Substitute Romelu Lukaku volleyed an 86th-minute winner to earn Inter Milan a 1-0 victory over Porto in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie on Wednesday.
Porto midfielder Otavio was sent off 12 minutes from time and Belgian striker Lukaku took full advantage to boost Inter’s bid to qualify for the quarterfinals of Europe’s premier club competition for the first time in 12 years.
In the interim, Lionel Messi won his first World Cup title. Kylian Mbappé almost won his second, then got injured. Early-season favorites for the European title fell into slumps at home.
Meanwhile, one standout team before the World Cup, Napoli, has marched on and aims for its first quarterfinal place in the competition’s 68-year history.
Off the field, the Super League project that tried to effectively kill the Champions League met a serious legal setback, and English title holder Manchester City faces Premier League charges of financial wrongdoing that could one day stop the club entering future Champions Leagues.
For Inter Milan vs. Porto, Eimer is picking Under 2.5 goals to be scored for a -140 payout. The expert notes that both teams are playing very well defensively, so Wednesday’s match could be very tight. While Porto would like to keep the goal differential low in the first leg of this matchup, Inter will want to win by a wider margin to give themselves some cushion before they head to Portugal for the second leg. The expert expects Inter to rely heavily on Lautaro Martinez and their dynamic offense, but to also play disciplined against a dominant Portuguese side.
“Milan is a club in post-World Cup form that has been clinical in front of the net, but are not trying to run up score lines in the process,” Eimer told SportsLine. “This is a club perfectly happy and confident with scoring early and slowing things down to help guarantee the win.
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