MX23RW : Friday, September 18 20:35:54| >> :120:36918:36918:
Aug 21, 2020 at 8pm UK at RheinEnergieStadion
SevillaSevilla
3-2
Inter MilanInter Milan
de Jong (12', 33'), Lukaku (74' og.)
Carlos (4'), Banega (44')
FT(HT: 2-2)
Lukaku (5' pen.), Godin (35')
Barella (41'), Bastoni (55'), Gagliardini (73')

Inter Milan's road to the Europa League final

As they bid to end their decade-long wait for another European trophy, Sports Mole takes a look at Inter Milan's route through to Friday's Europa League final.

Heading into his first season in charge at San Siro, Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte would have been targeting a prolonged run in the Champions League.

However, despite an early exit in European football's premier competition, the former Chelsea boss has taken his club to the brink of ending their decade-long wait for another continental trophy.

Like Friday's opponents Sevilla, the Serie A runners-up have best adapted to an unusual set of circumstances brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Ahead of the Europa League final in Koln later this week, Sports Mole takes a look at how Inter have progressed through to a meeting with opposition who finished in fourth place in La Liga.


Champions League group stages

Danilo D'Ambrosio and Junior Firpo in action during the Champions League game between Inter Milan and Barcelona on December 10, 2019© Reuters

Presented with double-headers against Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League group stages, Conte would have acknowledged that his team could not afford to under-perform in the games against the Spanish and German giants.

However, that is exactly what I Nerazzurri did, earning just three points from those fixtures to ultimately miss out on progressing further in the competition.

While Inter also recorded a 1-1 draw at home to Slavia Prague, allowing Dortmund to overturn a 2-0 half-time deficit midway through the campaign proved to be the pivotal result.


Last 32: Ludogorets (4-1 on aggregate)

At a time when they were challenging Juventus for the Serie A title, Conte made the decision to rotate his side for the two fixtures against Ludogorets.

While it took 71 minutes to break the deadlock in Bulgaria, eventually prevailing by a 2-0 scoreline theoretically ended the tie as a contest before the reverse fixture at San Siro.

Although Ludogorets changed that perception by taking the lead in the second leg, two further goals from Inter before the break ensured that they could breeze through the closing 45 minutes.


Last 16: Inter 2-0 Getafe

Like Sevilla, Inter were one of a number of teams who saw their last-16 tie reduced to one leg due to the coronavirus pandemic.

After establishing a one-goal advantage at the break through Romelu Lukaku's opener, Conte's men gifted Getafe an opportunity to equalise from the penalty spot.

However, Jorge Molina proceeded to miss the target, allowing Christian Eriksen to put the result beyond doubt with a goal seven minutes from time.


Quarter-finals: Inter 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen

Inter Milan's Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring against Bayer Leverkusen on August 10, 2020© Reuters

In what was the tie of the round, Inter played out a thrilling contest which saw all three goals scored in the opening 25 minutes.

However, having halved the deficit through Kai Havertz, Leverkusen were unable to get back on level terms despite the familiar surroundings in Germany.

Although Inter's efforts came through Nicolo Barella and Lukaku before the midway point of the first half, Conte would have been quietly satisfied that his players managed to negotiate the remainder of the contest while holding onto a narrow lead.


Semi-finals: Inter 5-0 Shakhtar Donetsk

Inter Milan players celebrate scoring against Shakhtar Donetsk on August 17, 2020© Reuters

Despite being the favourites to advance through to the final, few people predicted that Inter would set up a meeting with Sevilla in such fashion.

Although Shakhtar Donetsk had the better of the opening exchanges, one mistake acted as the catalyst for Inter to dominate the rest of the meeting in Dusseldorf.

Lautaro Martinez and Lukaku both netted doubles during the 5-0 rout, although it was Danilo D'Ambrosio's header midway through the second half which effectively put the game out of Shakhtar's reach.

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Inter Milan players celebrate scoring against Shakhtar Donetsk on August 17, 2020
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