- Inter Milan won the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16 at home against FC Porto 1-0.
- Substitute Romelu Lukaku scored the winning goal against 10 Portuguese in the 86th minute.
- After 22 competitive games without defeat, Porto have once again come off as losers.
It seemed that Porto could continue their unbeaten streak in the Champions League round of 16 first leg away at Inter Milan. And this despite the fact that the Portuguese had to play outnumbered from the 78th minute and a yellow-red card against Otavio.
However, Porto keeper Diogo Costa was defeated in the 86th minute. Substitute Romelu Lukaku first hit the post with his head, but the Belgian then used the rebound from a short distance. The Milanese brought this lead over time and inflicted Porto’s first competitive defeat since October 21, 2022. Since then, the Portuguese had gone 22 consecutive games unbeaten.
Costa hexes against Bastoni
Inter started the game better and dictated the starting phase of the game. Lautaro Martinez had the first good chance in the 13th minute when he headed in from an ideal position over the goal. Alessandro Bastoni missed the greatest opportunity for a goal for Milan just before the break. Keeper Costa, who was born in Rothrist in Aargau, parried his header miraculously.
Porto sins several times in the end
However, Porto could have been in the lead by then. The guests, who after a hesitant start only appeared better offensively after around 25 minutes, missed a double chance in the 37th minute. Marko Grujic’s shot was only able to fend off André Onana in the Inter goal, but Galeno’s header landed next to the empty goal.
After the break, Porto were initially closer to a goal. Mehdi Taremi failed in the 55th minute after a quick counterattack by Onana. Only 2 minutes later the goalkeeper made the Portuguese despair again. Zaidu Sanusi pulled away again after a shot was blocked, but Onana was there again.
Joker Lukaku stabs
Immediately afterwards, Lukaku came on for Edin Dzeko. And it was the Belgian who launched the hosts’ next opportunity. Martinez just missed his cross. Ultimately, the 78th minute was to be groundbreaking: Otavio stepped on Calhanoglu’s foot and was sent off with a second yellow card. Thanks to Joker Lukaku, the Milanese used this advantage to score the winning goal. The second leg in Porto will take place on March 14th.