In the first leg to reach the Champions League semifinals for the first time, Roger Schmidt suffered a heavy setback with Benfica Lisbon. The German coach and the Portuguese lost the first quarter-final game against Inter Milan 0-2 (0-0).
The Italian national soccer player Nicolò Barella (53rd minute) with a header and Romelu Lukaku (82nd) with a penalty kick scored the goals for the Italians, who were able to celebrate a success again after six competitive games without a win.
For Benfica, on the other hand, it was the second defeat in a row after the 2-1 defeat in the top game against Porto – a novelty under Schmidt. The second leg takes place in Milan next week on Wednesday.
Benfica vulnerable on the defensive
Rafa Silva (16′) had the best chance in the first half, but his shot from close range was blocked by Inter goalkeeper André Onana. Otherwise, a tough game developed in front of 62,610 spectators in the Estádio da Luz. Without the suspended defender Nicolás Otamendi, Benfica looked vulnerable in defence, but the visitors initially failed to create clear scoring opportunities.
That changed after the change of sides when Inter took control. After a wonderful cross from Alessandro Bastoni, Barella headed the 1-0 from a tight angle. In a similar way, it almost made it 2-0: again Bastoni (78th) crossed from the half field, this time Denzel Dumfries headed in – but Benfica keeper Odisseas Vlachodimos fended off. Substitute Lukaku finally made the decision with a hand penalty, which referee Michael Oliver gave after viewing the video images.