Inter are through to the round of last 16 of the UEFA Champions League after demolishing Viktoria Plzen 4-0 in Match Day 5 at a packed Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in Milan’s San Siro district.
The Nerazzurri started the game OK, maybe a little shaky but after around the 10th minute mark, dominated the match until Swedish referee Andreas Ekberg blew the final whistle.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored his second goal since joining Inter as well as for the second consecutive match heading home an excellent Alessandro Bastoni cross in the 35th minute.
Some seven minutes later, Nicolo Barella played a lovely cross-ball where Federico Dimarco showed lovely control before squaring it for Edin Dzeko to double Inter’s lead.
In the second half, Inter continued to dominate and piling on the pressure until Edin Dzeko bagged a brace in the 66th minute, before Romelu Lukaku came on and scored the Nerazzurri’s fourth.
André Onana – 6: Didn’t have anything to do for most of the match and therefore can’t really be given a higher or a lower rating as he did what he needed to do when called upon and wasn’t tested.
Milan Skriniar – 7: Plays with that captain’s armband around his arm as if he’s been doing it for years. A leader on and off the pitch that leads by example. Looks physically fitter than at any other point this season.
Francesco Acerbi – 6,5: This is his natural position at Inter, in the middle of the back three and not to the left as against Fiorentina. Did everything that was asked of him without making any mistakes and provided calm.
Alessandro Bastoni – 8: What a performance by the 23-year old. Outstanding defensively and unplayable in attack, overloading that left flank providing one dangerous cross after another, resulting in the opening goal. MOTM.
Denzel Dumfries – 6,5: Good performance by the Dutchman constantly attacking the space down that right flank and playing in early crosses with mixed results. A step forward performance-wise compared to recent matches.
Nicolo Barella – 7,5: The architect behind Inter’s second goal playing a diagonal crossball that would have made Federico Dimarco proud. Another stellar performance by the midfielder who is well and truly back to his best.
Hakan Calhanoglu – 7,5: Brozovic’s injury turned out to be a blessing in disguise as Inter now have two top-class deep-lying playmakers. Such a good passer of the ball, dictating the tempo of the midfield with vision and creativity.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 7,5: What a signing the Armenian is turning out to be. Yet another important goal, this time with his head and was unlucky not to get a brace hitting the post in the second half.
Federico Dimarco – 7: His control of the ball when latching on to Barella’s cross before assisting Dzeko for Inter’s second goal, was alone worth the admission price. Barely put a foot wrong defensively and insatiable down the left flank.
Lautaro Martinez – 7,5: Maybe not his best game in recent weeks but still very good which tells you all you need to know the level he is playing at right now. Unlucky not to score but did just about everything else and did so very well.
Edin Dzeko – 8: Might seem harsh not to be named MOTM when you score a brace but Bastoni was slightly better for 90 minutes, which doesn’t take anything away from the legendary Bosnian striker who was brilliant.
Joaquin Correa – 6,5: Came on for Edin Dzeko in the 71st minute and should have scored at least once given chances he had. Got a good assist for Romelu Lukaku’s goal but makes too many simple mistakes.
Kristjan Asllani – 6,5: Decent outing for the youngster when replacing Calhanoglu in the 71st minute.
Robin Gosens – 6: Brought on in the 77th minute for Dimarco and didn’t have much of an impact in either phase as game was won at that point. Given how Dimarco played wont probably start against Sampdoria either.
Roberto Gagliardini – N/A: Replaced Mkhitaryan in the 83rd minute and didn’t play long enough to be able to be rated.
Romelu Lukaku – N/A: Substituted on in 83rd minute for Lautaro Martinez and scored a lovely goal and should have had an assist but Correa’s finish was poor. Didn’t play long enough to be able to be rated but looked good.
Simone Inzaghi – 8: Served a one match touchline ban but everything from the game-plan, starting lineup as well as the substitutions were spot on. Has secured knockout stage Champions League football for third consecutive year.
Andreas Ekberg – 6: Inconsistent refereeing in the first half especially turning a blind eye to blatant fouls on both teams players. Luckily his mistakes had no major impact on the game.
Inter – 8: Apart from the opening 10 minutes it was a black and blue festival at a packed Stadio Giuseppe Meazza that was fully enjoying themselves. The noise level when Lukaku scored gave every Inter fan goosebumps.