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Anorthosis aim to slow Inter charge

After two wins and a draw, FC Internazionale Milano have the chance in the away game with Anorthosis Famagusta FC to seal a place in the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds for the fifth successive season.

Anorthosis must look to get back on track after defeat at Inter
Anorthosis must look to get back on track after defeat at Inter ©Getty Images

An unbeaten start has put FC Internazionale Milano in control of Group B and the opportunity to seal a place in the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds comes at Anorthosis Famagusta FC. With two wins and a draw, José Mourinho's side hold a three-point advantage over the Cyprus debutants, who lie in second place with four points.

• Anorthosis were always up against it as they tried to stay on equal terms with the Milan team at San Siro on Matchday 3. Just when it seemed they had managed to weather the first-half storm Adriano struck in the 44th minute, his header proving enough to earn the Nerazzurri a narrow win.

• The visitors might have equalised a minute after the restart but Nicos Katsavakis could not direct a curling free-kick on target. Siniša Dobrašinović took too long and wasted another chance while, with ten minutes remaining, Francesco Toldo had to be alert to reach Sávio's cross ahead of Lukasz Sosin. For Inter, Ibrahimović poked wide when Adriano sent him clear and had another shot saved late on, while Ricardo Quaresma miscontrolled with the goal gaping.

• Temuri Ketsbaia's side won their previous home game 3-1 against Panathinaikos FC to celebrate independence day in Cyprus in style. A José Sarriegi own goal and a Dobrašinović header in the first 15 minutes in Nicosia sent them on their way and, although Dimitris Salpingidis reduced arrears from the spot, Iraqi substitute Hawar Taher put the result beyond doubt with 12 minutes remaining.

• Before that, the first Cypriot club to reach the group stage had given notice of their intent by staging a determined rearguard effort to draw 0-0 at Werder Bremen.

• Inter, seeking to finish as group winners for the fourth time in the last five campaigns, got off to the best possible start in Group B on 16 September with a 2-0 victory away to Panathinaikos that came courtesy of goals in each half from Mancini and substitute Adriano. In each case Ibrahimović provided the assists.

• It put immediate confidence behind their campaign – their ninth attempt to claim the UEFA Champions League crown – before Bremen's point at San Siro introduced a note of caution. The home team led through Maicon's 13th-minute goal, a slightly fortuitous opener after Adriano's attempted pass required several deflections to find its way through to his fellow Brazilian. Claudio Pizarro equalised for the visitors to frustrate Mourinho, who had previously signed the Peruvian striker for Chelsea FC.

• Anorthosis have had two previous ties with Italian opponents in European competition. However, none of the four meetings proved happy occasions. In the 1992/93 UEFA Cup first round they lost 6-1 away to Juventus – Ketsbaia getting a late consolation goal – and 4-0 at home. Thirteen years later, at the same stage of the competition, they at least managed to get closer to their opponents, losing the away leg against US Città di Palermo 2-1, then going down 4-0 at home.

• Inter have only faced opposition from Cyprus on one previous occasion in an official game. It came in the 1993/94 UEFA Cup second round against Apollon Limassol FC when a 1-0 victory at home was followed by a 3-3 draw in the away leg. The Nerazzurri went on to win the trophy that year – for the second time in four seasons – beating FC Salzburg 2-0 on aggregate.

• In the other game in the group, Bremen play host to Panathinaikos.