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UEFA Champions League

  • 22 November 2011
  • • 19:45
  • • Hüseyin Avni Aker Stadyumu, Trabzon
  • Referee: M. Atkinson
  • • Attendance: 21611

Trabzonspor 1-1 Inter: Italians clinch top spot in Group B courtesy of hard-earned draw in Turkey

Trabzonspor 1-1 Inter: Italians clinch top spot in Group B courtesy of hard-earned draw in Turkey

Despite a far from convincing performance in Trabzon where they were second-best for long spells, Claudio Ranieri's men manage to hold out for a point and qualify for the last 16

Inter have progressed from Group B in the Champions League after they registered a 1-1 draw against Trabzonspor.

Ricky Alvarez's initial strike put the Italian giants in a commanding position early on, before Halil Altintop fired an equaliser to also keep Turkish hopes of qualifying as group runners-up alive.

Proceedings in Trabzon began in favour of the hosts, as Ondrej Celustka and Burak Yilmaz's speculative efforts inside the first five minutes laid the foundations for what was to be a hugely enthralling clash between the two Champions League hopefuls.

Senol Gunes' side dictated much of the play in midfield throughout the first-half, spearheaded by the imperious Gustavo Colman, but it was the visitors who surprisingly gained the initative on 18 minutes, through Alvarez, who netted his first goal in a Nerazzurri jersey.

The Argentine midfielder showed great movement around the box to construct a one-two with Diego Milito, before receiving the ball in bundles of space to coolly poke home past Tolga Zengin and give his side an undeserved lead.

However, Trabzonspor managed to hit back just five minutes later, as Colman drove through Inter's midfield relatively untroubled and laid off Altintop on the edge of the area, and the Turkey striker proceeded to smash the ball past a helpless Cesar.

The remaining 20 minutes was largely played out by the home team, who continued to show imagination and invention, but Inter's experience played an important factor in being able to go in at half-time with the result intact.

The second-half began as a continuation of the preceding 45, but slowly Inter began to step their game up, co-inciding with the entrance of Philippe Coutinho, who provided his team with a much-needed spark, and saw a couple of snapshots go wide.

Despite a mini-revival of sorts, Trabzonspor really ought to have sealed the win. Alanzinho and substitute Adrian Mierzejewski both squandered golden opportunities to deny Inter from returning to Milan with something to show for their efforts, with the latter seeing a diving header cannon off the post.

The result now sees Trabzonspor move to second in Group C, and a win in Lille on matchday six will confirm their place as runners-up, while Inter can now breathe easy and concentrate on climbing up the Serie A table.
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