Champions League: Twente 2-2 Inter


Holders held in Group A opener against Dutch champs. Sneijder, Eto'o on target in Enschede

ENSCHEDE - There were plenty of goals at the De Grolsch Veste Stadium as we opened our defence of the European crown with a 2-2 draw against Eredivisie champs Twente.

The Nerazzurri soon settled in Enschede and Wesley Sneijder - on target in this stadium the other week in Holland's 3-0 win over Japan - put us on the right track in the 13th minute, rifling home a loose ball after Mihaylov could only parry away Milito's angled drive.

Unruffled, the hosts delivered the sweetest of replies on 20 minutes through Janssen, who curled a 20-yard free kick into the top left corner after Pedro Proenca blew for a dubious foul on De Jong by Walter Samuel.

The pouring rain did little to dampen a vociferous home crowd and Janssen came close to giving the home fans a second goal to celebrate on 29 minutes, his fiercely struck free kick forcing a brilliant tipped save from Julio Cesar.

A minute later, Preud'homme's men edged in front when Diego Milito, the hero of last May's final in Madrid, unwittingly headed into his own net when defending a corner from Janssen.

Only once had the Champions League holders lost their first match of the following campaign and Inter weren't going down without a fight. The Nerazzurri produced a strong reaction and were unlucky not to level through Esteban Cambiasso, who saw his shot on the turn bounce back off the crossbar.

The equaliser arrived four minutes before the break and it came from the feet of Samuel Eto'o.

The Cameroon forward combined quickly with Goran Pandev and curled a cracking low shot past Mihaylov and into the bottom right corner for his fourth of the season and 20th in the Champions League.

Rafa Benitez's team suffered an injury setback fourteen minutes into the second half when Pandev was stretchered off. On came Coutinho for the Macedonian and the Brazilian youngster had several good chances on his Champions League debut.

The best one, though, fell to McDonald Mariga, who fired a low effort just wide of the far post after a neat pass from Coutinho.

Tonight's other Group A clash produced an identical result, with Werder Bremen coming from behind to hold Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 in Germany.

Twente 2-2 Inter (HT: 2-2)

Scorers: Sneijder 13, Janssen 20, Milito (og) 30, Eto'o 41.

Twente: 13 Mihaylov; 15 Rosales, 19 Douglas, 4 Wisgerhof, 33 Tiendalli; 6 Brama, 9 De Jong, 8 Janssen; 10 Ruiz, 21 Janko (11 Bajrami 78), 22 Chadli (7 Landzaat 88).
Subs not used: 1 Boschker, 3 Kuiper, 5 Bengtsson, 14 Parker, 23 Buysse. 

: Michel Preud'homme.

Inter: 1 Julio Cesar; 13 Maicon, 6 Lucio, 25 Samuel, 4 Zanetti; 17 Mariga, 19 Cambiasso; 27 Pandev (29 Coutinho 61), 10 Sneijder, 9 Eto'o; 22 Milito (11 Muntari 87).
Subs not used: 12 Castellazzi, 2 Cordoba, 23 Materazzi, 39 Santon, 88 Biabiany.
Coach: Rafael Benitez.

Referee: Pedro Proenca Oliveira Alves Garcia (Portugal).

Booked: Maicon 48, Douglas 90+3.

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