Welcome to Sportstar’s highlights of the Champions League quarterfinal second leg between Inter Milan and S. L. Benfica, being played at the San Siro Stadium in Milan, Italy.
Winning the Champions League may be Inter Milan coach Simone Inzaghi’s only chance to keep his job.
Inter has had success this season, winning the Italian Super Cup and reaching the semifinals of the Italian Cup. And the team can reach the last four of the Champions League on Wednesday when it faces Benfica at San Siro in the second leg of the quarterfinals with a 2-0 lead from the first match.
But it’s in Serie A where Inter has been struggling, and Inzaghi is feeling the pressure because of it.
Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Monza was Inter’s 11th league defeat in 30 matches and left the team in fifth place in Serie A, two points behind fourth-place AC Milan.
Former Inter president Massimo Moratti — who was at the helm when Inter won the treble of the Champions League, Serie A and the Italian Cup in 2010 — said he probably wouldn’t have stayed with Inzaghi as coach through this season’s losses.
“No, I don’t believe I would have kept him, because of my character I used to fire coaches after three or four defeats,” Moratti said. “And I probably would have made that mistake in this case, too.”
Inter has only won one of its past eight matches in all competitions — although that was last week’s victory at Benfica.
“Our form in the league isn’t acceptable,” Inzaghi said after the home loss to Monza. “We’re not lacking motivation in the league.
“We’ve dropped several points at home and don’t have a lot of time to work, but we need to be better. We’re built to compete for all our objectives. We hold a two-goal advantage against Benfica, but they’re a strong team who we need to face with maximum focus.”
If Inter prevails against Benfica it will face an Italian team in the semifinals — either AC Milan and Napoli.
Benfica is also struggling. The two-time European champions have lost three in a row, a first for the club since the 2018-19 season. The poor streak has dented what had been a terrific season for Benfica, which had lost only once through the beginning of April in all competitions.
The first loss in this current streak was at home against Porto in the Portuguese league, then came the defeat against Inter, and on Saturday the team lost 1-0 at Chaves to see its league lead cut to four points.
For Wednesday’s match in Milan, Benfica coach Roger Schmidt will have central defender Nicolás Otamendi, who was suspended in the first leg.
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