Andre Onana Shines in Benfica 0 Inter Milan 2 CL Game : Inter have one foot in the Champions League semi-final after grabbing a magnificent 2-0 win away to Benfica with Nicolò Barella’s header and a Romelu Lukaku penalty as Cameroon goalkeeper Andre Onana once again kept a clean sheet in Portugal.
Inter advanced to this stage after defeating Porto 1-0 at San Siro and picking a 0-0 draw in the away leg.
The Nerazzurri were missing Hakan Calhanoglu and Milan Skriniar, choosing Edin Dzeko rather than Romelu Lukaku upfront, after a poor run of recent results in Serie A and the Coppa Italia.
The hosts were unbeaten in the Champions League, drawing only home and away with PSG, but had Nicolas Otamendi suspended, Alexander Bah, Gonçalo Guedes and Julian Draxler injured. They had won 10 domestic matches on the bounce until Friday’s 2-1 loss to FC Porto.
Andre Onana was tested early on when Federico Dimarco’s clearance fell straight to Rafa Silva from 10 yards, while Joao Mario’s scuffed volley was wide.
Francesco Acerbi’s screamer from distance flashed just over the bar and Lautaro Martinez misplaced a ball that would’ve sent Edin Dzeko clear.
Dimarco volleyed a ball across the face of goal, but just behind both Lautaro Martinez and Dzeko.
Inter broke the deadlock after the restart when Alessandro Bastoni roamed forward down the left and whipped in a cross that Barella nodded back across the face of goal into the bottom corner.
Denzel Dumfries and Bastoni then combined to get the ball clear in a panicked goalmouth scramble, while Fredrik Aursnes had a shot charged down.
Tucu Correa threaded through for Henrikh Mkhitaryan, denied by the goalkeeper rushing off his line, then Barella had a long-range volley blocked by defensive bodies.
Dumfries had a great double chance on another splendid Bastoni cross, the header down parried by Vlachodimos, then the rebound blocked by Morato, but as the move continues Dumfries saw his cross charged down by Joao Mario. VAR called the referee over to look at it and he pointed to the spot for Joao Mario’s handling offence, allowing Lukaku to convert low and hard into the near bottom corner.
Grimaldo flashed a volley across the face of goal, while Robin Gosens just failed to properly connect with a Dumfries cross.
With the last kick of the game, the Cameroonian keeper Onana kept the clean sheet with a one-handed save on the Goncalo Ramos angled drive.
The former Ajax goalkeeper has attracted big interests from the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea and it remains to be seen how the future of one of Africa’s finest keepers will be at the end of the season.
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