Lukaku Inspires off the Bench

  • February 23, 2023

Romelu Lukaku put in a strong showing off the bench, scoring a late game winner to lead Inter to victory over Porto. Despite a few subpar performances in the midfield, the Italians fought their way to a heated 1-0 win in the first leg of the Champions League knockout round.

Andre Onana – 8

While Onana made too many errors when distributing the ball, his goalkeeping was top notch. In the second half, a Porto counter attack created several close-range shots in the box, but the goalkeeper made a brilliant double save.

Milan Skriniar – 7

For the most part, Skriniar played strong defense on the backline. While he did miss a crucial header inside the box, allowing Porto an early chance, he effectively shut down Galeno on the wing.

Francesco Acerbi – 7

At times, the Acerbi was too aggressive and took himself out of position with high pressing in the midfield. However, the defender was impressive against Mehdi Taremi and Otavio, with the latter failing to create enough chances for the visitors.

Alessandro Bastoni – 8

As the left-most centre-back, Bastoni was responsible for Porto’s right winger, the Brazilian Pepe. The defender had a quality match overall, winning several tackles and distributing the ball typically well.

Matteo Darmian – 6

The wing-back started the match decently enough, but he ran out of steam in the second half, firing off a number of poor crosses.

Federico Dimarco – 8

From the left channel, the wing-back created some of Inter’s best chances. Dimarco served in several wonderful crosses, at one point pinpointing Lautaro from long range, though the striker failed to head the ball home.

Nicolo Barella – 6

The midfielder certainly saw plenty of the ball, but he failed to do much with it in the attacking third. A Mateus Uribe-led double pivot pressed Barella hard, forcing him to make a few errant passes.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 5

In the right central midfield, Mkhitaryan had a rather quiet match. He struggled to get on the ball in the final third, and his distribution was less than impressive.

Hakan Calhanoglu – 8

Like Dimarco, Calhanoglu’s day was defined by his excellent service. He sent in several quality balls from set pieces, and, during open play, he excelled in his role at deep-lying playmaker.

Edin Dzeko – 5

Against Pepe, the big striker was faced with an opponent of equal size and strength. While Dzeko made valiant attempts to find the ball, Porto marked him tightly, not allowing him a single shot. He ultimately departed early in the second half.

Lautaro Martinez – 5.5

In the first half, Martinez had flashes of quality, but he lacked the finishing touch that Inter desperately needed. His second half was not much better, as even the introduction of his old partner Lukaku failed to get the striker going.


Romelu Lukaku – 9

Early in the second half, Lukaku replaced Dzeko and instantly galvanized the Inter attack. His hold-up play was fantastic, and he ultimately got onto his own rebounded header to give Inter the lead.

Robin Gosens – 6.5

Immediately after taking the pitch, Gosens made a strong defensive stop for his side. While he did not offer the same level of service as Dimarco, the wing-back helped solidify an increasingly porous backline.

Marcelo Brozovic – N/A

Denzel Dumfries – N/A

#Lukaku #Inspires #Bench