Inter Milan took a significant step towards an all-Italian semi-final in the Champions League by securing a two-goal advantage in their quarter-final tie against Benfica.
Under the guidance of manager Simeone Inzaghi, Inter threatened early on with Edin Džeko coming close to scoring from Nicolò Barella’s delivery into the box, but his header missed the mark. Benfica had a chance to capitalize on sloppy defending by Inter when Rafa Silva seized on a failed clearance, but his shot was straight at Inter goalkeeper André Onana.
It was Inter who eventually broke the deadlock early in the second half when Barella headed in from Alessandro Bastoni’s cross from the left. Benfica’s goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos made a stunning save to keep the deficit from widening. However, their hopes were soon dashed as VAR awarded a penalty against João Mário for handball, which Romelu Lukaku calmly converted from the spot to extend Inter’s lead.
With a two-goal advantage heading into the second leg, Inter Milan put themselves in a favorable position to progress to the semi-finals of the Champions League, boosting their chances of an all-Italian showdown in the next round.