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Inter get campaign on track with Dortmund win as Napoli win thriller in Salzburg

The Italian side have put themselves in a better position as Napoli kept ahead of Liverpool.

Lautaro Martinez scores past Roman Burki
Lautaro Martinez scores past Roman Burki

INTER MILAN GOT their first Champions League victory under Antonio Conte tonight as they beat Borussia Dortmund 2-0 at San Siro.

Lautaro Martinez’s goal midway through the first half and a late Antonio Candreva strike were enough to give the Nerazzurri their first win over German opposition since March 2011.

The result moves Conte’s side into second in Group F, level on four points with Borussia Dortmund but ahead on goal difference, with Barcelona three points clear at the top after their 2-1 win over Slavia Prague.

Inter’s positive start yielded a breakthrough 22 minutes in, when Nico Schulz played Martinez onside from Stefan de Vrij’s chip over the top, allowing the striker to finish low past Roman Burki.

Dortmund began to take control of possession without threatening a swift equaliser, although Samir Handanovic made a good stop low to his right to deny the returning Jadon Sancho just before half-time.

Julian Brandt had been ineffective as the centre-forward in the absence of Paco Alcacer, but he did bring a smart save out of Handanovic after working some space in the Inter box.

The visitors were simply not doing enough in attack, though, and only a timely block from Manuel Akanji stopped Martinez from doubling Inter’s lead on the break.

Sancho almost scrambled in an effort, but Marcelo Brozovic blocked and Candreva hacked the ball clear to preserve Inter’s slender lead.

Mats Hummels brought down Sebastiano Esposito on the break but Martinez could not beat Burki from the spot.

Candreva made sure of no late drama, however, blasting past Burki after being played clean through by Brozovic.

In Group E, Napoli emerged on the right side of a five-goal thriller away to RB Salzburg. Twice Napoli took the lead through Dries Mertens, but twice they were pegged back by the sensational Erling Haaland. Lorenzo Insigne, however, re-established Napoli’s lead within a minute of Haaland’s second goal. 

austria-soccer-champions-league Insigne celebrates his winner. Source: Kerstin Joensson

It was a lead they did not surrender, and it means they keep their one-point lead over Liverpool at the top of Group E. Jurgen Klopp’s champions were 4-1 winners away to Genk in the group’s other game.

Elsewhere, Lille denied Valencia a win at the death through a 95th-minute strike by Jonathan Ikone, validated after a long VAR check. The Spanish side had taken the lead against the run of play through Denis Cheryshev, but tired to close the game out with 10 men after Mouctar Diakhaby was sent off. 

Earlier in Group H, Chelsea were 1-0 winners away to Ajax , leaving those sides level at the top on six points each, with Valencia two points further back in third. This was Lille’s first point of the campaign. 

Benfica were 2-1 winners over Lyon in Group G, following RB Leipzig’s earlier win at home to Zenit. They led from the fourth minute through Rafa Silva, but looked to have squandered the win when Memphis Depay levelled with 20 minutes remaining. Pizzi, however, struck a late winner for Benfica. It’s a crucial win for the Portuguese side, and takes them within a point of second-placed Zenit. 

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