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Stanković sends Inter through

Published: Wednesday 15 March 2006, 0.04CET
FC Internazionale Milano 1-0 AFC Ajax (agg: 3-2)
Dejan Stanković scored a superb goal as Inter earned a quarter-final against Villarreal CF.
by John Atkin
from Giuseppe Meazza

Match statistics

InternazionaleAjax

Goals scored1
 
0
Attempts on target6
 
3
Attempts off target6
 
6
Corners3
 
4
Offsides1
 
0
Fouls committed16
 
16
Yellow cards0
1
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

 
Published: Wednesday 15 March 2006, 0.04CET

Stanković sends Inter through

FC Internazionale Milano 1-0 AFC Ajax (agg: 3-2)
Dejan Stanković scored a superb goal as Inter earned a quarter-final against Villarreal CF.

A brilliant second-half goal from Dejan Stanković was enough for FC Internazionale Milano to seal a narrow victory against AFC Ajax and book a UEFA Champions League quarter-final date with Villarreal CF.

Missed chances
Stanković struck just before the hour to give the Serie A club a 3-2 aggregate triumph, but the scoreline failed to do justice to a dominant second-leg display by Inter. Adriano missed a first-half penalty and Obafemi Martins thundered a long-range shot against the crossbar but it was Stanković who was the scourge of Ajax. The 27-year-old had registered the crucial first as Roberto Mancini's men came from behind to draw at the Amsterdam ArenA, and his goal tonight proved unassailable.

Inter drive
The Dutch side had enjoyed a blistering opening to the first encounter three weeks ago, taking a 2-0 lead inside 20 minutes. That fuelled accusations of Inter being slow starters in some sections of the Italian media, but they began the second leg very brightly, with Luís Figo firing just over the crossbar early on. The home support were also a factor as the Inter fans returned to the stands in vociferous droves after the team had played their three home group games behind closed doors.

Martins menace
Martins was at the centre of much of the Nerazzurri's early pressure, as he and Adriano linked up well in attack. The pair almost combined to create an opportunity on ten minutes when the Nigerian drifted towards the left flank and lobbed in a measured cross for his strike partner. The ball would not fall for Adriano but his acrobatic effort was sufficiently off target to drop kindly to the lurking Figo, whose adroit chip floated narrowly wide.

Disjointed display
Ajax were struggling to gain a foothold as an absence of the shape coach Danny Blind had constantly referred to in the build-up to this match stunted their moves. The lack of cohesion was equally evident in defence and although fit-again Hedwiges Maduro impressed, he was left standing after ten minutes when Martins's fine long-range shot rattled the crossbar. By now, Ajax were having to contend with wave after wave of Inter attacks and the pressure eventually told.

Ajax awakened
Anonymous for much of the first half, Stanković advanced up the left flank on 25 minutes and his cross hit the arm of Ajax captain Olaf Lindenbergh. Adriano failed to convert though, his feeble attempt rolling the wrong side of the post, and that proved a wake-up call for the visitors. Right-back Hatem Trabelsi started to push further upfield, allowing Mauro Rosales more space, and ten minutes before half-time the Argentinian finally forced Francesco Toldo to make a save.

Back in control
The respite proved fleeting and a Figo effort within seconds of the restart indicated the return of Inter supremacy. Three minutes later Adriano jinked past Thomas Vermaelen before lifting the ball agonisingly across goal with Martins unable to reach it. Any disappointment was short-lived, however, as less than ten minutes later Stanković finally broke the deadlock with a sumptuous strike. Walter Samuel's searching ball found the Serbo-Montenegrin midfielder unmarked and after shimmying inside the wrong-footed Maduro, he rifled the ball into the far corner.

Superb strike
The goal increased the onus on Ajax – they now needed to score twice – but rather than spurring them to throw caution to the wind, it was Inter who began to press at every occasion, and Adriano drew a smart stop from Maarten Stekelenburg. Blind brought on Ryan Babel to help his flagging strikers late on and although the youngster posed a problem, he directed his one glimmer of goal over the bar as the majority of the Giuseppe Meazza crowd started to celebrate reaching the last eight for the third time in four seasons.

Last updated: 15/03/06 11.57CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2005/matches/round=2202/match=1102854/postmatch/report/index.html#stankovic+sends+inter+through

Lineups

internazionale

Internazionale

ajax

Ajax

1
ToldoFrancesco Toldo (GK)
1
StekelenburgMaarten Stekelenburg (GK)
4
ZanettiJavier Zanetti (C)
2
TrabelsiHatem Trabelsi
5
StankovićDejan Stanković
Goal57
7
RosalesMauro Rosales
Substitution72
7
Luís FigoLuís Figo
8
MaduroHedwiges Maduro
10
AdrianoAdriano
Penalty27
10
PienaarSteven Pienaar
14
VerónJuan Verón
Substitution74
15
VermaelenThomas Vermaelen
Yellow Card65
19
CambiassoEsteban Cambiasso
21
LindenberghOlaf Lindenbergh (C)
23
MaterazziMarco Materazzi
22
JuanfranJuanfran
25
SamuelWalter Samuel
24
RosenbergMarkus Rosenberg
Substitution74
30
MartinsObafemi Martins
Substitution84
25
HuntelaarKlaas-Jan Huntelaar
33
WomePierre Wome
28
BoukhariNourdin Boukhari

Substitutes

12
Júlio CésarJúlio César (GK)
12
VonkHans Vonk (GK)
3
N. BurdissoNicolás Burdisso
9
CharisteasAngelos Charisteas
Substitution74
6
ZanettiCristiano Zanetti
Substitution74
11
BabelRyan Babel
Substitution72
8
PizarroDavid Pizarro
31
BoakyeEmmanuel Boakye
9
CruzJulio Cruz
33
SchilderRobbert Schilder
20
RecobaÁlvaro Recoba
Substitution84
38
SarpongJeffrey Sarpong
31
CésarCésar
45
TimiselaMichael Timisela

Coach

Roberto Mancini (ITA) Danny Blind (NED)

Referee

Peter Fröjdfeldt (SWE)

Assistant referees

Kenneth Petersson (SWE), Stefan Wittberg (SWE)

Fourth official

Martin Ingvarsson (SWE)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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