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Inter march on thanks to Trabzonspor draw

Trabzonspor AŞ 1-1 FC Internazionale Milano
Ricardo Álvarez's fine opener was cancelled out by a deflected Halil Altıntop effort but the visitors held on for the point they needed to win Group B.

Inter march on thanks to Trabzonspor draw
Inter march on thanks to Trabzonspor draw ©UEFA.com

Trabzonspor AŞ were unable to capitalise on some concerted second-half pressure as FC Internazionale Milano held on to earn the point they needed to finish top of UEFA Champions League Group B.

LOSC Lille Métropole's win at PFC CSKA Moskva had guaranteed Inter's progress before a ball had been kicked yet there was no sign of the visitors easing up early on, Ricardo Álvarez's well-worked effort giving them an 18th-minute lead. Halil Altıntop's deflected effort swiftly brought Trabzonspor level, yet the hosts were unable to find the goal that would have put them in pole position to join their opponents in the round of 16, substitute Adrian Mierzejewski heading against the post late on.

Trabzonspor stunned Inter at San Siro on matchday one and the Turkish team duly began confidently. Much of the early play took place in the Inter half but visiting goalkeeper Júlio César was scarcely threatened and, when the first goal arrived, it came at the other end.

It was a move crafted in Argentina, Álvarez picking up possession on the Inter right and playing a neat one-two with compatriot Diego Milito before stroking a composed left-foot shot past Tolga Zengin. The setback briefly silenced the vociferous home support – but within moments they were back to full voice.

Burak Yılmaz might have levelled from Gustavo Colman's pass, instead prodding past the post at full stretch. It did not take long for Trabzonspor's luck to improve, Altıntop's long-range shot striking Walter Samuel to wrong-foot César and leave the match all-square again.

Revived, the home team continued to press yet a reminder of the Inter threat was never far away, Mauro Zárate forcing a fine save from Tolga. That proved to be the pattern in the second period in which Trabzonspor did most of the pressing yet the crowd drew a sharp intake of breath whenever Inter broke. From one such attack, Zárate was half-denied by the goalkeeper with Arkadiusz Głowacki blocking the follow-up effort.

At the other end Burak was a constant menace, while Alanzinho flashed a shot across the Inter goal. The visitors had another escape with 14 minutes remaining, Ondřej Čelůstka landing a perfect right-wing cross on to the head of the diving, and unmarked, Mierzejewski whose effort came back off the left-hand post. Despite failing to find a winner, Trabzonspor will guarantee progress with victory at Lille on matchday six; anything less and they will be nervously looking for Inter to do them a favour at home to CSKA.

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