Score:Frankfurt 0 Inter Milan 0FT
Following their loss to Cagliari in Serie A Inter travel to Germany to take on Frankfurt in the round of 16 in the Europa League. Frankfurt currently sit in seventh place in Bundesliga while Inter on the other hand dropped a spot into fourth place after Milan jumped them. These two sides have never met in Europa or Champions League competitions. But they did face each other once in a club friendly back in 2014 where Frankfurt would beat Inter 3-1. Frankfurt have played a total of seventy seven matches in European competitions and have won over half of them with a percentage of 56%. But they have only won the Europa League title in 1980. They are the only team that is still unbeaten in Europa this season. But they haven’t been past the final eight however since 1995. This will be the first time these two sides have faced each other since 2014. Inter will need to prevent Frankfurt’s scoring chances along with finishing their own and isolate their top goal scorer who as been linked to potential transfers to Liverpool, Manchester City, Barcelona is Jovic who has six goals in Europe and twenty one goals overall while Frankfurt will need to do the same while isolating Inter’s Martinez who as become a threat in and out of the box. This match can go either way but Frankfurt look to be the stronger and consistent side them moving on seems likely. In the first half both sides created a lot of scoring chances but Inter would take the lead in this area while both sides were on even possession. The half would end scoreless at 0-0. In the second half they continued to create scoring chances with Frankfurt picking up steam and containing their dominance in this area but with the possession even throughout the match. They both continued fighting to get on the board but both sides were unable to find the back of the net as this match ends scoreless. This means their second leg meeting is where things will be decided on who moves into the next round.
Inter in this match stick with the 4-2-3-1 formation. In goal is the captain Samir Handanovic. On the defense on left back is Asaomah. In the middle is the dynamic duo of Skriniar and Devrij who still remain the more cohesive parts of the defense. Then capping them off on the right back spot is D’Ambrosio who as been the weaker defender as of late being hit and miss with performances. On the defensive midfield is the pairing of Brozovic and Vecino. On the attacking side of things on the left wing is Perisic who as shown signs of life as of the past few matches with creating chances along with finishing them as well. In the middle replacing Radja is Valero and finishing them on the right wing is Politano. Then up top is none other than the bull Martinez this is a ok lineup but with a midfield with limited creativity and options this is a average lineup at best.
After bets were placed this match was about to begin. Inter looked to strike early with D’Ambrosio from the right of the box lands a shot which is saved in the center of the goal. A few minutes later Asaomah misses a shot from the left of the box. Seconds later Martinez misses a shot of his own as the ball goes to the right of the goal. This is followed up with a shot from Devrij who lands a header from the center of the box but the ball goes to the right of the goal. A few minutes later Devrij following a cross from Politano connects with the ball taking a header from the center of the box but the ball goes to the right of the goal. So far Inter are in the drivers seat with both possession and scoring chances. It wouldn’t be until near the fifteen minute mark when Frankfurt make their first chance of the match as Haller misses a shot from the left of the box. A minute later Jovic misses a shot of his own from outside of the box as the ball goes to the right of the goal. Mijat from the right of the box takes a shot but is saved in the lower right corner of the goal. Minutes later Persic takes a header which is saved in the center of the goal. After the twenty minute mark Skriniar from the center of the box takes a right footed shot but his attempt is saved in the lower left corner. Jovic at the thirty minute mark takes a shot from the center of the box is blocked. With five minutes in the half Vecino misses a header from the a close range.
After the break the match resumes. Early in the half Frankfurt would start the chances off that and they have picked up momentum since the first half the first attempt of the half comes from a header from Martin from the center of the box which is saved in the top left corner of the goal. A minute later da Costa from the right of the box misses the goal as the ball goes to the left. A minute later Martin takes a header after a cross from Mijat from the center of the box but the ball goes to the left of the goal. In the fifty fifth minute Jovic connects a shot from the center of the box but Handanovic saves it in the center of the goal. In the fifty nineth minute Candreva comes onto the pitch replacing Perisic due to an injury situation. Frankfurt have kicked things up a notch as they now lead in scoring chances but the possession still remains even to both sides. After the sixty minute mark da Costa after a cross from Rode takes a header from a close range but the ball is saved in the top center of the goal. Handanovic as been amazing in this match as he as been saving chances and giving directions to his team mates. Ten minutes later with twenty minutes left in this match Martin with another header but this time from the center of the box is inches from the goal but it misses to the left. Two minutes later Martin from outside the box kicks the ball this time around but this time the ball misses to the right of the goal. Near the eighty minute mark Mijat from the center of the box takes a shot but it gets blocked. This has been a very defensive match with shots getting blocked and saved but most chances have missed the goal. A minute later Inter make their second subbing of the match as Cedric comes on to replace Valero. With seven minutes left to play in this Frankfurt dominating match Skriniar lands a header from the center of the box which goes over the crossbar. Moments later Goncalo from outside the box connects with the right foot but the ball misses to the left of the goal. This is followed up with an attempt from Jovic with a right footed shot of his own but gets saved in the lower left corner of the goal. In the final minute Frankfurt had one final chance to get a much needed goal as Jetro from outside the box connects with the ball but the ball goes over the crossbar with that the match ends 0-0.
This match was the worst both teams could hope for which means this will all come down to the second leg match as both sides look to move onto the round of eight. Both sides had huge opportunities to score but they were both unable to find the back of the net. This was a defensive match as both sides did their best to block and save chances despite majority of the chances missing the goal. The man of the match is Handanovic who did a great job saving chances that found their way to the goal area and he has stepped up and became the leader the club really needed. He has done a solid job of communicating with his team mates on and off the pitch and is willing to do what it takes to get his side the three points. Inter in their next match go back into Serie A action against SPAL who they beat at the beginning of the season. They should have no problems beating them again but anything is possible based on recent hit and miss performances. Until then as always FORZA INTER.
By the numbers
On target 4
Pass success 73%
On target 6
Pass success 72%