Inter Milan comeback against Benfica after their former midfielder, Joao Mario buried Inter with a hattrick in the first half. The Nerazzurri have already qualified for the Round of 16, but were looking to cement their position on the top of their group. Simone Inzaghi made several changes, so Inter did not look like its usual self. With new midfielders and forward line, the team took some time in the first half to gel, and were 3 down by the half time.
Benfica were sharp from the start and took an early lead as de Vrij’s lapse left Tengstedt onside, allowing Mario to capitalize with a shot from eight yards. The 13th minute saw Benfica doubling their advantage after an Asllani giveaway outside the box resulted in a sloppy goal. Bisseck’s weak clearance led to Joao Mario’s second goal. Despite Inter showing signs of resurgence after the second goal, Joao Mario completed his hat trick in the 34th minute. Inter’s defensive struggles persisted as they failed to clear, resulting in another goal.
Inter comeback against Benfica after Mario’s hattrick
Whatever Inzaghi conveyed in the halftime break ignited a different Inter side in the second half. Although going with the same lineup, they displayed an entirely different approach. The Nerazzuri took control from the outset, with Carlos Augusto’s near-post shot requiring a save from Trubin in the 49th minute. Two minutes later, a Sanchez free-kick was comfortably saved. This gave chance to Bisseck for a header from the corner that Arnautovic swiftly converted.
Seven minutes later, Inter secured their second goal as Acerbi’s excellent cross found Frattesi near the penalty spot, resulting in a fine finish and a 3-2 scoreline. The new players were now clicking and the match entered an open phase. Foul on Thuram in the box gave Inter the penalty and Sanchez converted from the spot to equalize. Antonio Silva’s harsh foul on Barella in the later time led to a VAR-reviewed red card. Despite continued action, Inter’s best chance to win came in the 95th minute, but Barella’s shot hit the post. Inzaghi would be happy with his side’s approach and will now focus on Serie A.