STADIO GIUSEPPE MEAZZA (Milan) – Inter were the kings of late Champions League goals last season and a 92nd minute equaliser from Nicolo Barella spared their blushes in a 1-1 draw with Slavia Prague on Tuesday night.
Peter Olayinka stunned the Meazza crowd into silence with his 63rd minute strike and just as it looked like the Czech’s would get the three points, Barella volleyed through a crowd and into he back of the net.
Tottenham and Barcelona were both on the end of late goals in last year’s group stage and it looks like that even under Antonio Conte Inter have a penchant for the dramatic.
Next up for the Nerazzurri is a trip to the Camp Nou to take on Barcelona on October 2.
It was Inter who had the better chances in the opening 45 minutes as first Stefan De Vrij headed a Stefano Sensitive’s cross inches over the bar.
Slavia Prague weren’t lying down and initially pressed Inter well, causing the Nerazzurri a few issues, but never really causing Samir Handanovic to work.
Then Antonio Candreva fired wide from long range and Lautaro Martinez went a whisker from slotting home, only for the ball to fizz just off target.
Danilo D’Ambrosio should have put the home side in the lead when he met a Sensi cross, only to head straight at Slavia Prague goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar.
At the start of the second half Kolar came to his side’s rescue once again, making a double save, first palming away a cross from Sensi then blocking Lautaro on the rebound.
However, just after the hour mark Slavia Prague took the lead when substitute Jaroslav Zeleny drove a low effort to Handanovic’s near post, but the rebound fell to Olayinka who smashed into the roof of the net.
Another good opportunity for Slavia went begging when the ball fell to Lukas Masopust on the edge of the area, but he could only blast into the stands.
Jan Boril was denied by an excellent block from Milan Skriniar as Slavia went in search of a second.
With time running down, Inter pushed forward and D’Ambrosio stung the palms of Kolar with a rasping effort from distance.
But with eight minutes of time added on, Antonio Conte’s men found an equaliser from Barella right at the death as he got to the rebound after a Sensi freekick hit the crossbar and volleyed home.