Despite falling behind to PSV, goals from Radja Nainggolan and Mauro Icardi helped Inter secure a crucial 2-1 victory on Wednesday.
Pablo Rosario opened the scoring in the 27th minute, but after the Belgian levelled proceedings before the break, it was the Nerazzurri captain who profited from some woeful defending to slot home after the restart.
With Barcelona earning a 4-2 victory over Tottenham in the other Group B contest, it means Inter can see a spot in the knockout phase on the horizon as they sit a full six points clear of the English side.
PSV flew out of the gates and should have taken the lead when Luuk de Jong headed down a cross, but the onrushing Steven Bergwijn fired over the bar from close range.
Vecino couldn’t hit the target from close range and it proved costly as PSV took the lead soon after. Rosario curled a right-footed strike from outside the penalty area and into the top corner to the delight of the home fans.
Inter responded with an Icardi header that just missed the far post, while Zoet denied the Argentine on the line from a corner.
PSV were furious when Handanovic handled the ball after coming out to stop Bergwijn, however the referee only deemed it worth a yellow as it wasn’t a clear scoring opportunity.
The decision seemed to sway proceedings, as Inter came back the other way and levelled the score. Zoet beat away Asamoah’s long range strike, and after Icardi’s follow-up was blocked, Nainggolan made no mistake from the edge of the box just before half-time.
Inter couldn’t clear the lines just after the restart, and an alert Rosario fired another effort that struck the post.
It didn’t intimidate the Nerazzurri, as they took the lead in the 60th minute. A simple ball over the top for Icardi turned into an assist as Zoet rushed out and took out Schwaab, allowing the Argentine to calmly slot home for his second Champions League goal.
Zoet did well to deny Icardi when the Argentine got his head on Vecino’s cross but couldn’t beat the PSV goalkeeper.
Handanovic somehow kept the score 2-1 with an incredible save on a Malen bicycle-kick, before blocking the rebound from close range, as Inter kept their nerve from there to take home three points from their trip to the Philips Stadion.
Icardi rounding into form
The Argentine is often criticized for his lack of involvement, but that certainly wasn’t the case on Wednesday. His goal came on his seventh shot of the match, the most he has taken in a match since a Serie A contest against Chievo in January 2017.
It also means he’s the first Inter player to score in both of the first two Champions League matches for the Nerazzurri since Adriano in 2004/05.
Inter march on
While they may not play the prettiest brand of football, it certainly seems Spalletti has his team clicking at this time. Inter sit top of Group B with Barcelona – a full six points clear of Tottenham – which means a spot in the knockout phase is within reach.
An away match against SPAL before the international break awaits, and a result there would only give more credence to the belief that this Inter side have all the ingredients needed to be big players domestically and in Europe.