Inter and Romelu Lukaku remain on track for a win in the Europa League after a 2-1 win against Leverkusen. Lukaku guided Inter to the semi-finals with a great winning goal. With that he also scored in 9 Europa League matches in a row, nobody did it before him. In the semi-finals Inter will compete against Sjachtjor Donetsk or Basel.
Lukaku crowns a very strong first half with a record goal
Lukaku was looking forward to it, that was immediately clear from the first minute. The Red Devil weighed in on Leverkusen’s defense and excelled as a target man. After barely fifteen minutes that resulted in the 1-0 for Inter. Not from Lukaku, who saw his shot blocked from close range. Well from Barella, the Italian took goalkeeper Hradecky in the return.
A few minutes later, the same Barella almost had his second of the evening. It had been a great climax for a great action by Lautaro, but Hradecky decided otherwise. It turned out to be no more than a postponement for Leverkusen, the 2-0 came a little later.
With his powerful body, Lukaku Tapsoba held off in the sixteen and while falling, the Red Devil tapped the ball past Hradecky in goal. Lukaku thus scores a record in 9 consecutive Europa League matches.
Only for Hradecky, Lukaku seemed to be on his way to number 10 shortly after, but the Leverkusen goalkeeper kept his team afloat. An important save, as immediately afterwards Havertz brought the German squad back into the game. After a nice one-two, the German top talent tapped the connection goal through Handanovic’s legs for half an hour.
Lukaku was shortly afterwards ready to give Inter some more breathing room from the penalty spot after alleged hands from Sinkgraven. But after the intervention of the VAR, the Red Devil had to drip again.
Tension to the end, but Inter does not break
Inter lost his dominance after the 2-1 and also at the start of the second half Leverkusen showed just a little more grinta. Yet it was Gagliardini who almost gave Inter a 3-1 lead after just 5 minutes. Almost, because Lukaku was unlucky in the trajectory of his shot.
Not much later, Gagliardini was there again with an impressive rush through the center, but this time Baumgartlinger got in the way. With the input of Moses, Sanchez and Eriksen, Inter pulled the sheet again all the way to itself. An excellent Hradecky kept all three of them 3-1.
On the other side, Handanovic was the Inter hero on a bang from Demirbay. That way it remained 2-1 and therefore also very exciting. Leverkusen insisted, Havertz and Volland came just short of a cross from ex-Genk player Leon Bailey.
In the urgent final phase, Inter received another penalty. Lukaku got ready again, but even now the VAR threw a spanner in the works. Inter was able to shrug, as qualifying was no longer compromised.
View the goals of Barella (1-0) and Havertz (2-1):
VAR thwarts Lukaku 2 times from the dot: