?Inter maintained their perfect start to their UEFA Champions League campaign after coming from behind to defeat Group B opponents PSV Eindhoven 2-1 at the Philips Stadion.
The Italians, who fought back to triumph over Tottenham Hotspur at the San Siro, fell behind after Pablo Rosario’s thunderous drive from 25 yards in the 27th minute, but drew level through Radja Nainggolan’s fierce strike just before the interval. Skipper Mauro Icardi then slotted home to score what turned out to be the winner on the hour-mark.
Check out our breakdown of the game below.
Key Talking Point
The Dutch side responded well to their 4-0 defeat against Barcelona on matchday one, creating some good chances against Inter and eventually went in front when Rosario rifled home into the top-corner from outside the area.
Mark van Bommel’s side could have been out of sight five minutes before the interval, when Handanovi? handled the ball outside the area. However, despite seeming to be a certain dismissal, referee Milorad Maži? bizarrely decided to book the player, giving PSV’s opponents a lifeline. It was a lifeline which I Nerazzurri eventually took advantage of, with Nainggolan levelling the scores after Jeroen Zoet parried Kwadwo Asamoah’s long-range effort.
The Dutch side approached the second-half in the same attacking manner, and very nearly went in front again when Gastón Pereiro cut-inside to fire an effort that struck the post, but it was their defence that was their undoing. A mix-up between Zoet and defender Daniel Schwaab allowed Icardi to latch onto a long-ball forward, round the keeper and fire home into the unguarded-net.
Starting XI: Zoet (6); Dumfries (6), Schwaab (5), Viergever (6), Angeliño (6); Rosario (7), Pereiro (6), Hendrix (6); Lozano (6), De Jong (6), Bergwijn (6)
Substitutes: Donyell Malen (6)
STAR MAN – Rosario lit up the first-half. He broke up play well, forced Handanovi? into a fine save and scored an absolute peach of a strike to put the Dutch outfit in front. He didn’t feature as much in the second-half, and even though his goal couldn’t deny Il Biscione the victory, it was a strike to savour.
WORST PLAYER – Schwaab had a torrid evening against Inter. He couldn’t get close to striker Icardi and gifted the Argentine several key opportunities, one of which he finished, as a result of a mix-up between the defender and Zoet, who was also a candidate for the Worst Player title. The keeper was at fault for both of Inter’s goals but produced some fine saves to keep his side in the game.
Key Talking Point
Inter’s performance against PSV seemed to replicate their come-back-victory over Tottenham on Matchday one. Having gone behind through a goal of sheer quality from Rosario, they responded well and took advantage of some poor defensive mistakes from their Dutch counterparts.
The Italians were fortunate not to be a man down when Handanovi? escaped a clear sending-off, for handling the ball out outside the area, but they used the incident as a wake-up call.
Nainggolan and Icardi combined well throughout the first-half and were both involved for the Nerazzurri’s leveller, which came as a result of the Belgian firing home after Icardi saw his strike blocked.
Icardi was a constant threat over the course of the match, he made some terrific runs and created yards of space for himself. He forced Zoet into several fine saves before latching onto Danilo D’Ambrosio’s cross-field pass and rounding the keeper to find the back of the net.
Inter looked comfortable in the second-half and they had Handanovi? – who was lucky to still be on the pitch – to thank. The Slovenian reacted well to terrifically palm away an acrobatic effort from substitute Donyell Malen.
Starting XI: Handanovi? (6); D’Ambrosio (6), Škriniar (6), De Vrij (6), Asamoah (6); Vecino (6), Brozovi? (6), Politano (6), Nainggolan (7), Periši? (5); Icardi (8*)
Substitutes: Valero (N/A), Candreva (N/A)
STAR MAN – Mauro Icardi’s winning goal made him an obvious candidate for star player. The striker was utterly brilliant tonight. He was involved in Nainggolan’s leveller, made several neat exchanges with his teammates and led the line like a true number nine.
He did well to keep the ball under-pressure and was always an option in the area. Icardi was a leader on the pitch, telling his teammates to stay calm and keep composed even when they had fell behind, which ultimately paid off as he scored the decisive winner.
WORST PLAYER – Periši? was fairly anonymous by his usual standards. It was strange to see the Croat so quiet, although it was understandable considering most of Inter’s attacking play took place on the right flank, where Matteo Politano was operating. The Croat didn’t make many of his trademark runs down the left-flank and seemed a bystander for the most part.
The result meant that Inter moved onto six points in second, while PSV remained at the bottom of Group B, without a point.
Still perfect in the Eredivisie, PSV Eindhoven host sixth-placed VVV Venlo in the hope of maintaining their 100% record at the top of the league.
As for Inter, they travel to 13th-placed SPAL, hoping to make it four consecutive league victories before the all-important Milan Derby, which takes place following the international break.