Inter’s European struggles continued on Tuesday night as they laboured to a 0-0 draw against Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine.
The Nerazzurri have failed to qualify from the Champions League group stage in each of the last three seasons, and their backs are against the walls already after taking just one point from their opening two games this campaign.
Shakhtar had the first real chance of the game in Kyiv. Manor Solomon slalomed his way through the Inter defence, but his shot was dragged just wide of Samir Handanovic’s near post.
Nicolo Barella struck the crossbar from range soon after, before Alan Patrick and Tete went close for the home side after winning the ball high up the pitch.
Edin Dzeko somehow fired over from mere yards out for Inter after the ball fell to him from a corner, and Denzel Dumfries was unable to scramble in a goal after roaming forward shortly before half time. Pedrinho later thought he had given Shakhtar the lead just after the break, but a goal-saving challenge from Milan Skriniar denied the Brazilian at the last.
Inter caught Shakhtar out from a goal kick after the hour mark, but Lautaro Martinez lost his composure and fired over on a rare frustrating evening for the Argentine.
The hosts fought back with aggressive pressing of their own, though they too were unable to find the all important goal.
The returning Joaquin Correa came close to winning it for the visitors late on, but his curling effort was tipped behind, while Skriniar was denied from the resulting corner and Inter had to settle for the point.
Samir Handanovic (GK) – 5/10 – Shaky distribution once again. He’ll be delighted to hear the reports that Inter are close to signing Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana.
Milan Skriniar (CB) – 7/10 – Aggressive and commanding at the back, vital challenge to deny Pedrinho at the start of the second half.
Stefan de Vrij (CB) – 5/10 – Unlike Skriniar seemed to shirk physical responsibility, but thankfully for the Dutchman wasn’t given too many problems after Traore’s injury.
Alessandro Bastoni (CB) – 6/10 – Very comfortable on the ball but caught sleeping a couple of times.
Denzel Dumfries (RWB) – 5/10 – Forced Lassina Traore off with a horror injury early on. Should have produced more for Inter considering he saw a lot of possession.
Nicolo Barella (CM) – 6/10 – Clearly has magic in his boots but wasn’t able to make a huge impact.
Marcelo Brozovic (CM) – 6/10 – Broke up play and progressed the ball moderately well. Strangely was the first midfielder to be substituted.
Matias Vecino (CM) – 6/10 – A couple of neat passes here and there but not much else to report.
Federico Dimarco (LWB) – 5/10 – Given real problems by Tete and Dodo, was fortunate
Edin Dzeko (CF) – 3/10 – Fluffed two big opportunities for Inter. Hooked shortly after the break.
Lautaro Martinez (CF) – 4/10 – Did well when dropping deep, but could never seem to control the ball higher up the pitch.
Hakan Calhanoglu (CM) – 5/10
Joaquin Correa (CF) – 5/10
Alexis Sanchez (CF) – 5/10
Roberto Gagliardini (CM) – N/A
Ivan Perisic (LWB) – N/A