MILAN, ITALY - OCTOBER 26:  Nicolo Barella of FC Internazionale in action duri the UEFA Champions League group C match between FC Internazionale and Viktoria Plzen at San Siro Stadium on October 26, 2022 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Mattia Ozbot - Inter/Inter via Getty Images)



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Oct 27th 2022

The win over Viktoria Plzen secured Inter's spot in the Champions League knockouts for the second consecutive year


On the night that Inter progressed to the Champions League round of 16 thanks to a 4-0 victory over Viktoria Plzen, there were a number of important achievements to note, including Nicolò Barella's 150th Inter appearance, Romelu Lukaku's return to the scoresheet, Edin Dzeko's scoring streak and another excellent performance from Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

INTER IN THE ROUND OF 16

The Nerazzurri will finish in second place in Group C behind Bayern, meaning next Tuesday's match in Munich won't have any bearing on the standings. For the second consecutive year, Inter have qualified for the Champions League round of 16, and they've done it with a game to spare. The Nerazzurri's last 4-0 Champions League victory had been in September 2010 when Samuel Eto'o bagged a hat-trick against Werder Bremen.

MILAN, ITALY - OCTOBER 26:  Edin Dzeko of FC Internazionale celebrates with team-mates after scoring the second goal during the UEFA Champions League group C match between FC Internazionale and Viktoria Plzen at San Siro Stadium on October 26, 2022 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Mattia Ozbot - Inter/Inter via Getty Images)
MILAN, ITALY - OCTOBER 26:  Edin Dzeko of FC Internazionale celebrates after scoring the second goal during the UEFA Champions League group C match between FC Internazionale and Viktoria Plzen at San Siro Stadium on October 26, 2022 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Mattia Ozbot - Inter/Inter via Getty Images)
MILAN, ITALY - OCTOBER 26: Henrikh Mkhitaryan of FC Internazionale celebrates with teammates after scoring their team's first goal during the UEFA Champions League group C match between FC Internazionale and Viktoria Plzen at San Siro Stadium on October 26, 2022 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Emilio Andreoli - Inter/Inter via Getty Images)
MILAN, ITALY - OCTOBER 26:  Federico Dimarco of FC Internazionale reacts during the UEFA Champions League group C match between FC Internazionale and Viktoria Plzen at San Siro Stadium on October 26, 2022 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Mattia Ozbot - Inter/Inter via Getty Images)

BARELLA, 150 INTER APPEARANCES

Nicolò Barella's current form is excellent, and he was undoubtedly one of the standout players against the Czech side. The Italian midfielder has now made 150 appearances for Inter in all competitions. Barella, who joined the Club ahead of the 2019/20 campaign, has scored 16 goals for Inter and played 20 times in the Champions League.

Meanwhile, in coming on against Viktoria Plzen, Joaquin Correa took to the pitch for the 50th time in Nerazzurri colours, and he went on to provide an assist for Lukaku.

DZEKO, GOALSCORING SUCCESS AGAINST VIKTORIA

He's known for a cup goal and he once again found the net against Viktoria Plzen. Edin Dzeko has now scored six times for Inter in the Champions League (three goals this season) and on eight occasions against the Czech side. He's bagged in each of the five Champions League games he's played against Viktoria Plzen, netting eight in total (29% of his goals in Europe's elite competition), at least five more times than against any other team.

Dzeko just keeps on performing in the latter stages of his career: only Cristiano Ronaldo (twelve) has bagged more times than the Bosnian (six, now ahead of Drogba) in Europe's elite competition after turning 35.

In total, Dzeko has scored 28 goals in the Champions League: 15 for Roma, six for Inter, four for Wolfsburg and three for Man City.

MKHITARYAN WITH ANOTHER GOAL

His 95th-minute goal against Fiorentina was his first in Nerazzurri colours. Henrikh Mkhitaryan found the net again as he bagged the opener against Viktoria, while he then went on to hit the post. The Armenian now has six Champions League goals to his name, and he's scored them for four different sides (Shakhtar Donetsk, Borussia Dortmund, Manchester United and Inter). Only Zlatan Ibrahimović (six) and Hernán Crespo (five) have found the net for more teams in the competition.

Mkhitaryan's finish against the Czech side was his first Champions League goal for 1855 days. He'd last scored in the competition on 27 September 2017 for Manchester United against CSKA Moscow.

LUKAKU'S INSTANT IMPACT

Romelu Lukaku, who returned after a two-month absence, immediately found the net. It was his 16th goal in the Champions League and saw him draw level with Dries Mertens as the best Belgian scorer in the competition.


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