Error message

  • Notice: Undefined index: nid in views_handler_field_term_node_tid->pre_render() (line 98 of /var/www/html/docroot/sites/all/modules/views/modules/taxonomy/
  • Notice: Undefined index: nid in views_handler_field_term_node_tid->pre_render() (line 98 of /var/www/html/docroot/sites/all/modules/views/modules/taxonomy/


Inter Milan Had Liverpool On The Ropes, But Then Alexis Sánchez Ruined All Our Fun

There's the scoreline and then there's reality. 

After Liverpool's 2-0 first leg victory at the San Siro back on Feb. 16, the refrain you constantly heard in the buildup and throughout the opening hour at Anfield on Tuesday was that Inter was still precariously alive in this one — just get the first goal and Anfield would be theirs for the taking!

But the reality was that Simone Inzaghi's side posed zero threat to Liverpool's backline for an hour, and it seemed like the Reds would stroll into the quarters with the odd goal from somewhere. The 33-year-old Alexis Sánchez was handed a start for Inter, but he hadn't begun a Champions League match in 18 months for good reason, while Virgil van Dijk looked imperious in dealing with Lautaro Martínez. 

Inter's best player was center back Milan Škriniar, but he wasn't exactly going to make Jürgen Klopp suffer by winning defensive aerials inside his own area. Where would the magic come from?     

In the 30th minute, Joël Matip sent a header crashing off the crossbar and then Škriniar did really well to deflect Van Dijk's goal-bound effort out for a corner. Inter stayed alive.   

Hakan Çalhanoğlu forced Alisson into decisive action with an awkward free kick at the other end, but all Inter had to show for the opening 45 was a pair of stoppage time bookings handed to Chilean compatriots Alexis and Arturo Vidal for a pair of hard fouls in quick succession. 

Mohamed Salah then could've ended the tie in the 51st minute with the goal at his mercy, but still, still Inter remained alive and needing just one goal to get back into it. 

On the hour mark, it seemed like Inter let its best chance go begging when Martínez, with a bit of time and space in the area, dragged an effort wide of Alisson's post. However, moments later, El Toro lashed one into the far corner from 20 yards out. You know with a goal of this quality that suddenly the whole team believes. 

Against all odds, the neutrals had finally gotten what CBS was so unconvincingly trying to pander to us — GAME ON! . . . for all of two minutes.

Inter fans hadn't even stopped celebrating when Alexis — whose first yellow card was clear for going high on Thiago — got a second booking when he got to the ball first but caught Fabinho with his studs on the other side. This one was certainly less clear. 

Liverpool couldn't kill it off as Salah struck the post again and Inter fought hardily with a sense of injustice, but the Nerazzurri couldn't create another significant chance while playing with 10 men. 

Winning at Anfield is a nice reward for their endeavors, but it's meaningless as Liverpool advances to the quarterfinals for the fourth time in five seasons.

Videos you might like