Late Lukaku goal gives Inter first-leg lead as Otavio sees red for Porto

Romelu Lukaku came off the bench to give Inter Milan a 1-0 win over Porto in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

The Belgium international struck with four minutes remaining to secure victory at San Siro after the visitors had seen midfielder Otavio sent off for a second bookable offence.

In a tight first half, Inter striker Lautaro Martinez might have done better with an early header and Porto ‘keeper Diogo Costa had to tip over Hakan Calhanoglu’s audacious attempt from an improbable angle.

However, the visitors grew into the game and threatened when Marko Grujic forced a 37th-minute save from goalkeeper Andre Onana before Galeno headed the rebound wide, leaving the sides locked together at the break.

Inter Milan's Romelu Lukaku, second form right, scores during the Champions League, round of 16, first leg soccer match between Inter Milan and Porto, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Lukaku scored the winner in the 86th minute

Nicolo Barella went close to the opening goal for the home side when he volleyed just wide after running on to Milan Skriniar’s raking 52nd-minute pass, but Onana had to save from Mehdi Taremi twice and Zaidu as the Portuguese side

Barella only just missed the target once again with 21 minutes remaining, before Otavio was shown a second yellow 12 minutes from time.

Substitute Lukaku finally made the breakthrough to give Inter a slim advantage to defend in Portugal.

What’s next?

Inter Milan return to Serie A action on Sunday with a trip to Bologna on Sunday; kick-off 11.30am. The Italian side then host Lecce on Sunday March 5; kick-off 5pm.

Porto are back in Primeira Liga action on Sunday at home to Gil Vicente; kick-off 8.30pm. The Portuguese side then travel to Chaves on Sunday March 5; kick-off time to be confirmed.

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