Inter Triumph in Champions League Goal Fest
The Nerazzurri had triumphed 3-1 in Milan and took a solid lead back to Bavaria but knew they had to be on their toes to ensure Bayern could not spring a comeback and move on in the competition at their expense. Many expected Bayern to come out and attack all-out, but it was the Italians that took first blood.
Just 6 minutes into the match, Andrea Poli’s delightful corner kick found the head of Giuseppe Bellusci at the near post who made it 4-1 on aggregate to Inter. Bayern were having none of it, however, and came close twice in the next 10 minutes with Vid Belec brilliantly denying Mario Gomez and Per Mertesacker rattling the crossbar with a header.
In the 22nd minute, Bayern started to claw themselves back into the match as Gomez ran onto Franck Ribery’s through ball and this time slotted home past the onrushing Belec. The German fans weren’t on their feet long, however, before Lorenzo Insigne’s free kick was barely tipped over by Neuer just a minute later.
On the stroke of half time, Inter struck again. Mattia Destro robbed Badstuber at the back, and while his first effort was well saved by Manuel Neuer, Moussa Sissoko was on the spot to tap home the rebound and make the aggregate 5-2 to Inter and forcing Bayern to score 4 times to advance.
Inter picked up right where they left off after the break as Andrea Ranocchia towered over Javi Martinez off of another Poli corner to hammer home his header and make it 3-1 on the night and 6-2 on aggregate. Giuseppe Bergomi was all smiles on the touch line as his counterpart Villas-Boas went mad on the sidelines.
A sense of urgency finally started to overtake Bayern from the urgings of their manager, and over the next 25 minutes Bayern dominated every facet of the play. Torje played the hero’s role, a constant threat down the right wing as he assisted Mario Gomez and Javi Martinez in quick succession, both on diving headers.
Soon after, Bastian Schweinsteiger punched in a third in a row, and suddenly the score was 4-3 on the night and 6-5 on aggregate. The dream for Bayern was still alive.
The minutes continued to tick on, however, and Bayern grew more and more desperate, throwing men forward, knowing only 2 goals would be enough. However, it was Inter who found themselves with space and time on a counterattack with 3 minutes remaining. Ademilson slotted Insigne in on the left who drove in a cross to be tapped home by substitute Philippe Coutinho in his first game in over 3 months.
The score was 4-4, 7-5 on aggregate, and that’s how it finally ended when the referee blew his full time whistle. Villas-Boas and Bergomi shared a handshake and exchange after the match, both obviously flustered by the end-to-end, goal after goal action.
Inter will play FC Porto in the semifinals, who shockingly defeated Manchester City 3-0. The first game will take place in Arsenal. They will fight for the right to play either Arsenal or Real Madrid in the final in the Champions League final. The final will take place at the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, all the more motivation for Inter to make it there.
The UEFA Champions League trophy that Inter so desperately want.