Inter Milan beat Atletico, PSV Eindhoven tie with Dortmund

Simone Inzaghi is ready to give Marko Arnautovic more game time after the wasteful Austria forward redeemed himself with the winning goal in Inter Milan’s 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.

Arnautovic won the last 16, first leg clash at the San Siro after replacing injured Marcus Thuram at half-time, and he is set for more minutes as his French teammate recovers and matches come thick and fast.

The 34-year-old, who has had a tough season, had frustrated home fans with a series of wasted opportunities including a dreadful miss just after the hour mark which had supporters’ heads in their hands.

“He will be really valuable to us as he has been up to now. He and Alexis Sanchez are doing well for how they work, how they train and how they are with teammates,” Inzaghi told reporters.

“He came into the match really well, we were disappointed for the chances he missed but strikers should worry when they’re not getting any opportunities.

“I was a striker, I had periods in which I didn’t have any chances and I was always more worried than when I did have them and I either had a great goalkeeper in front of me or I missed the target.”

Inzaghi said that he hoped to lose Thuram only “for a short period of time” before he has tests on the thigh injury which ended his match.

Diego Simeone said that he is positive for next month’s return leg in Madrid despite his team not having a single shot on target on Tuesday.

“We didn’t have many chances unlike recent games. We controlled the match for long periods, but in the second half they created more chances,” he said.

“I’m optimistic, we lost today but we still have the home leg to play. We know what we’ll come up against, and how they play as we’ve just played them. Hopefully we’ll be able to take advantage.”

Penalty drama as PSV Eindhoven and Borussia Dortmund draw

PSV Eindhoven coach Peter Bosz was left ruing missed chances after his side squandered several opportunities in a 1-1 draw with Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League last-16 first-leg tie on Tuesday.

“In the second half, we had loads of chances. It was a shame that we didn’t score a second,” Bosz told reporters after the game at the Philips Stadion.

Donyell Malen snatched a vital goal to earn the Bundesliga giants the away draw at his old club but wasteful PSV were left to wonder what could have been. 

The big question pre-match was which Borussia Dortmund would show up: the team that topped the Champions League ‘Group of Death’ or the outfit struggling for consistency in the Bundesliga?

And it was a cagey opening in an intimidating atmosphere in Eindhoven, the home fans letting off a volley of fireworks at kick-off.

“We started very nervously, I think both sides were nervous in the first minutes,” said Dortmund coach Edin Terzic.

When the smoke cleared, the hosts had the better of the opening exchanges, Mexico international winger Hirving Lozano causing the Dortmund defence headaches down the left.

PSV midfielder Malik Tillman fluffed two gilt-edged chances in front of goal, once firing wide after a clever through-ball from veteran Dutch striker Luuk de Jong.

And the visitors punished PSV’s profligacy, taking the lead against the run of play in the 24th minute when Malen squeezed a deflected shot into the top corner.

Malen had been prolific for the Dutch giants, scoring 55 goals in all competitions in just 43 games, and chose not to celebrate in front of PSV’s hardcore fans.

The misfiring Tillman somehow then contrived to miss another goal that looked easier to score, this time with a header right in front of goal.

Then it was Belgian international winger Johan Bakayoko’s turn to scuff a shot wide, with the home fans starting to wonder if it was going to be one of those nights as they went into the break 1-0 down.

‘We are unbeatable’ 

PSV haven’t lost at home all season and started the second half on the front foot.

They were soon level.

Tillman redeemed his earlier errors by winning a penalty in the 56th minute, which De Jong slotted calmly past Alexander Meyer.

Dortmund defenders were incensed at the penalty award, insisting veteran central defender Mats Hummels had nicked the ball before bringing down Tillman.

Terzic described it as a “hard decision” and even Bosz acknowledged: “You could see from the reaction of the Dortmund players they didn’t agree with it.”

“Zero percent a penalty. Zero,” Hummels himself told Prime Video after the game.

“Tillman was laughing all over the place. Bakayoko was laughing himself to death. They were all grinning for minutes later.”

The controversial equaliser opened the game up, with chances at both ends, a flick by Dortmund’s Marius Wolf forcing a sharp save from Walter Benitez in the PSV goal. 

With 15 minutes to go, Bakayoko danced through the Dortmund defence but failed to get any purchase on his shot — summing up the night for PSV.

PSV midfielder Joey Veerman said: “I think that we had the second half completely under control and in the first half we had big chances.”

“When you look at the whole game, we had better chances than Dortmund”, he said, adding “I think that 1-1 is not all that bad a position” to take back to Dortmund.

Hummels admitted his team let the “charged atmosphere get to us too much” but was confident of advancing into the quarter-finals when the two sides meet again in three weeks.

“I saw a very beatable Eindhoven today. In our home game, the second leg, we simply need to play better with the ball. Then, I am very confident that we will progress,” said Hummels.

“We know we still have the second leg to play. Then, there will be 80,000 people on a Champions League night. We are unbeatable there,” added Dortmund defender Nico Schlotterbeck.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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