Thou shalt not pass! Andre Onana helps Inter survive Porto onslaught as Nerazzurri book Champions League quarter-final place for first time in 12 years
- Inter survived late onslaught
- Porto lacked creative spark
- Nerazzurri reach first quarter-final since 2011
TELL ME MORE: Porto were the in-form side with more at stake in the tie, which was evident right from the off. Just a few minutes in, Mateus Uribe's long-range effort was tipped round the post by Andre Onana. Inter's approach of defending resolutely and hitting on the counter soon became apparent, which almost proved the perfect game plan were it not for Edin Dzeko's tame shot. Stephen Eustaquio had a couple of opportunities to put the hosts in front, though, while Wenderson Galeno should have done better on the stretch for Pepe's cross seconds before the break.
Galeno had a huge chance to draw the scores level on aggregate shortly after, but failed to capitalise on a rare overload in numbers over the Inter defence. Lautaro Martinez then should have extended Inter's lead late on - and he nearly lived to regret it. The home side piled on the pressure in stoppage time with Denzel Dumfries needed to clear off the line, before Onana fabulously tipped onto the post and Marko Grujic headed onto the bar. While it wasn't pretty, Simone Inzaghi's side survived, holding out for a crucial draw to reach their first Champions League quarter-final since 2011.
THE MVP: The defensive masterclass implemented by Inzaghi was present throughout the spine of Inter's team. Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Hakan Calhanoglu put in a stellar midfield shift while at the back, both Alessandro Bastoni and Matteo Darmian had to be withdrawn through fatigue from their own efforts. But behind them all was Onana, who arguably had less to do than in the first leg but remained alert when called up, especially in those dramatic closing stages. He can have Dumfries to thank for his last-ditch clearance, but he was still Inter's standout player.
THE BIG LOSER: Otavio's red card from the first leg clearly affected Porto here. The home side lacked creativity against an Inter side who weren't afraid to sit deep, and missed the spark of their star creative midfielder. That said, on the night, Porto's best opportunities probably fell to Galeno. Sergio Conceicao's side failed to generate many clear-cut chances, but the Brazilian missed two big ones.
MATCH IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? Before finding out their quarter-final opponents later this week, Inzaghi will lead his Inter side out at home to Juventus on Sunday. Porto, meanwhile, will be hoping to bounce back from their European disappointment when they travel to Braga on the same day.
MATCH RATING (OUT OF FIVE): ⭐⭐⭐