Inter Milan have won consecutive UEFA Champions League away matches for the first time since October 2011, as Edin Džeko starred in a 2-0 win over 10-man Viktoria Plzeň, Abbeylivenetwork.com reports.
After defeat to Bayern Munich and a double header with Barcelona on the horizon, Simone Inzaghi knew there was absolutely no room for error on their trip to the Czech Republic. His side were dominant in the first half, with the hosts perhaps wary of suffering a similar drubbing as they did at the Camp Nou last time out.
With neither Lautaro Martínez nor Romelu Lukaku in the starting lineup, Inter’s second-string forward line stepped up to create the opener. Joaquin Correa slotted in Džeko on the inside left, and the Bosnian opened his body to finish in emphatic fashion into the bottom corner. Clear-cut chances remained few and far between after the deadlock was broken, but Džeko ought to have doubled the lead before the break, but he failed to cap off an expertly-crafted counter attack when his shot was saved by Jindřich Staněk.
The Nerazzurri emerged after the half time break determined to press home their advantage. Denzel Dumfries spurned a glorious chance to extend the lead soon after the resumption, rising highest to meet Alessandro Bastoni’s cross, but the Dutchman failed to keep his header down. Michal Bílek’s men were hanging on, and their task was made even more difficult when Pavel Bucha was sent off for a heavy challenge on Nicolò Barella.
Inter made full use of their numerical advantage and put the game to bed 20 minutes from time. Džeko fed Dumfries on the right, who produced a clever finish, striking the ball into the ground to ensure it bounced over Staněk. Plzeň’s five-match unbeaten run on home soil in the UCL comes to an end, with the small matter of back-to-back fixtures against Bayern Munich on the horizon.
Man of the Match: Edin Džeko (Inter Milan)