Inter Milan eked out a 1-1 draw against Real Sociedad in their Champions League opener last night thanks to a late equaliser from Lautaro Martinez.
Sociedad made things difficult for last season’s Champions League finalists.
It took no longer than five minutes for the hosts to take the lead following an uncharacteristic mistake from Alessandro Bastoni.
The Italian defender succumbed to La Real’s high press and lost the ball just outside the box, allowing Brais Mendez to capitalise.
Inter looked all over the place until the final few minutes when skipper Lautaro Martinez netted the equaliser to salvage a point.
The Nerazzurri were more than happy to share the spoils in a tough encounter, while Sociedad must be disappointed to be not getting away with a win.
Here are the key takeaways from the Inter’s draw at the Reale Arena.
Sociedad proved a real menace for the Italian giants
Inzaghi had previously warned that Sociedad were a team to avoid despite Inter being considered the favourites for this season’s Champions League.
The prediction came true from minute one as the Nerazzurri were constantly on the back foot and had no answers to Imanol Alguacil’s high press tactics.
La Real entered the game as underdogs but produced a dominant display, making a statement they could be the dark horses of the tournament.
However, their deepest regret will be conceding the equaliser right at the death in a game they deserved to win.
Sociedad’s start to the new season in La Liga has not gone to plan – 11th in the table with one win, three draws and a defeat – but they have commenced their European campaign on a positive note.
The Basque outfit will face RB Salzburg in their next fixture, with the Austrian giants defeating Benfica in their opening game of the group stage.
Simone Inzaghi’s questionable decisions
Inzaghi’s decision-making is one of his best attributes and has made him one of the top managers in the world.
However, that quality was debatable in the fixture against Sociedad as the Italian handed surprise starts to players who had primarily been used as impact substitutes.
Leaving Marcus Thuram for Marko Arnautovic was a rather strange decision as the Frenchman has been in sublime form, as evidenced by his great performance against AC Milan.
Federico Dimarco was also left out of the starting XI before coming on as a second-half substitute.
Lautaro Martinez saves Inter’s blushes & continues his fine form
Lautaro Martinez fortified his status as one of Europe’s elite players after the World Cup triumph with Argentina and a prolific campaign with the Nerazzurri last season.
His stature continues to rise as he has made a phenomenal start to the new season, leading the Serie A scoring chart with five goals.
The 26-year-old rose to the occasion again last night, coming up with the equaliser in a clutch moment for Inter.
Martinez’s form also suggests he could reach higher levels than last season, and his presence will be vital for the Nerazzurri to compete for the major trophies.
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