You’ve been following Inter Milan this season, haven’t you? As an Inter fan, you know they’ve had their ups and downs, moments of glory and heartbreak. Their matchup against FC Porto in the Champions League is shaping up to be a thriller. These two clubs have a history, and this latest chapter is sure to be an intense one. Before the action kicks off, let’s take a look at how Inter and Porto have tangled over the years. From dramatic comebacks to questionable calls, this timeline has it all. Strap in, Inter fans, you’re in for a wild ride down memory lane. By the end, you’ll be even more fired up to face Porto. This is the complete history of Inter vs Porto.

The Road to the Champions League Knockout Stage

To reach the Champions League knockout stage, Inter Milan first had to navigate the group stage. Drawn into Group B, the Nerazzurri faced a tough set of opponents in Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, and Slavia Prague.

Inter started strong, defeating Slavia Prague 2-1 at San Siro. Next, they traveled to Germany and earned a hard-fought 0-0 draw against Dortmund. Two victories over Slavia Prague and a home win versus Barcelona left Inter needing just a draw in the final group match to advance.

In Milan, Inter and Barcelona battled to a 1-1 stalemate, sending Inter through as group runners-up behind Barça. The Round of 16 draw paired Inter with Portuguese champions Porto.

Over two legs in February and March 2020, Inter triumphed 3-1 on aggregate. A 2-1 victory at San Siro featured goals from Romelu Lukaku and Nicolò Barella. In the return leg, Lukaku scored again as a 1-0 win in Porto secured Inter’s place in the Champions League quarterfinals for the first time in nearly a decade.

After years of struggles, Inter is back among Europe’s elite. With talent like Lukaku and Barella and under the guidance of renowned coach Antonio Conte, the Nerazzurri seem poised to challenge for their first Champions League title since 2010. The road ahead won’t be easy, but with their knockout stage demons vanquished, Inter can now set their sights on continental glory.

Pre-Match Build Up and Key Storylines

The stakes are high in this Champions League knockout match. Inter Milan, having struggled in Serie A this season, will see this as a chance for redemption. FC Porto, on the other hand, will look to prove they belong with Europe’s elite.

Key Storylines

  • Inter Milan’s season has been disappointing so far, sitting in 6th place in Serie A. They’ll need to turn things around to qualify for Europe next season, so Champions League success is critical. Manager Antonio Conte is under pressure to deliver.
  • Porto have dominated the Portuguese league, with an 11 point lead at the top. They’ve only lost once this season but face much stiffer competition in the Champions League. A win over Inter would signal they’re ready to challenge Europe’s traditional powerhouses.
  • Inter’s key players – Lautaro Martínez, Romelu Lukaku and Nicolò Barella – have been inconsistent this season. If they show up in top form, Inter’s chances improve dramatically. Porto will rely on leading scorers Mehdi Taremi and Sérgio Oliveira to penetrate Inter’s shaky defense.
  • Injuries have plagued both sides. Inter are missing midfielders Stefano Sensi and Matías Vecino, while Porto left back Zaidu Sanusi is out. Squad depth could determine who prevails over two legs.

With strong teams, passionate fans, and the prestige of Champions League glory on the line, this promises to be an intense matchup. Tune in for all the drama, as two of Europe’s most storied clubs battle for a place in the quarterfinals. This is what the Champions League is all about!

First Leg: Inter Milan vs FC Porto

The first leg of this Champions League match took place on February 16, 2021 at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy. Going into this matchup, Inter Milan had the home advantage but FC Porto held a slight edge historically, with 3 wins to Inter’s 2 wins in their previous 5 meetings.

Inter Milan came out strong, controlling possession for much of the first half. In the 34th minute, Inter broke through with a goal by Lautaro Martínez, giving the home team a 1-0 lead going into halftime.

In the second half, Porto responded quickly with an equalizer in the 46th minute by Sérgio Oliveira. The next 20 minutes were back and forth, with chances at both ends but no goals.

Then, disaster struck for Inter in the 63rd minute. Their defender Alessandro Bastoni was shown a red card for a rough foul, leaving Inter down to 10 men for the rest of the match. Porto took advantage, scoring two more goals in the 64th and 67th minutes by Mehdi Taremi and Moussa Marega respectively.

Despite being a man down, Inter continued to fight but couldn’t find another goal. The match finished 3-1 in favor of the visitors, FC Porto. Porto gained a valuable two-goal advantage heading back home for the second leg. Inter faced an uphill battle, needing to win by at least two goals to advance.

