Inter Milan secured their first win in the UEFA Champions League this season with a 2-0 victory over Viktoria Plzen.

Simeone Inzaghi’s Inter Milan put in a stellar performance on the night away to Czech side Viktoria Plzen to secure a 2-0 win. It ensured the Italian club’s first win in the group stage this season in arguably the group of death.

The Nerazzurri were thoroughly outplayed by Bayern Munich on Matchday 1 and also have a double-header against Barcelona coming up. With just two spots available for advancement in the competition, Inter Milan must secure all six points against Viktoria Plzen.

Several regulars were missing on the night, but Inter Milan got the job done. They dominated large facets of the game and could have even scored more had the attack been more clinical. Edin Dzeko opened the scoring on the night after he latched onto Joaquin Correa’s pass to coolly slot past Jindrich Stanek in the 20th minute.

Inter had several more opportunities to give themselves a two-goal cushion but failed to show the required decisiveness in front of the goal. They were handed another advantage when Pavel Bucha was sent off after the hour mark following a rough tackle on Nicolo Barella.

This put the home side on the back foot for the remainder of the game, and Denzel Dumfries put them out of their misery with a 70th-minute strike. It ensured that the Nerazzurri came away with consecutive away wins in the competition for the first time since 2011.

Tougher challenges await Inzaghi and his men, but they can congratulate themselves for a job well done on the night. The Hard Tackle looks at how the Inter Milan players fared on the night.

Andre Onana: 6/10

The Cameroonian enjoyed his first clean sheet in an Inter Milan jersey on a night where his side dominated the proceedings. Onana proved his credentials against Bayern Munich last week and was on his toes against Viktoria Plzen whenever they made a rare foray forward. He was alert and agile to prevent Fortune Bassey from halving the deficit in the 79th minute. Had it gone in, Inter might have been in for a nerve-wracking final 11 minutes of the game.

Milan Skriniar: 6/10

The star defender had a good day at the office where he kept things ticking. With Stefan de Vrij on the bench, the onus was on Skriniar to take on the mantle as the senior defender, and he did just that with Gusto. He was also a nuisance on set pieces and almost assisted Francesco Acerbi in the 17th minute.

Francesco Acerbi: 7/10

The 34-year-old made his Inter Milan debut on the night and did not put a foot wrong. Not only was the veteran faultless at the back, but he also made a nuisance of himself on set pieces at the other end. On another day, Acerbi might as well have scored a hat-trick.

Alessandro Bastoni: 6/10

Bastoni enjoyed some freedom down the left-hand side and even made a couple of threatening crosses that Edin Dzeko attacked with gusto. Bastoni was also booked for dissent at the hour mark and was taken off for Danilo D’Ambrosio as a precaution.

Denzel Dumfries: 8/10

The Dutch international constantly yo-yos between the excellent and the ridiculous, and thankfully for Inter, it was more of the former on the night. Dumfries got forward often and was a constant menace for the Plzen defence.

While Dumfries did get into space often, he lacked the finishing touch to make a telling difference. The defender finally got his name on the scoresheet in the 70th minute after Edin Dzeko fed him through on goal in a counter that left the Viktoria Plzen defence at sea.

Nicolo Barella: 6/10

Another mixed night for the UEFA Euro 2020 winner, who struggled to get going. Barella was privy to several counter-attacks and even got into some promising positions. However, he failed to put on his shooting shoes and looked off colour when it came to pulling the trigger. Barella made way for Roberto Gagliardini in the 72nd minute.

Marcelo Brozovic: 7.5/10

The Croat was calm under pressure and orchestrated Inter’s counters well. He particularly linked up well with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and was not afraid to get forward when possible. Brozovic made way for Kristjan Asllani in the 84th minute.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan: 7/10

The former AS Roma man came in for Hakan Calhanoglu and gave a real indicator of what he brings to the side. Mkhitaryan was decisive in his movement and got forward regularly. He also had a couple of goalscoring opportunities that he perhaps should have done better with. Calhanoglu came off the bench to replace him in the 72nd minute.

Robin Gosens: 6/10

The German enjoyed some luck on the left flank but failed to put up any standout moments that made a telling difference. It was a solid yet unspectacular 90-minute spell for the former Atalanta man who appears to be finding some semblance of form in an Inter jersey.

Joaquin Correa: 6/10

The Argentine was a surprise starter in place of Lautaro Martinez. But to his credit, he linked up well with Dzeko on the night. He played the Bosnian through for Inter’s opener and also had a couple of chances himself. Correa made way for Martinez in the 72nd minute.

Edin Dzeko: 8/10

The veteran produced a fine performance that showed off his clinical best and also brought his experience to the fore. He calmly slotted home the opener in the 20th minute before providing Dumfries with an assist to put the game beyond question in the second half.

He also had several more opportunities to score and was the focal point in Inter’s counter-attacks. Dzeko also got back when required and made a couple of crucial blocks that prevented Viktoria Plzen from clawing their way back into the game. The veteran now has an incredible 20 goal contributions in his last 21 UEFA Champions League games.

SUBSTITUTES

Danilo D’Ambrosio: 6/10

The Italian replaced Bastoni in the second half but lacked his teammate’s enthusiasm on the left. A solid if unspectacular performance.

Lautaro Martinez: 6/10

The Argentine came on for Correa in the 72nd minute with the game already settled. He did not need to put in an industrious performance and took it easy given the circumstances.

Hakan Calhanoglu: 6/10

The Turkish playmaker lacked Mkhitaryan’s inspiration and did not get going in his cameo.

Roberto Gagliardini: 6/10

A rather meek cameo from the Italian whose lone contribution on the night was to earn a yellow card for a challenge on Jhon Mosquera.

Kristjan Asslani: N/A

A late change for Brozovic as Inter saw the game out.

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