Football Features

“Dzeko delivers!” as Inter Milan beat Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0 to put Champions League fate in their own hands

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 19:57, 24 November 2021

An Edin Dzeko brace saw Inter Milan beat Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0 at San Siro to go top of their Champions League group.

The win was absolutely massive for the Nerazzuri as it gives them 10 points, meaning that if Real Madrid beat Sheriff later tonight, the Italians will be through to round of 16 for the first time in a decade.

It was a hard-fought win that wouldn’t have come to pass were it not for the singular attacking brilliance of Edin Dzeko. The 35-year-old Bosnian striker who joined Inter this summer to replace the outgoing Romelu Lukaku.

Dzeko came into tonight’s match with 8 goals in 16 games, a perfect (and old-school) 1:2 ratio and stood tall when Inter needed him. After the first hour of the game saw Inter bogged down in profligacy and bad luck as they had two goals (correctly, but only just) ruled out by referees for various infractions. It looked like it wasn’t going to happen for them, until Dzeko.

The Bosnian scored the first goal with a rasping finish from the edge of the box, but what was better was that seconds earlier it was his delightful flicked pass that released Ivan Perisic down the left on the run that led to the ball entering the box before the Shakhtar clearance fell to Dzeko who had carried his run on and arrived at the perfect time to be the hero.

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What was so great was that Dzeko didn’t stop there, he carried on attacking, leading the line. And just seven minutes after scoring the first he bagged his second and all but killed the game off with a towering back-post header. This was a classic Dzeko goal and it gave Inter such a fantastic advantage that they managed to see out the rest of the game with minimal effort and drama.

It was also the 50th European goal of his career, after 111 appearances in continental football he again is basically at that magic 1:2 ratio. What’s also fantastic is the way the goals are perfectly balanced as all things should be; with 25 in 48 Europa League games and 25 in 60 Champions League games.

He has been a remarkable servant for every club he’s played for, consistently producing and only once (2014/15) failing to reach double figures for goals across the season. No matter the scenario, Dzeko delivers!

Inter’s future is now in their own hands: beat Real Madrid on matchday six and they will be in the Champions League round of 16 for the first time since 2011/12. They may even qualify tonight, if Los Blancos beat Sherrif. And they could qualify even if they fail to beat Madrid, if Shakhtar take points off Sherrif.

Everything’s coming up Inter, all thanks to their brilliant Bosnian, Edin Dzeko!