Kampala, Uganda | XINHUA | Goals from Romelu Lukaku and substitute Christian Eriksen helped clinical Inter to move 2-0 past wasteful Getafe in the Europa League round of 16 at the Arena AufSchalke on Wednesday.
Inter Milan booked their berth for the quarterfinal as the game against Getafe was played as a single-legged knockout clash. The first leg was canceled due to coronavirus, hence, the UEFA decided to schedule the all-or-nothing leg on neutral soil in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.
Getafe made a bright start into the encounter and should have opened the scoring in the early stages but Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic made a one-handed diving save to deny Nemanja Maskimovic’s promising header.
The Spanish side pressed frenetically whereas Inter was in trouble and unable to free themselves from their territory.
Getafe created another promising chance with 18 minutes played but Jaime Mata’s effort from inside the box was blocked as he initially hesitated to unleash his shot.
Inter almost caught Getafe flatfooted. However Lautaro Martinez missed the far post corner just wide following a turnover in the 25th minute.
The Italians grew into the game as the clock ticked and they punished Getafe’s wastefulness in front of the goal in the 33rd minute when Alessandro Bastoni’s deep ball allowed Lukaku to beat custodian David Soria into the far right corner.
After the restart, Inter started where they left off as Danilo d’Ambrosio’s sideways scissor-kick forced Soria into action before Diego Godin failed to poke home the rebound from very close range with 49 minutes gone.
Getafe needed some time to recover and came close in the 67th minute but once again Handanovic was on guard to defuse Mata’s header.
The Spaniards had the golden chance to restore parity moments later when the video assistant referee spotted a handball from Godin inside the box. Substitute Jorge Molina stepped up but pulled wide to squander the penalty in the 76th minute.
Getafe threw every man up front but things went from bad to worse as Inter’s substitute Christian Eriksen put the result beyond doubt moments after his fielding in the 83rd minute.
With the result, Getafe crashed out in the round of the last 16 meanwhile Inter Milan will face either Bayer Leverkusen or Glasgow Rangers in the quarterfinal.
“Getafe started very well and created some chances but we slowly took control of the game and I think the victory is fully deserved,” said Inter Milan head coach Antonio Conte.