Inter Milan is into the UEFA Europa League quarterfinals after knocking out Getafe on Wednesday, 2-0. Romelu Lukaku scored in the first half, and Christian Eriksen scored in the second half, with Inter's second goal coming just minutes after a missed penalty kick by Getafe as Jose Bordalas' team missed a golden chance to pull level.
While Inter was the more clinical side, Getafe created more of the chances but lacked sharpness. That lack of sharpness was also evident in defense by a team usually quite dominant in protecting its goal. The goal from Lukaku came on a ball over the top that was defended well towards the end, but positioning allowed the Beligan striker to get a solid look on frame. Then the second Inter goal came on a horrible attempted clearance from Djene, who kicked the ball right to Eriksen in front of goal, with the midfield making no mistake.
Inter, as a result, will face either Rangers or Bayer Leverkusen in the quarterfinals.
Below the scorers, you will find three takeaways:
Inter Milan 2, Getafe 0 (FT)
⚽ Inter: Romelu Lukaku (33')
⚽ Inter: Christian Eriksen (83')
Lukaku's superb finish leads way
Lukaku gets a bad wrap sometimes because of an inconsistent first touch and missing some sitters, and that happened in this one, but his winning goal was absolutely fantastic. The big striker bodied his defender, didn't touch the ball before the strike and put home a ball that only few goalkeepers could stop. It was an effort that shows just how much quality he has when things are clicking, and that big moment was crucial. Take a look:
Pair of Getafe blunders proved costly
Getafe didn't outplay Inter, but it came close. Far from effective, the club still had 17 shots to Inter's 10, but only two were put on frame. But it all came down to mistakes. There wasn't much that could be done on the first goal other than holding a deeper line potentially, but that's easy to say looking back. But the missed penalty kick by Jorge Molina was the nail in the coffin:
Combine that with the gift from Djene to Eriksen, and it's two crucial errors in the final moments that ruined any chance of a comeback:
Inter co-favorite to win it all
Inter was expected to advance and did just that, and with the result they move into the last eight as co-favorites with Manchester United. With Antonio Conte's status at Inter up in the air after this season, winning a trophy would help his case if he wants to stay. But it will be interesting to see how a team like Inter handles this tournament moving forward. Already qualified for the Champions League through Serie A, the lone focus here is a trophy, but that's not a small one. The lineup that Conte put out on Wednesday was as talented as possible, showing that Inter is here to win it. The expectation, at a minimum, should be to get into the final.