The stage was set for a dramatic conclusion to this Champions League battle between Inter Milan and FC Porto. The second leg was sure to be a fiercely contested matchup, with everything on the line to determine who would move on to the quarterfinals.

Second Leg: FC Porto vs Inter Milan

The second leg of the Champions League round of 16 matchup between Inter Milan and FC Porto was played on March 9, 2021 at the Estádio do Dragão in Porto, Portugal.

Lineups

Inter Milan lined up in a 3-5-2 formation with:

  • Handanovic; Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni; Hakimi, Barella, Eriksen, Brozovic, Perisic; Lukaku, Martinez

FC Porto went with a 4-3-3 formation featuring:

  • Marchesin; Manafa, Mbemba, Pepe, Zaidu; Oliveira, Uribe, Otavio; Corona, Marega, Luis Diaz

Match Summary

The match started with both teams attacking and creating chances. Inter Milan dominated early possession but FC Porto looked dangerous on the counterattack.

In the 19th minute, Inter Milan took the lead. Romelu Lukaku slid a perfect through ball to Lautaro Martinez who slotted it past the goalkeeper. Inter Milan led 1-0 on aggregate.

FC Porto pushed for an equalizer but struggled to break through Inter Milan’s defense. They went into halftime still trailing 1-0.

In the second half, FC Porto substitutions helped turn the tide. Otavio scored in the 61st minute to level the match 1-1 on aggregate. The crowd at Estádio do Dragão erupted, sensing an upset.

The match remained tied until stoppage time. In the 92nd minute, a FC Porto corner kick caused chaos in Inter Milan’s box. Defender Chancel Mbemba rose above the crowd and headed the ball into the net, giving FC Porto a 2-1 win on the night and a 3-2 aggregate victory. They advanced to the Champions League quarterfinals, eliminating Inter Milan.

Aftermath

FC Porto’s unlikely comeback victory was celebrated by fans and praised by media. Inter Milan were criticized for allowing a 2-0 aggregate lead to slip away in the round of 16 for the second straight season. The match is considered an all-time Champions League classic.

Aftermath and Implications of the Two-Leg Tie

The aftermath of Inter Milan and FC Porto’s two-leg tie in the Champions League round of 16 saw a mix of emotions from both sides. For Inter Milan, advancing to the quarterfinals for the first time in 10 years was a thrilling accomplishment and validation of the progress the club has made this season. For FC Porto, the narrow defeat was heartbreaking, especially after controlling much of the play over both legs.

Inter Milan Celebrates, Looks Ahead

Inter Milan players and fans alike celebrated reaching the Champions League quarterfinals, a feat the club hasn’t achieved since 2011. The team has improved immensely under manager Antonio Conte this season, currently 2nd in Serie A behind rivals Juventus. Reaching the quarterfinals is a sign the team is headed in the right direction.

Inter will face either Real Madrid, Manchester City, Lyon or Juventus in the next round. No easy task, but Inter has proven they belong with Europe’s elite this season. Qualifying for the quarterfinals also provides financial gain for the club, earning them a sizable payout from UEFA for advancing. The additional funds could help Inter strengthen the squad this summer.

Heartbreak and What Next for FC Porto?

For FC Porto, the narrow aggregate defeat was difficult to swallow. They dominated possession and scoring chances over both legs but were unable to find the back of the net. The team sits 2nd in the Portuguese Primeira Liga, still in the hunt to win their 29th league title.

While FC Porto won’t advance in the Champions League, they have secured a spot in the Europa League round of 16, providing another opportunity at a European trophy this season. The team will need to regroup quickly for their match this weekend to keep pace in the league title race. Though this exit from the Champions League stings, FC Porto has a talented, young squad with a bright future. They will certainly be contenders again next season.

The two-leg tie between Inter Milan and FC Porto ultimately came down to small margins. For Inter Milan, it’s another step towards re-establishing themselves as a European powerhouse. For FC Porto, the narrow defeat provides motivation to come back stronger next season. Both clubs have promising futures ahead.

Conclusion

Now you have the entire timeline of events leading up to the Champions League match between Inter Milan and FC Porto. You’ve seen how the teams got here, the key players to watch, and what’s at stake. All that’s left is to tune in, grab your snacks, and enjoy what should be an epic clash between two of Europe’s most storied clubs. No matter which side you’re rooting for, you’re in for 90 minutes of high drama, passion, and world-class football. The beautiful game doesn’t get much better than this. Here’s to an unforgettable night and may the best team win! Who will emerge victorious in this latest chapter of the competition that never fails to disappoint? In just a few short hours, we’ll have our answer. The countdown is on.

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