Inter Milan eased into the Europa League semi-finals as goals from Nicolo Barella and Romelu Lukaku helped them secure a 2-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen at the Dusseldorf Arena.
Chelsea target Kai Havertz gave Leverkusen hope in what could prove his final game with a well-taken finish before half-time but it was not enough as Antonio Conte’s side booked their place in the last four in Germany.
Inter were denied two penalties upon VAR review but those decisions proved immaterial as another season which promised such hope for Leverkusen once more ended with disappointment.
Inter will face the winners of Tuesday’s quarter-final between Shakhtar Donetsk and Basel for a place in the final on August 21Inter stay on track for Europa League glory
Conte – who has never won a European trophy as a manager – was looking to put a turbulent few weeks behind him, with the Italian having publicly voiced his discontent at the club, sparking speculation he could leave.His side made the perfect start on Monday night as after Lukaku’s shot was blocked by Daley Sinkgraven, the ball fell kindly for Barella to stroke his first-time shot with the outside of his boot beyond the outstretched Lukas Hradecky for his first goal in this season’s competition just shy of the quarter-hour mark.
Barella nearly found a second when he met Lautaro Martinez’s low cross and forced Hradecky into a smart save with his feet, but 30 seconds later the Italians had their second when Lukaku rolled Edmond Tapsoba from Ashley Young’s pass, and managed to keep his feet to guide his shot into the net for his 31st goal of the season.