Inter Milan win Group B
Inter Milan have qualified for the UEFA Champions League last 16 as Group B winners following a 1-1 away draw with Trabzonspor.
Last Updated: 22/11/11 10:33pm
Inter Milan have qualified for the UEFA Champions League last 16 as Group B winners following a 1-1 away draw with Trabzonspor on Tuesday.
The result lifts Inter to 10 points from five matches, four more than their Turkish hosts, meaning that the Italian giants will finish at the top of the group irrespective of their matchday six result.
Inter had already progressed to the knockout stage of the premier European club competition prior to the game because of Lille's 2-0 victory over CSKA Moscow in Russia, but the Nerazzurri headed into the clash in Trabzon to garner maximum points.
And indeed Claudio Ranieri's side went ahead at the Huseyin Avni Aker after 18 minutes when Ricardo Alvarez slotted the ball past Tolga Zengin from close range after playing a brilliant one-two with Diego Milito.
However, the Turkish hosts came back strongly and restored parity just five minutes later when Halil Altintop's ferocious effort from distance took a deflection off Walter Samuel and beat Julio Cesar.
Both sides had chances to add to their respective tallies during the remainder of the game, with Adrian Mierzejewski heading against the Inter post in the second half, but eventually had to settle for a 1-1 draw.
The Milan outfit had every reason to approach the game with caution having been shocked 1-0 by the Turkish side in the opening round of Group B fixtures earlier in the season.
Early efforts from Ondrej Celustka and Burak Yilmaz did nothing to ease their nerves and the home side pushed for an opener with Giray Kacar also coming close before Yilmaz dropped a volley into Inter goalkeeper Julio Cesar's arms.
Inter grabbed their opener against the run of play in the 18th minute when Alvarez swept home a low shot from the right side of the penalty area after a neat ball from the left by Milito.
The home side responded well with Yilmaz shooting just wide before they equalised just five minutes later when Halil Altintop blazed a 25-yard effort high into the roof of Julio Cesar's net.
The dangerous Yilmaz saw a shot blocked in the box by Samuel then Alanzinho came close to giving the Turkish side the lead when his left-foot shot from 20 yards was tipped around by post by Julio Cesar.
The custodian also saved well from Yilmaz before Inter had a chance to regain their lead when Mauro Zarate's right-foot shot from the edge of the box was tipped round the post by Tolga Zengin.
Trabzonspor started the second half with Didier Zokora firing over the bar from long range, then Yilmaz saw another chance go begging as his 20-yard effort was punched out by Julio Cesar.
Zengin denied Dejan Stankovic with a diving save in the 55th minute while Milito missed the target with a header from six yards as Ranieri's men began to grow in confidence.
Yilmaz remained a constant threat but the home side's best and final chance of claiming three valuable points came in the 76th minute when Mierzejewski's header from the middle of the box rebounded off the post.