The Champions League anthem was back at the San Siro, for the first time since the 2016 final. It was the first time any of the Milan sides were gracing Europe’s top club competition since 2014, for Inter Milan, it was a first time since elimination at the hands of Marseille in 2012.
The Nerazzurri have started their league season in underwhelming form, and the opening against Spurs in the Champions League’s opening game perhaps showed, Luciano Spalletti looking on in dissatisfaction as his side kept getting the decisions wrong in the final third. They had the better of the first half, but could have easily fallen behind when Christian Eriksen played Harry Kane for Spurs.
Ten minutes after the break, though, they did fall behind, Eriksen with two shots in succession, the first was palmed by Samir Handanovic, the second was deflected past the Inter goalkeeper off Joao Miranda.
Spurs were ahead, and were starting to look good value for their lead, Erik Lamela next to see his shot deflected, wide of the goal this time. Inter looked forlorn in attack, skipper Mauro Icardi cutting an isolated and frustrated figure, despite Spalletti ringing in the changes.
The next goal looked likely to come from Spurs, Lamela denied twice by Handanovic, who also saved well from Son Heung-Min. But with time running out, Inter would find their goal, a cross from Kwadwo Asamoah to the edge of the box was superbly volleyed home by Icardi, much to the cacophony of the San Siro. Inter weren’t quite done yet, though, as in the 92nd minute, from a corner, Matias Vecino, whose late header at Lazio last May took Inter to this competition, provided another goal with his bonce, to snatch the three points.
Inter return to the Champions League as they left it, with a 2-1 win, although this time the circumstances were much more joyful.
There was also late joy for Liverpool, who began their European campaign with a 3-2 win over Paris St. Germain. Last season’s finalists, Liverpool took the lead midway through the first half, after Daniel Sturridge headed in Andy Robertson’s cross, before James Milner doubled the advantage from 12 yards after Juan Bernat fouled Georginio Wijnaldum in the box.
PSG halved the deficit before halftime, a volley from Thomas Meunier pulling the scores to 2-1, and looked to have stolen a point when Kylian Mbappe found the net late on.
But the Reds would have the last word in stoppage time, substitute Roberto Firmino rifling a shot past Alphonse Areola and into the bottom corner. Jurgen Klopp went berserk, as did the Anfield crowd, as Liverpool begin the quest to go one better than last season with a bang.
Elsewhere, Liverpool and PSG’s Group C rivals Napoli could only muster a goalless draw at Red Star Belgrade, while a late Christian Pulisic goal gave Borussia Dortmund three points at Club Brugge.
Lionel Messi scored his eighth Champions League hatrick as Barcelona put four past PSV, Atletico Madrid came from behind to win at Monaco, while ten-man Galatasaray made light work of Lokomotiv Moscow.
Red Star Belgrade 0-0 Napoli
Schalke 1-1 Porto
Liverpool 3-2 PSG
Inter 2-1 Tottenham
Galatasaray 3-0 Lokomotiv Moscow
Club Brugge 0-1 Dortmund
Barcelona 4-0 PSV
Monaco 1-2 Atletico Madrid