UEFA Champions League - 2021/22 SeasonMatch press kits
|FC Internazionale Milano||Stadio San Siro - MilanTuesday 19 October 2021|
21.00CET (21.00 local time) Group D - Matchday 3
|FC Sheriff Tiraspol|
Buoyed by causing one of the greatest shocks in UEFA Champions League history, surprise Group D leaders Sheriff now travel to winless, and goalless, Inter.
• Debutants Sheriff made it two wins from two on Matchday 2 thanks to Sébastien Thill's 90th-minute goal at Real Madrid that secured a remarkable 2-1 victory. The Moldovan champions had already beaten Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0 at home, those results giving them a five-point advantage over Inter, who lost 1-0 at home to Madrid before a 0-0 draw at Shakhtar.
• This is the sides' first fixture, and a first meeting for both with a club from their opponents' country.
• Inter are the last Italian team to win the UEFA Champions League, in 2010 – their third European Cup triumph, and first in 45 years.
• This is the 15th time Inter have been in the group stage and the fourth season in a row having missed out for six consecutive years between 2011/12 and 2018/19.
• Inter's last three UEFA Champions League campaigns have ended in the group stage. Last season, Antonio Conte's side won only one of their six games to finish fourth in Group B on six points.
• The Nerazzurri responded to that early European exit by finishing first in Serie A, 12 points above runners-up AC Milan; it was their first title in 11 years and their 19th overall.
• Conte left Inter in the summer to be replaced as coach by Simone Inzaghi, who moved to Milan after guiding Lazio to the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League round of 16.
• Inter have won only three of their last 18 UEFA Champions League matches (D7 L8).
• A 2-0 defeat of Borussia Dortmund on Matchday 3 in 2019/20 is Inter's sole success in their last nine home UEFA Champions League games (D5 L3). They have won none of the last five (D2 L3).
• Sheriff's success in coming through qualifying for the first time means Moldova are the 34th country to feature in the group stage and the first newcomers since Azerbaijan, with Qarabağ, in 2017/18.
• Sheriff are the 146th team to appear in the group stage, and the only debutants in 2021/22.
• Domestic champions for the 19th time – and sixth in succession – in 2020/21, Sheriff are also the only Moldovan side to reach the UEFA Europa League group stage having appeared in 2009/10, 2010/11, 2013/14 and 2017/18.
• The Tiraspol club were unbeaten in their eight UEFA Champions League qualifying matches this season, winning both legs against both Teuta of Albania in the first qualifying round (4-0 a, 1-0 h) and Alashkert of Armenia in the second (1-0 a, 3-1 h). They were held 1-1 at Serbian side Crvena zvezda – the 1991 European champions – in the first leg of their third qualifying round tie, but Danilo Arboleda's goal at the end of the first half at the Sheriff Stadion proved enough to send the home side through.
• Sheriff then saw off group stage regulars Dinamo Zagreb in the play-offs, a 3-0 home win preceding a goalless draw in Croatia.
• Sheriff were beaten 5-3 on penalties by Dundalk after a 1-1 home draw in last season's one-off UEFA Europa League third qualifying round tie. They had started the season in the UEFA Champions League, beating Fola Esch of Luxembourg 2-0 at home in the first qualifying round before a 2-1 loss at Qarabağ in the next stage.
• That defeat at Qarabağ is Sheriff's only reverse in their last nine away European games (W5 D3).
Links and trivia
• Boban Nikolov played 13 Serie B games on loan at Lecce in the second half of 2020/21.
• Sheriff's Brazilian-born defender Fernando Costanza has Italian citizenship.
• Sheriff's player-goalkeeper coach Serghei Pașcenco won his first cap for Moldova in a 2-1 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying defeat against Italy in Lecce in 2005, former Inter striker Christian Vieri opening the scoring.
• Dimitris Kolovos scored his only goal for Greece against Edin Džeko's Bosnia and Herzegovina in a UEFA EURO 2020 qualifier on 26 March 2019, his late equaliser earning the visitors a 2-2 draw.
• Italian coach Roberto Bordin was in charge of Sheriff between 2016 and 2018, winning the league title twice and the Moldovan Cup in 2016/17 and taking the club into the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League group stage. He is currently the head coach of the Moldova national team.
