Porto vs Inter 0-0: Nerazzurri Advance to the Quarterfinals

On Wednesday, Inter fought its way to a 0-0 draw against Porto, advancing to the quarterfinals of the Champions League in style.

Porto was without one of its star players, Otavio, who picked up two yellow cards during the previous affair. The attacking midfielder’s absence saw Stephen Eustaquio enter the starting lineup, though as a deep-lying playmaker. Additionally, the hosts were without their captain and star centre-back, Pepe.

For the visitors, only one change was made to the eleven that took the field in the previous fixture. On the backline, Matteo Darmian replaced Milan Skriniar at centre-back, while Denzel Dumfries took his place as the right wing-back.

The First Half

Porto started the match well, with Mateus Uribe taking a long shot from nearly 30 yards out. While the ball was well struck, it flew just wide of the post, giving goalkeeper Andre Onana no problem.

Later, the Canadian, Eustaquio, nearly opened scoring for his side. When Dumfries tried to dribble out of pressure in the defensive third, Porto easily won possession, but Onana made a quality diving save to keep the score level.

Late in the first half, Porto again nearly scored thanks to rapid ball movement around the Nerazzurri box. Marko Grujic connected with Evanilson in the box, but Federico Dimarco made a superb sliding challenge to block the shot.

By halftime, Inter had put four shots on target, but they were clearly second-best. The Portuguese dominated possession during the first 45 minutes, controlling the ball 70% of the time. Overall, the match felt remarkably similar to the first leg, with both sides creating few true attacking chances.

The Second Half

The second half began as the first ended; with both clubs playing a conservative and slow-paced brand of football. While Inter saw more of the ball during the first 20 minutes of the half, the visitors were unable to do much with it, failing to put another shot on target.

As the match entered the final 15 minutes of the match, Porto increased the pressure on the Inter defense. The hosts fired off several crosses from the channel, but their opponents dropped practically every player into the box, and the height of the backline allowed few to connect.

Later, Dumfries temporarily left the pitch with an injury, and Porto desperately attempted to exploit the man advantage. On a long throw-in, the ball fell to Grujic in the box, and the midfielder took a wicked low shot on net. However, Onana made his best save of the match, diving to stop the attempt and keep the score even.

After the influx of chances, Simone Inzaghi quickly used all of his substitutions to solidify Inter’s tentative lead. The new introductions nearly conceded a goal in added time, as Porto hit the post twice and forced a clearance off the line. However, Inter held on, barely, and advanced to the quarterfinals.