Soccer

Inter Milan 2-1 Bayer 04 Leverkusen: Romelu Lukaku sets record in win for Italians

Romelu Lukaku scored for a record ninth consecutive Europa League game as Inter Milan beat Bayer Leverkusen in Dusseldorf to reach the semi-finals.

Nicolo Barella fired home an excellent 20-yard strike to give Inter the lead.

Lukaku controlled Ashley Young’s pass, turned a defender and slotted home for his 31st goal of the season.

Kai Havertz smashed home from six yards out to give Leverkusen hope but they could not find a leveller to force extra time in the one-off tie.

Antonio Conte’s side will face the winner of Shakhtar Donetsk v Basel in the semi-final on 17 August, also in Dusseldorf.

Lukaku is the first player to ever score in nine Uefa Cup or Europa League matches in a row, although that run includes five games for Everton in 2014-15.

He twice prepared to take a penalty – in the first half and in injury time at the end – but both times the decisions were overturned by the video assistant referee.

The Italian side could have beaten Leverkusen by more with Lukaku forcing Lukas Hradecky into a good save and former Premier League players Christian Eriksen, Alexis Sanchez and Victor Moses going close after coming off the bench.

Inter are now only two games away from winning their first trophy since the Coppa Italia in 2011.

Eight managers have failed to lead them to silverware in between Leonardo and Conte, who took charge last summer.

They have already enjoyed their best Serie A season in that time, finishing second, one point behind champions Juventus.

Line-ups

Inter Milan

Substitutes

B Leverkusen

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Match Stats

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Match ends, Inter Milan 2, Bayer 04 Leverkusen 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Inter Milan 2, Bayer 04 Leverkusen 1.

Booking

Nicolò Barella (Inter Milan) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

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Nadiem Amiri (Bayer 04 Leverkusen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

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Foul by Nicolò Barella (Inter Milan).

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Edmond Tapsoba (Bayer 04 Leverkusen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

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Foul by Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan).

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Attempt saved. Christian Eriksen (Inter Milan) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

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Dangerous play by Karim Bellarabi (Bayer 04 Leverkusen).

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Nicolò Barella (Inter Milan) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

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Wendell (Bayer 04 Leverkusen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

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Foul by Christian Eriksen (Inter Milan).

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Corner, Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Conceded by Victor Moses.

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VAR Decision: No Penalty Inter Milan.

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Hand ball by Nicolò Barella (Inter Milan).

Booking

Edmond Tapsoba (Bayer 04 Leverkusen) is shown the yellow card.

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Foul by Edmond Tapsoba (Bayer 04 Leverkusen).

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Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

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Foul by Edmond Tapsoba (Bayer 04 Leverkusen).

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Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

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