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Marko Arnautović Came Off the Bench to Score Inter Milan’s Winning Goal Against Atlético Madrid in the UCL Last 16 First Leg

Marko Arnautović Came Off the Bench to Score Inter Milan’s Winning Goal Against Atlético Madrid in the UCL Last 16 First Leg

After a week of hiatus, the 2023/2024 UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg resumed with the Italian Serie A’s Inter Milan hosting the Spanish La Liga’s Atlético Madrid at San Siro, and Marko Arnautović, the 34-year-old veteran forward who came onto the pitch as a replacement after the half-time break, went on to score the only goal in the full 90 minutes plus added time. Marko Arnautović’s winner with 11 minutes to go in the normal playing time of the second half gave last year’s runners-up of the top-tiered European club football competition a slender lead into the second leg of the Last 16 of this season’s UEFA Champions League at Civitas Metropolitan Stadium, Madrid.


Super Sub Marko Arnautović Won It for Nerazzurri

Simone Inzaghi’s Inter Milan are determined to go a step better than their courageous run to the 2022/2023 UEFA Champions League Final before their eventual defeat to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City from the English Premier League this time around, who went on to become the second ever English football club to complete a continental treble after Manchester United did it in the 1998/1999 Season. The current best team in the Italian top-flight football Inter began this year’s knockout stage of the competition against a solid La Liga side managed by ex-Inter Milan player Diego Simeone at their home of San Siro.

The initial 45 minutes of this UEFA Champions League Last 16 first leg cup tie was a tight contest, with nothing being able to separate both sets of players. Then came the half-time break, where Inzaghi decided to insert Marko Arnautović, the striker on loan from fellow Italian outfit Bologna FC 1909, for Marcus Thuram at the start of the following half, and the Italian manager’s arrangement proved to be a crucial one for the eventual result of this game. The home team of Inter Milan finally broke the deadlock not long after Atlético Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann was substituted by Argentina forward Ángel Correa.

A failed exchange between Rodrigo De Paul and Reinildo Mandava gave Inter the opening to intercept the ball, before it fell into the path of club captain Lautaro Martínez, who then displayed his tremendous speed in sprinting into the penalty box. The 2022 FIFA World Cup winner‘s following strike was blocked by Jan Oblak, but the Slovenian goalkeeper’s effort was too loose, allowing Marko Arnautović to fire another shot at the Atlético goal. Albeit the best effort from two players of the visiting Atlético side, Marko Arnautović’s strike made it into the back of the net for his fourth goal of the season and Inter’s winner in this crucial UCL Last 16 first leg clash.


All to Play for in the UCL Last 16 Second Leg at Madrid

Inzaghi was pleased with the team performance displayed by Inter despite only winning the first leg by a narrow margin in the UCL Last 16 first leg. He said: “This match leaves us feeling positively after the guys put in an extraordinary performance against top opposition. We regret having only managed to win it 1-0 after the chances we had. Because it will be an intense match in Madrid. I’m happy for Marko Arnautović. He’s doing very well in training. He and Sánchez are both training hard, and then doing well when called upon. We had a good first half. Though not exceptional against a great team opponent.”

The Italian continued to note about what propelled them to the 1-0 triumph with Marko Arnautović’s winner: “In the second half, we weren’t good enough for the first ten minutes. But then after that we were sensational. And all the players who came off the bench gave us a big hand. That’s the way they always have to be. It was a great Inter performance. A great evening. But now we have to look to the return leg in Madrid. These six months have been great. Bur March and April are the important months. The guys have to keep going the way they have been.”

Simeone, on the other hand, remained optimistic that his club can progress to the next round despite Marko Arnautović’s winning goal in the first leg, saying “That’s the wonderful thing about football, you can prepare whatever you want, but they are people and individually good things happen and not good things happen. Inter made good use of a mistake between Rodrigo and Reinildo in that split ball. We have to keep improving, winning duels, running with more intensity. Good things will come”. The Argentine also offered injury update on Atlético’s all-time leading goal scorer Griezmann. “His injury was an ankle twist. The ankle is resilient, so it’s nothing serious. I hope it’s not worrisome.”

Also Read: Top 3 Possible Thomas Tuchel Successors If Bayern Munich Sack the German Over Poor Performances


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Steven Mosier

"Eat, breathe and sleep sports" is the life motto of mine. My professional athlete career ended way earlier than I thought, but the passion remains till the present, which is why I am here writing you all the sports news you crave! Also, I am a huge fan of the Premier League as well the NBA.

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