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Inter edge past Atlético in tense Champions League clash

Inter Milan took a crucial first-leg advantage in their Champions League round of 16 tie against Atlético Madrid, securing a narrow 1-0 victory at the San Siro. The win extends their winning streak to nine games across all competitions.

The encounter saw a reunion of former Lazio teammates, with Inter coach Simone Inzaghi facing off against Atlético boss Diego Simeone, who tasted European glory with the club as a player. Despite the pre-match respect, the game was a tight affair with few clear-cut chances in the first half.

Both sides had their moments, with Lautaro Martínez coming closest for Inter, forcing saves from Jan Oblak with a header and a shot. Atlético’s best chance fell to Samuel Lino, but his curling effort went wide. Marcus Thuram, a constant threat for Inter, had to be replaced at half-time due to injury, bringing Marko Arnautović on in his place.

Arnautović nearly made an immediate impact, acrobatically sending a cross over the bar. He continued to be a thorn in Atlético’s side, missing another golden opportunity after a clever one-two with Martínez. However, he finally got his goal in the 71st minute, scrambling home the rebound after Oblak parried Martínez’s shot.

Atlético almost hit back immediately, with Lino’s long-range effort narrowly missing the target. Despite their late push, Simeone’s men couldn’t find an equalizer, leaving the tie finely balanced ahead of the second leg in Madrid on March 13th.

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