MILAN – In the end, it took the Swan of Sarajevo to finally break Shakhtar's resolve. Since their 5-0 drubbing in the 2019/20 Europa League semi-finals, the Ukrainians had shut up shop, holding Inter to three 0-0 draws over the last two seasons. They were more than halfway to making it four when up stepped Edin Dzeko to put an end to the spell.
“Inter signed me to score goals and I try to do my bit for the team,” the striker told Sky Italia after the match.
“We squandered too many chances in the first half but we must give credit to [Anatoliy] Trubin too – he made some fabulous saves. In games like this you have to be patient, make sure you don't concede and stick at it, as we did in the second half.”
The Bosnian's double puts him on ten for the season (three in the Champions League, seven in Serie A) and takes his career tally in Europe to half a century: 25 in 60 UCL appearances and 25 in 48 UEL games.
Told about his milestone brace, Edin continued: “I didn't know I'd scored 50 goals in Europe. All that mattered was scoring for Inter. These three points are crucial and edge us closer to the last 16.”
After 15 shots and no goals in the opening 45 minutes, it looked like Inter might be frustrated by the Ukrainians once again, but the Nerazzurri rewrote the script after the break.
“It was as if the goal had been jinxed – with two goals disallowed too,” Dzeko exclaimed. “Inzaghi told us to stay calm and keep playing as we were in the first half.
“We did a good job of stopping them playing through the middle. Lautaro and I tried to push them out wide, where [Nicolo] Barella and Hakan [Calhanoglu] could press them. We should have done more with those high balls we won.”