Aug 13th 2020

On Monday at 21:00 CEST: the Europa League semi-final clash

MILAN - It's been 15 years and it was a totally different August to the one, which we are experiencing now. Inter and Ukranian outfit Shakhtar Donetsk will compete for a place in the Europa League final on Monday. Back in 2005 though, the two sides met for a tie that would decide who made it into the group stages of the Champions League: a two-legged fixture in the third round of qualification.


It was Julio Cesar’s official debut in an Inter shirt, his first game of 300 for the Nerazzurri. One of the surprise choices for Roberto Mancini in the first leg at the Shakhtar Stadion (their current home, the Donbass Arena, had not yet been built). It was a crucial clash with the champions of Ukraine in order to reach the Champions League group stage. Coaching Shakhtar that day was a familiar face to Inter; Mircea Lucescu had coached the Nerazzurri in 1998/99. The Ukrainians were stocked with talent: Srna, Tymoshchuk, Elano, Matuzalum (who had a long career in Serie A, Brandao (who would go on to haunt us seven years later in a Marseille shirt) and Fernandinho (currently of Manchester City). But all that talent was not enough on the night, as goals from Adriano and Martins gave the Nerazzurri a first-leg lead. The two were unplayable that evening and combined wonderfully. The opener: Martins down to Adriano, the Brazilian’s backheel, Martins puts it past the onrushing goalkeeper. The second was an excellently executed team goal: Zé Maria’s cross and the Emperor’s header. Inter took a 2-0 aggregate lead back to the San Siro.

SHAKHTAR DONETSK 0-2 INTERGoalscorers: 67’ Martins, 78’ Adriano.SHAKHTAR DONETSK: 16 Lastuvka, 2 Barcauan, 3 Hubschman, 4 Tymoshchuk, 6 Duljaj (71’ Fernandinho), 9 Matuzalem, 20 Byelik (71’ Marica), 25 Brandao, 26 Rat, 33 Srna, 36 Elano (58’ Jadson).Substitutions: 1 Stipe, 14 Stoican, 18 Lewandowski, 28 Seyhan.Coach: Mircea Lucescu.INTER: 12 Julio Cesar, 2 Cordoba, 4 J.Zanetti, 5 Stankovic, 10 Adriano, 14 Veron (77’ Pizarro), 15 Solari (75’ Ze Maria), 16 Favalli, 19 Cambiasso, 23 Materazzi, 30 Martins.Substitutions: 1 Toldo, 6 C.Zanetti, 9 Cruz, 20 Recoba, 25 Samuel.Coach: Roberto Mancini.


After the 2-0 win away from home, much like Monday’s game in Düsseldorf will be, the second leg was played behind closed doors. Inter were not allowed any fans at their European home games for four seasons as a result of trouble in the Euro Derby the season before. With Massimo Moratti, Giacinto Facchetti and Marco Tronchetti Provera in the stands wearing Black and Blue, Mancini’s side took the lead early on through Alvaro Recoba. The goal effectively sealed the tie and, although Shakhtar did equalise on the night through Elena, Julio Cesar stood firm. Inter went through to the Champions League.INTER 1-1 SHAKHTAR DONETSKGoalscorers: 12' Recoba, 25' ElanoINTER: 12 Julio Cesar, 2 Cordoba, 4 J.Zanetti 5 Stankovic (46' 8 Pizarro), 10 Adriano (81' 9 Cruz), 14 Veron (74' 13 Zè Maria), 15 Solari, 19 Cambiasso, 20 Recoba, 23 Materazzi, 33 Wome.Substitutions: 1 Toldo, 6 C. Zanetti, 16 Favalli, 25 Samuel.Coach: Roberto Mancini.SHAKHTAR DONETSK: 16 Lastuvka, 3 Hubschman, 4 Tymoshchunk, 6 Duljaj (86' 7 Fernandinho), 9 Matuzalem, 18 Lewandowski, 25 Brandao, 26 Rat, 29 Marica (71' 20 Byelik), 33 Srna, 36 Elano (65' 38 Jadson).Substitutions: 1 Pletikosa, 2 Barcauan, 10 Vukic, 14 Stoican.Coach: Mircea Lucescu.

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