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Arnautovic gives Inter slender lead
Published on: Thursday, February 22, 2024
By: AFP
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Arnautovic gives Inter slender lead
Arnautovic in action during the match against Atletico Madrid.
MILAN: Marko Arnautovic gave Inter Milan a single-goal advantage in their Champions League last-16 tie with Atletico Madrid after netting the only goal in Tuesday’s hard-fought 1-0 win.

Austria striker Arnautovic replaced Marcus Thuram at half-time and rammed home Inter’s winner with 11 minutes left at the San Siro after Jan Oblak failed to hold Lautaro Martinez’s shot.

The 34-year-old turned jeers into deafening cheers with his goal, which came after a series of missed opportunities left home fans wondering whether Inter would get the win their performance deserved.

His worst miss came just after the hour mark when he ballooned over a sitter, a dreadful finish which came before and after failed attempts to latch on to promising balls.

“It is certainly one of the most important goals of my career,” said Arnautovic to Sky Sport. “In recent weeks I’ve missed a lot of chances. But the fans and the players showed they are behind me... It gave me the energy I needed to score the goal.”

Arnautovic has had a hard time since returning to Inter on loan from Bologna last summer and those misses further frustrated supporters.

However, thanks to him Simone Inzaghi’s side, who are nine points clear at the top of Serie A, take a slender lead to Madrid where they will face Atletico in the decisive second leg on March 13. 

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