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UEL: Inter vs Shakhtar

Inter Milan was arguably a bit too tactical for Shakhtar Donetsk in Monday night's Europa League semi-final. Pitmen have played some kind of recreational football since the start of the competition but it's possible their limitations have come to fruition and Inter will take advantage of its old age to exploit that.

Shakhtar Donetsk - Europa League

Shakhtar showed a lot of stability by defeating Wolfsburg 3-0 and Basel 4-1 to advance to this semi-final. In the match against the Swiss representative, Junior Moraes got off to a good start, scoring in just 2 minutes and Taison added a second with a deflector, an Alan Patrick penalty and a late effort. Dodo delivered a convincing victory before Ricky van Wolfswinkel regained Basel comfort. Head coach Luis Castro stated: “It was a difficult game but we dominated almost all the time and defender Valeriy Bondar was a little nervous about facing Inter. The Brazilian's heavy influence on this team had a clear impact, with Shakhtar making passes, speed and movement smooth when attacking. 

Inter Milan - Europa League

Inter looked heavy when they beat Getafe 2-0 but managed to recover to see off Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 in the eighth round. Nicolo Barella opened the scoring in the 15th minute and Romelu Lukaku doubled his advantage shortly thereafter, which meant he had scored in nine consecutive Europa League matches, an unprecedented record with the Belgian striker establish. Chelsea's goal, Kai Havertz quickly regained a goal for Leverkusen but Inter eventually won the match. The Italian giant had two penalties rejected by the VAR, while Christian Eriksen, Alexis Sanchez and Victor Moses all came close after coming on in the second half with delicious opportunities they missed. Antonio Conte commented: “I am very pleased that we played as planned for the game.“ We never allow Leverkusen to play calmly, there is always a certain amount of pressure. Conte clearly has some experience in applying high-pressure play during his time in the Premier League with Chelsea. Inter have also developed a good habit of getting off to a strong start, taking a lead in the first half and full time in five consecutive domestic and European games.