90’+5’Full TimeSecond Half ends, Benfica 0, Inter Milan 2.90’+4’Attempt missed. Gonçalo Ramos (Benfica) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Everton with a cross.90’+3’Attempt blocked. Rafa (Benfica) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Everton.90’+2’Attempt saved. Gonçalo Ramos (Benfica) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Everton.90’+1’Substitution, Inter Milan. Stefan de Vrij replaces Alessandro Bastoni.90’Attempt blocked. Rafa (Benfica) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Everton.89’Attempt saved. Gonçalo Ramos (Benfica) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Everton.88’Corner, Benfica. Conceded by Stefan de Vrij.87’Attempt blocked. Rafa (Benfica) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Everton.86’Substitution, Inter Milan. Danilo D’Ambrosio replaces Denzel Dumfries.85’Attempt blocked. Everton (Benfica) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Rafa.84’Attempt missed. Rafa (Benfica) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Everton with a cross following a corner.83’Yellow CardJoão Mário (Benfica) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.82’Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner. Benfica 0, Inter Milan 2.81’Penalty conceded by João Mário (Benfica) after a foul in the penalty area. Penalty Inter Milan.Romelu Lukaku will take it.
Romelu Lukaku scored an 82nd-minute penalty to give Inter Milan a deserved win away to Benfica in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie. The Italian visitors had taken an early lead through Nicolo Barella’s downward header and produced a defensive masterclass in Lisbon to keep Benfica at bay throughout the game. The hosts pushed for an equaliser but were denied by Andre Onana’s first-half save and Denzel Dumfries’ crucial block from close range.
The decisive moment came when substitute Lukaku, on loan from Chelsea, scored from the spot after former Inter player Joao Mario handled in the penalty area. Premier League referee Michael Oliver awarded the penalty after watching the incident on the pitchside monitor, with replays showing the ball struck the side of Mario’s head before hitting his hand.
Simone Inzaghi’s side had arrived in Portugal’s capital on the back of a poor run of form after failing to win any of their past six games, but they took advantage of a hesitant Benfica to take a firm hold of the tie. Barella’s goal came after an excellent cross by Alessandro Bastoni, with the Italy midfielder heading it back across the keeper and into the net – Inter’s first attempt on target of the game.
Benfica struggled to create chances and were kept at bay by Odisseas Vlachodimos in goal, who prevented further damage by saving from former Manchester United and Arsenal player Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Lukaku wrapped up victory for Inter with his penalty, beating the keeper for pace and power to put his side in a strong position to advance to the semi-finals of the Champions League ahead of the return leg on 19 April (20:00 BST).
Inter Milan produced an impressive defensive display in Lisbon and will fancy their chances of finishing the job in front of their own fans in the return leg next week. Goalkeeper Andre Onana said: “We still need another great game like today’s next week. I said that we had to come here and play without fear because we could win – we did just that.” Player of the match Romelu Lukaku was awarded an average rating of 7.81, while Benfica’s Goncalo Ramos was rated 7.18 for his performance in front of his own fans.