• No Moldovan player has appeared in either of Sheriff's opening two Group D fixtures.
• Inter's record in Serie A this season is W5 D2 L1, the defeat coming on Saturday when they went down 3-1 at coach Simone Inzaghi's former club Lazio.
• The Nerazzurri came from behind to win 2-1 at Sassuolo on 2 October thanks to second-half goals from Edin Džeko and Lautaro Martínez, the latter a penalty.
• Džeko was the first player to score at least six goals in his first seven Serie A games for Inter since Ronaldo in 1997/98, although he drew a blank in his eighth appearance at the weekend.
• Inter are the top scorers in Serie A after eight games with 23 goals.
• Inter have found the net in their last 27 Serie A games, setting a new club record after beating the mark of 25 set in 1949/50.
• Before managing a single strike at Lazio, the Milan club had scored two or more goals in each of their previous 12 Serie A games, surpassing their club record of 11 in 1943.
• Eleven different players have already found the net for Inter this season.
• Inter have avoided defeat in three Serie A games after being behind at the interval this season although on Saturday the roles were reversed as Ivan Perišić's 12th-minute penalty was overturned in the final half-hour.
• Nicolò Barella scored Italy's first goal in a 2-1 win against Belgium in the UEFA Nations League third-place play-off on 10 October. He had started the 2-1 semi-final loss to Spain at San Siro three days earlier.
• Perišić scored in Croatia's 3-0 win in Cyprus in 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying on 8 October.
• Milan Škriniar's own goal sent Slovakia to a 1-0 loss in Russia on 8 October, Denzel Dumfires scoring in the Netherlands' 6-0 home win against Gibraltar the same day.
• Martínez scored in Argentina's 3-0 win at home to a Uruguay side fielding Inter team-mate Matías Vecino on 10 October and also got the only goal of the home win against Peru four days later.
• Joaquín Correa suffered a minor thigh injury in Argentina's win against Uruguay but came on as a substitute for Inter at the weekend.
• Stefano Sensi has been out since suffering a knee injury on 12 September and is expected to return in late October.
• Barella and Martínez are on the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d'Or, with the winner to be announced on 29 November.
• No Sheriff player had featured in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final, before this season. Fifteen made their debuts on Matchday 1, Keston Julien doing likewise on Matchday 2.
• Sheriff have played only ten league games this season, three or four fewer than any other Moldovan club, due to their participation in UEFA Champions League qualifying.
• The Tiraspol team are unbeaten in 19 games in all competitions (W16 D3) and have won their last five, beating FCSG 4-0 at home on Saturday.
• Having opened the Moldovan First Division season with a 1-0 loss at home to Bălți – Sheriff's sole defeat of the season in all competitions – the Tiraspol club have won eight and drawn one of their subsequent nine league games, scoring 31 goals and conceding only three.
• A 1-1 draw at Zimbru on 19 September is the only other league game this season in which Sheriff have dropped points.
• Frank Castañeda, who was Sheriff's top league scorer last season with 28 goals, has managed four in ten league appearances in 2021/22. Nadre Dago, who is not in the UEFA Champions League squad, also found the net at the weekend, meaning the pair are now level with Momo Yansané as Sheriff's joint top scorers in the league this season.
• Matchday 2 Player of the Week Giorgos Athanasiadis became the father to a son on 4 October.
• The 28-year-old goalkeeper received his first Greece call-up for the recent internationals and was an unused substitute for the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Georgia (2-0) and Sweden (0-2).
• Boban Nikolov scored his third goal for North Macedonia in their 4-0 World Cup qualifying win away to Liechtenstein on 8 October.
• Adama Traoré scored one goal and set up another as Mali beat Kenya 5-0 in African World Cup qualifying on 7 October.
• Sheriff lost 4-2 on penalties to cup winners Sfîntul Gheorghe after a 2-2 draw in the Moldovan Super Cup on 26 June.
• Henrique Luvannor returned to Sheriff in July after seven years in the UAE before leaving again in August, this time for Saudi Arabian club Al-Taawoun. Luvannor scored four goals in this season's UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds.
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