Marcelo Brozovic was left to regret a missed penalty as Inter could only manage a scoreless draw in their Europa League last 16 first leg at Eintracht Frankfurt.
It was never going to be easy for Inter, who have been struggling domestically of late, and their poor run has carried into European football where Mauro Icardi’s goals are still very much missing.
The hosts had the better of the game and managed 17 shots to Inter’s 11, but they will be most happy about not conceding an away goal, putting them into a position of strength ahead of their Stadio Giuseppe Mezza visit.
Danilo D’Ambrosio and Lautaro Martinez had early chances for the Nerazzurri but neither were able to cause too much trouble with their respective efforts.
Frankfurt then had their own chances and the game became an end-to-end battle, with Lautaro being brought down for a penalty midway through the first half. Brozovic assumed the responsibility but was unable to convert from 12 yards, as Inter were left thinking about Icardi once more.
Brozovic then helped create a glorious chance for Matias Vecino as he picked out Matteo Politano, who knocked the ball back to the Uruguayan but he was unable to get his header on target.
Eintracht had the ball in Inter’s net after the break, only to be thwarted by the offside flag.
Filip Kostic proved to be a handful and he had a couple of chances to fire the hosts ahead, but thankfully for Inter he was unable to make his impact fully felt.
The result is probably favourable for the Germans, who now travel to Italy knowing a score draw is enough to secure progression.