Inter Opens Champions League Campaign with a Hard-Fought Draw Against Real Sociedad

Inter Starts Champions League Campaign with a Draw Against Real Sociedad

Inter kicked off their Champions League journey with a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Real Sociedad in San Sebastian. The Reale Arena hosted a tense match characterized by early goals from Mendez for the hosts and a late equalizer by Lautaro three minutes from the final whistle.

This valuable point earned by the Nerazzurri came after a match plagued by technical errors and consistent challenges. Inter had to make do without Calhanoglu, who was sidelined due to a muscle injury, leading to Asllani, Carlos Augusto, and Arnautovic earning spots in the starting lineup, replacing Dimarco and Thuram.

Real Sociedad started the game with great enthusiasm, buoyed by their fans celebrating their return to the Champions League after a decade-long absence. They had an early attack in the 3rd minute when Barrenetxea’s shot hit the post, and they found the opening goal a minute later. Brais Mendez capitalized on a mistake by Bastoni in midfield to score past Sommer, sparking jubilation at the Reale Arena.

Throughout the first half, Inter struggled to gain control, delivering a lackluster performance with no significant threats on Remiro’s goal. Meanwhile, Real Sociedad maintained relentless high-pressure tactics, with Barrenetxea and Kubo causing constant concerns for the Nerazzurri defense.

After the halftime break, Oyarzabal nearly doubled Real Sociedad’s lead in the 48th minute, but Sommer made an exceptional save. Inzaghi decided to shake up the game in the 55th minute by introducing Thuram, Frattesi, and Dimarco. In the 65th minute, Oliver mistakenly issued a red card to Barella for a foul on Mendez, which the VAR corrected, resulting in Barella’s return to the field.

In the 69th minute, Merino’s header from a corner rattled the crossbar, and Inter responded with Thuram’s disallowed goal for offside. Towards the end, Real Sociedad’s grip weakened, allowing Inter to push forward, particularly on the left flank.

Inter eventually leveled the score when Lautaro deftly redirected Frattesi’s low cross into the net. Despite the late surge, the match concluded in a draw. Inzaghi’s squad secured a crucial point considering the circumstances of the game and the caliber of the opponent.

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