Wasteful Inter made to pay as Liverpool take comfortable lead to Anfield

Conor Clancy Date:16th February 2022 at 10:53pm
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Liverpool left the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza with a 2-0 win on Wednesday night, positioning themselves well ahead of the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie with Inter.

Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah both netted in the last quarter of an hour on the night to give Jurgen Klopp’s side a rather comfortable advantage to take home to Merseyside with them, but it could have been a much closer result had Simone Inzaghi’s men taken the chances that fell their way.

Although Inter did impress on the night, the Reds always had a slight edge over their Italian counterparts and looked more likely to take advantage of one of the chances that fell their way than their hosts, which has been a real problem for the Nerazzurri in Europe this season.

Lautaro Martinez sent the game’s first shot wide, but Sadio Mane had the first chance that should have been put away. A fine Andy Robertson ball found the recently-crowned Africa Cup of Nations champion in the six-yard box, but his header went over Samir Handanovic’s crossbar.

Immediately, Inter responded and went even closer. Ivan Perisic did well on the left to find Hakan Calhanoglu in the box, and the Turk set himself nicely before smashing a close-range effort off the crossbar.

Both sides had other chances fall their way, but nothing clear cut. Calhanoglu and Trent Alexander-Arnold fired over at either end, but Inter were unable to manage a single attempt on target and Liverpool’s second on target delivered the game’s opening goal in the 75th minute.

Another Robertson cross found its target with 15 minutes to play, this time his corner landed on Roberto Firmino’s head at the near post and the Brazilian’s perfect header went across Handanovic’s goal and in, right beside the upright.

As though heading to Anfield with a one-goal deficit wasn’t enough of a challenge, Inter conceded a second eight minutes later. Mohamed Salah was the quickest to react in the area to meet a loose ball and fire a low effort past Handanovic, with the help of a deflected that wrongfooted the ‘keeper.