Inter Milan beat Benfica 1-0 in their Champions League Group D match at the San Siro on Tuesday thanks to a brilliant goal from Marcus Thuram.
The Serie A leaders, runners-up in the Champions League last season, are second in the group standings, behind Real Sociedad.
Neither team could make a breakthrough in the first half, with Benfica goalkeeper Anatoliy Trubin saving from Denzel Dumfries while Yan Sommer, at the other end, denied Fredrik Aursnes an opener.
Simone Inzaghi’s side dominated the second half with chances from Dumfries and two clear-cut strikes from their top scorer Lautaro Martinez, who netted four against Salernitana in the league on Saturday, which bounced off the crossbar.
Thuram finally gave Inter the win in the 61st minute, finishing off a cross from Dumfries, set up by a superb long pass from Nicolo Barella.
“We are happy for the three points; winning the second game of the group was crucial. It’s even better to do it in front of our fans. If I hadn’t scored, someone else could have, but I did it tonight and I’m very happy about that,” said Thuram.
Inter, who drew their opening group match with Real Sociedad 1-1, threatened to increase their lead but Martinez was unable to get the ball in the net.
“I had many chances but couldn’t score,” the Argentine striker said. “Another team mate scored, and that’s fine too. We definitely deserved more goals. The first half was more cautious but in the second, we created a lot and certainly deserved a bigger victory.
“For us, it was a very important match because we struggled to play our usual football against Real Sociedad. Today, we had to turn the page and face an opponent we played against last season. We are happy that we won.”
Inter next host RB Salzburg on 24 October while Benfica, last in the table, face Real Sociedad.