Two goals each from Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku helped Inter Milan secure a 5-0 victory over an uninspired Shakhtar Donetsk in their UEFA Europa League semifinal in Dusseldorf on Monday.
The Nerazzurri complete will face Sevilla in Friday’s final in Cologne, as Shakhtar were never able to threaten Antonio Conte’s men over 90 minutes.
Shakhtar tried to assumed control from the start and to implement their offensively-minded strategy, though Inter’s defense managed to neutralize all attacks.
20 minutes into the game, the Italians also increased their attacking efforts and opened the scoring with their first chance as Nicolo Barella’s cross into the box found Martinez, who nodded home the opener.
Shakhtar struggled to create opportunities as they were unable to bypass Inter’s defenders. Goalscoring chances remained at premium as only Marcos Antonio unleashed a shot on target just before the break.
After the restart, Inter started where they left off as they kept all their men behind the ball, but once they forced a turnover they overran Shakhtar’s defense.
However, Shakhtar almost restored parity out of thin air, but Junior Moraes’ header missed the target at the hour mark.
Shakhtar’s promising chance was a wakening call for the Italians, as they doubled their advantage only moments later when Marcelo Brozovic’s corner allowed Danilo d’Ambrosio to make it 2-0.
Inter gained momentum and tripled their advantage in the 74th minute through Martinez, whose 18-meter hammer sealed his brace and put the result beyond doubt.
Shakhtar were unable to put up resistance whereas Inter were not done with scoring, as Martinez set up for Lukaku, who tapped home for 4-0 four minutes later.
Things went from bad to worse for Shakhtar in the closing period after Lukaku wrapped up his brace to round off the win.
“We showed great determination but also that we can play very well. We eventually seized the opportunities that came during the game. We analysed our mistakes from the past games and reduced them to the minimum tonight,”said Barella. Enditem