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A “surreal” crowdless win for Inter in the Europa League

Coronavirus Italy
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Inter Milan versus Ludogorets was played behind closed doors for public health reasons following reported cases of the coronavirus in northern Italy.

Antonio Conte’s men already held a comfortable lead from the first leg in Bulgaria.

A two-nil win meant that the visitors had to beat Inter by three goals minimum at the San Siro.

A hard enough task is usually made all the more difficult by the intimidating crowd. But this game had no crowd after coronavirus issues in Northern Italy.

Inter director Giuseppe Marotta speaking to Sky Sports Italia had suggested earlier, how bizarre the feeling around the stadium was.

He said:

“It’s certainly a surreal situation.”

“The public is a fundamental component of football, without the audience emotions are diminished.”

“But the protection of citizens must be safeguarded.”

“We accept, albeit reluctantly, these decisions.”

So without the influential crowd on hand, Inter got off to a disastrous start. Souza gave the visitors an unexpected lead in the 26th minute when the inter defense was caught napping.

The lead was short-lived, as this sparked the home side into life.

Biraghi pulled the goal back within five minutes.

A well-driven shot, that should have been saved by the keeper, crept in at the near post.

Cote’s men finished the game off before half tie, as Romelu Lukaku scored perhaps the ugliest goal he ever will.

The cross comes, in and like every good striker he beats his man to the ball, and heads the ball down into the ground.

Absolutely textbook, except that the keeper saves.

No problem for the Belgian forward.

As he falls to the floor from his efforts to reach the ball in the first place, the keepers save hits him in the head again and goes into the net.

A job well done for Antonio Conte’s men, as they put their name in the hat for tomorrow’s draw for the round of 16.