Sport: Inter sneak into Champions League after dramatic finale - PressFrom - Australia
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SportInter sneak into Champions League after dramatic finale

04:41  27 may  2019
04:41  27 may  2019 Source:   reuters.com

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Inter sneak into Champions League after dramatic finale© Reuters/ALBERTO LINGRIA Serie A - Inter Milan v Empoli Inter Milan missed a penalty, conceded an equaliser, grabbed a late winner and survived a siege on their goal before beating Empoli 2-1 on Sunday to qualify for next season's Champions League while sending their luckless opponents into Serie B.

Radja Nainggolan scored the decisive goal in the 81st minute as Inter pipped their neighbours AC Milan for the fourth and final Serie A place in next season's Champions League.

Inter finished with 69 points, behind Atalanta on head-to-head record and one point in front of fifth-placed AC Milan, whose 3-2 win at SPAL was in vain. Empoli finished with 38 points, level with Genoa, but were condemned by their head-to-head record.

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Inter Milan ended a six-season absence from the Champions League on Sunday when they produced an extraordinary fightback to win 3-2 at Lazio and push their opponents out of fourth place in Serie A. The fixture list had pitted the two sides on the final day of the season in a direct battle for the fourth

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Inter sneak into Champions League after dramatic finale© Reuters/ALBERTO LINGRIA Serie A - Inter Milan v Empoli

"I expected a match like this," said Inter coach Luciano Spalletti, whose own future is still uncertain with media reports suggesting that the club want to replace him with former Juventus and Chelsea coach Antonio Conte.

"It was always going to be a night of suffering. We needed to put our hearts into this match and we did. I'm very unhappy to see Empoli in Serie B, I have a lot of friends there. They deserved to be saved. But we never gave up until the end."

Inter sneak into Champions League after dramatic finale© Reuters/ALBERTO LINGRIA Serie A - Inter Milan v Empoli

Inter dominated the first half but were repeatedly foiled by Empoli goalkeeper Bartlomiej Dragowski whose saves included a remarkable one-handed effort to tip over Stefan De Vrij's powerful close-range header.

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Internazionale will return to the Champions League next season after a stunning turnaround victory over Lazio on Sunday night. Inter held on to seal the win, leapfrog Lazio and into fourth place for the first time since March. Crucially, that’s where they have now finished and Champions League football

Inter Milan ended a six-season absence from the Champions League on Sunday when they produced an extraordinary fightback to win 3-2 at Lazio and Lazio led 2-1 with 15 minutes left but were stunned after a Mauro Icardi penalty and Matias Vecino header turned the game around for Inter who last

Inter brought on Keita Balde at halftime and the Senegal international made an impact within six minutes, firing past Dragowski with a low shot from just outside the area to put his side ahead.

Mauro Icardi then won a penalty, the referee judging that he had been tripped by Dragowski after a VAR review, but the Polish goalkeeper had the last laugh as he blocked the Argentine's poor effort with his legs.

Icardi was substituted minutes later, then the San Siro was stunned when Empoli broke down the right and Hamed Junior Traore, unmarked at the far post, tapped in after 76th minutes -- a result which would have saved Empoli and sent Inter into the Europa League.

Inter sneak into Champions League after dramatic finale© Reuters/ALBERTO LINGRIA Serie A - Inter Milan v Empoli

But five minutes later, Matias Vecino powered forward, struck the post and Nainggolan turned the ball into the empty net.

Inter sneak into Champions League after dramatic finale© Reuters/ALBERTO LINGRIA Serie A - Inter Milan v Empoli

The drama was not over as Empoli hit the crossbar and Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic made a desperate last-ditch save at the feet of Salih Ucan.

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Inter Milan ended a six-season absence from the Champions League on Sunday when they produced an extraordinary fightback to win 3-2 at Felipe Anderson finished off a fulminating counterattack to put Lazio back in front before halftime but the drama was far from over. Inter had a penalty awarded for

MILAN (REUTERS) - Inter Milan ended a six-season absence from the Champions League on Sunday (May 20) when they produced an extraordinary fightback to win 3-2 at Lazio and push their opponents out of fourth place in the Italian Serie A. The fixture list had pitted the two sides on the final day of the

Dragowski then joined the Empoli attack for a corner but Inter broke clear and Marcelo Brozovic put the ball into the empty net from the halfway line only for his effort to be disallowed after a VAR review, Dragowski having been fouled by Keita as he was running back.

Inter sneak into Champions League after dramatic finale© Reuters/ALBERTO LINGRIA Serie A - Inter Milan v Empoli

The Inter player was then sent off for a second yellow card, having previously been booked for a shirtless celebration after his goal.

Handanovic had to make one more save to pull a Diego Farias cross out of the air before Inter could celebrate.

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