Inter reach their first European semi-final since 2009-10! The Italians edge past Leverkusen thanks to a clever goal by Lukaku, who played formidably well.
In truth, Inter were well on top for most of the game, barring a 20 minute spell late in the first half when Leverkusen pulled a goal back. The Germans did precious little thereafter.
Romelu Lukaku’s fine debut campaign at Inter continued when he broke two more records during their Europa League quarter-final against Bayer Leverkusen on Monday.
The Belgium international swept home the Nerazzurri’s second goal of the night in Dusseldorf to take his tally in all competitions to 31.
In doing so he became the player to score in nine successive Europa League or UEFA Cup matches, breaking the record of eight he previously shared with Newcastle’s Alan Shearer 2005.
He is also the first player to score in six successive European matches for Inter.
In an eventful opening 45 minutes, Lukaku also had a role in Inter’s opener after 16 minutes, with his blocked shot landing in the path of Nico Barella, who fired the ball home through a crowd of players.
Lukaku then showed great strength to hold off Edmond Tapsoba, before somehow turning and squeezing the ball home as he was falling to the floor.
Leverkusen brought themselves back into the game before the break when Chelsea target Kai Havertz powered the ball beyond Samir Handanovic from inside the area after a neat one-two with Kevin Volland.
Lukaku is already enjoying the best goalscoring season of his career, having eclipsed the 27 goals he scored for Manchester United in the 2017-18 campaign with two goals during Inter’s Serie A win at Genoa last month.
That double took his away tally for the season to 15, the first Inter player to score that many goals away from home in 70 years, equalling the record set by Stefano Nyers during the 1949-50 campaign.
By hitting the 30-goal mark, Lukaku also became the first Inter striker to score that many goals since Samuel Eto’o in 2010-11 , when the striker famously netted 37 times just one season as Inter claimed an historic treble.
Should Inter hold on for the win they will face either Shakhtar Donetsk or FC Basel in the semi-finals as they look to end the campaign on a high.
Their season so far has been one of near misses, with Antonio Conte’s side reaching the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia before finishing second in Serie A, one point behind nine-time champions Juventus.