Despite dominating and leading by two goals heading into the break, Inter may have seen their chances of progressing through to the Champions League knockout stage evaporate after falling 3-2 to Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.
It all looked so promising for Antonio Conte’s men after taking the lead in the sixth minute through Lautaro Martinez, while Matias Vecino doubled the advantage just before the break.
However things changed in stunning fashion after the restart, as Achraf Hakimi, Julian Brandt and a second from the Moroccan has Dortmund poised to go through from Group F as they now sit three points up on Inter – seven to four – with two matches remaining.
It was all action from the get-go as Cristiano Biraghi picked up a booking inside the first minute, while Lautaro opened the scoring soon after.
The Argentine knocked on a long ball from midfield and broke away from the Borussia defence, before cutting in from the right and firing home at the near post to make it three Champions League games in a row with a goal.
Borussia woke up from there and started to control possession. Their first real chance came after 18 minutes, though Samir Handanovic pushed Mario Gotze’s close-range effort aside.
Lukaku hit the post after a well-worked play, though replays showed he was offside, as Inter allowed the home side to keep the ball while rarely testing Handanovic in goal.
In fact it was the Nerazzurri that doubled their lead in the 40th minute after an exceptional team move. Marcelo Brozovic danced passed several Dortmund players in midfield, while Lautaro picked out Antonio Candreva down the right with a superb pass.
The Italian then picked out an unmarked Vecino, who fired home from the edge of the box to send Conte into the break with a smile on his face.
Unfortunately for Inter the two-goal lead was cut in half just six minutes after the break. Mario Gotze pulled back from near the by-line, and Hakimi looked to have scuffed his shot, only for the ball to slowly crawl into the far post to the delight of the home fans.
Things got worse in the 64th when Dortmund levelled the score in comical fashion. Off an Inter throw-in deep in their half, Brozovic failed to control Candreva’s throw and Brandt collected the ball, strolled past Diego Godin and fired home from a tight angle, setting up a nervy final 25 minutes.
The turnaround was complete after 77 minutes as Hakimi worked an exceptional give and go with Sancho before firing past Handanovic.
Stefano Sensi, who made his return in the second half replacing Vecino, combined with Matteo Politano before firing a shot that was smothered by Roman Burki, in what proved to be the Nerazzurri’s last chance in a shocking and disappointing European night.