Breaks the Deadlock:
Finally, Inter broke the deadlock in the 62nd minute. Barrella played a precise through-ball to Domfries on the right wing. Domfries advanced and delivered a pinpoint cross, which Thuram met with a direct shot into the net.
Inter doubled their lead in the 65th minute after several attempts by the defense to clear the ball led to Mkhitaryan passing it to Demarco, who finished into the net. However, the goal was disallowed due to Federico being in an offside position.
Missed Opportunities by Inter:
Inter continued to squander several clear-cut chances in front of Benfica’s goal. In the 74th minute, Lautaro Martinez missed a clear chance after rounding the goalkeeper and shooting at goal, but a Benfica defender cleared it brilliantly. Just seconds later, Lautaro had another opportunity but failed to convert it from close range, with Trobín making another crucial save.
In the 77th minute, Di Maria received a pass and was almost through on goal before Calhanoglu made a vital interception to cut out the pass. Di Maria subsequently went off injured, with Capral replacing him.
Near Miss for Benfica:
Benfica’s substitute, Capral, came close to equalizing moments after his introduction. He unleashed a powerful long-range shot from inside the box that narrowly missed the left post.
Inter’s Goalkeeper Saves the Day:
In the 90+3rd minute, Benfica had one last chance following a corner kick that found Nunez, who headed towards goal. However, Inter’s goalkeeper made an excellent save to deny the opportunity.
Inter Milan managed to secure a hard-fought victory against Benfica in a match characterized by missed opportunities. Despite their dominance, Inter struggled to capitalize on their chances, with Benfica’s goalkeeper Trobín making crucial saves. The lone goal from Marcus Thuram proved to be the difference-maker, ensuring Inter’s first win of the season in the UEFA Champions League.