Inter Milan earn narrow first-leg lead over Atletico Madrid as Borussia Dortmund are held at PSV


Marko Arnautovic came off the bench to give Inter Milan an important first-leg lead over Atletico Madrid, as the two sides met in the Champions League last 16.

In truth it was a less compelling fixture than might have been anticipated, with both sides’ 3-5-2 systems and a lack of real pace about their play perhaps cancelling each other out, along with the natural tension that the knockout rounds bring.

Inter had the majority of the game’s few clear chances, with Lautaro Martinez spurning two headed opportunities and Arnautovic missing two more himself after coming on at half-time.

But when an error in possession by Atleti players saw Martinez run through one-on-one with just over ten minutes left to play, Inter finally found a way through. The Argentine saw his effort saved by Jan Oblak, with Arnautovic running in to finish the rebound and give his side a lead they just about deserved.

A match low on quality and goalmouth chances could have had a late twist or two when Alvaro Morata couldn’t connect properly at the far post for Atleti and Denzel Dumfries almost fashioned another Inter opening.

Over in Eindhoven, PSV came from behind to level matters 1-1 with Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their own last-16 meeting.

Donyell Malen opened the scoring for BVB with a near-post strike from a narrow angle, his first Champions League goal of the campaign coming against his former club.

Luuk De Jong scored a penalty for PSV (REUTERS)
Luuk De Jong scored a penalty for PSV (REUTERS)

But PSV’s in-form forward Luuk de Jong netted the equaliser from the penalty spot in the second half to ensure that tie remains finely poised heading into the second leg.

Both return fixtures will be played on Wednesday 13 March.