Christian Eriksen scored moments after coming on as a substitute as Getafe were left to rue a late missed spot kick.
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Inter are through to the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals for the first time thanks to goals from Romelu Lukaku and, moments after his introduction, Christian Eriksen – but Getafe will wonder what might have been.
Match in brief
Inter Milan will play Rangers or Bayer Leverkusen in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals after a clinical 33rd-minute Romelu Lukaku strike and a late Christian Eriksen goal gave them a hard-fought victory over Getafe at the Arena AufSchalke.
The Liga side nearly went ahead through Nikola Maksimović’s header before a drop in intensity saw Lautaro Martínez twice denied by Samir Handanović.
Lukaku broke the deadlock, meeting a long ball from Alessandro Bastoni to rifle a ruthless finish, but Inter had Jorge Molina’s wayward second-half penalty to thank for staying in front.
Eriksen then sealed victory moments after coming on with a close-range effort seven minutes from time.
Reporter's view: Paolo Menicucci
Getafe say 'arrivederci' to the UEFA Europa League with no regrets after they gave everything in what was already a memorable European campaign. The Spanish team made a brilliant start but were punished by Lukaku's power; and then came that missed penalty just before they conceded the second. Inter kept a fifth straight clean sheet, showcased their lethal attack and, with a player like Eriksen on the bench, will be a force to be reckoned with in the final stages.
Romelu Lukaku, Inter forward: "It was a difficult game against a very aggressive team. We did well in defence and in attack, I'm happy for my goal ... I missed another chance to score but it happens. We are growing and we have to continue with this mentality and will to improve every day."
Antonio Conte, Inter Milan coach: "Getafe started very well and created chances but we slowly took control of the game and I think the victory is fully deserved. I'm happy because everyone seems very involved, even players not playing from the start. This is the spirit I want. I can see that they are eager to continue this adventure and not go on their holidays."
José Bordalás, Getafe coach: "It's a pity; we played a tremendous game. I'm proud of my players. Everything would have changed had we scored that penalty but football is like that. Nobody is to blame."
- Inter are through to the quarter-finals for the first time in the UEFA Europa League era after three previous round of 16 defeats.
- Inter are the fifth Serie A side to reach the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League after Lazio (2), Napoli (2), Juventus and Fiorentina.
- Lukaku has scored 30 goals in 48 outings for Inter in 2019/20, surpassing his previous best of 27 in 51 games for Manchester United in 2017/18.
- Lukaku has scored a goal in each of Inter’s last five European matches.
- Eriksen’s strike was Inter’s 50th in the UEFA Europa League.
- Inter have conceded only two goals in their last seven games in the UEFA Europa League.
- Inter have lost just one of their 15 matches (W9) since football resumed in Italy in June.
- Inter have scored in 47 of their 51 games this season.
Inter: Handanovič; Godín, De Vrij, Bastoni; D'Ambrosio (Biraghi 84), Barella, Brozović (Eriksen 82), Gagliardini, Young; Lautaro Martínez (Alexis Sánchez 70), Lukaku
Getafe: Soria; Damián Suárez, Djené, Etxeita, Olivera (Portillo 88); Nyom (Jason 69), Maksimović (Ángel 56), Arambarri (Hugo Duro 88), Tímor, Cucu; Mata (Molina 69)
Inter face Bayer Leverkusen at 21:00 CET on Monday in Dusseldorf for a place in the semi-finals.