Inter and Benfica drew 3-3 in Lisbon in the second to last game of the UEFA Champions League group stage. Looking at the result, it is not surprising, considering that the Italian side are already qualified for the next round of the competition, but the game was an absolutely bonkers affair. The home team managed to score three goals in the first 34 minutes of the first half, but the guests made an extraordinary comeback in the second period of what was truly a game of two halves.
Simone Inzaghi's heavily rotated side had a frustrating start and very much disappointed. Benfica scored two goals in 12 minutes with Joao Mario, a former Inter player, finding the net both times and the adding a third goal for the Portuguese side 20 minutes later. Inter seemed shocked and couldn't even react and it seemed like the team made of many irregular starters had no inclination to comepte, given that they had already clinched their target, advancing to the round of 16 three weeks ago against RB Salzburg.
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Inter started with second goalkeeper Emil Audero, who made his debut for the Italian team. Yann Bisseck, Stefan de Vrij and Francesco Acerbi played in the defense, as both Benjamin Pavard and Alessandro Bastoni are currently injured. Carlos Augusto and Matteo Darmian played as wingers, and Davide Frattesi, Davy Klassen and Kristjan Asllani in the midfield. Both Lautaro Martinez and Marcus Thuram were rested and entered in the second half, with Marko Arnautovic and Alexis Sanchez getting the start.
Inter seemed a bit confused by all these changes and the start of the match was a shock, but in the second half the Nerazzurri had an incredible reaction. Arnautovic scored the first goal for the guests from a corner, and Frattesi scored again seven minutes later, as the Nerazzurri managed to be back into the game. At minute 72 of the clash, Sanchez scored a penalty and equalized the game after substitute Marcus Thuram won it. Inzaghi's side tried also to win the game but the clash ended 3-3 despite Benfica finishing with ten men after the red card of defender Antonio Silva, following a foul on Barella, who came in in the second half to replace Klassen.
Inter's draw didn't change much of the outcome of the group stage, as the Italian side still have to win the last game against Real Sociedad at San Siro that will take place in two weeks. The two sides will play to decided who will end up first in the group stage, as both teams are now tied at the top of the group with 11 points.