Romelu Lukaku Strike Gives Inter Milan First-Leg Advantage over Porto.

Inter Milan secured a narrow 1-0 win over Portuguese giants Porto in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie on Tuesday night. Substitute Romelu Lukaku was the hero of the hour as his late strike earned the Serie A side a crucial first-leg advantage.

The match had been a tense affair up until Lukaku’s decisive intervention, with both sides having chances to break the deadlock.

Inter Milan should have taken the lead early on when Lautaro Martinez headed over from close range, while Hakan Calhanoglu went even closer with a spectacular effort from an improbable angle which forced a save from Diogo Costa.

Porto responded well, with Andre Onana making a crucial stop from Marko Grujic and Galeno blazing over from the resulting rebound. Nicolo Barella then went close for Inter Milan twice in the second half, first volleying just wide from Milan Skriniar’s long pass and then just missing the target with a shot from the edge of the area.

The home side was beginning to take control of the tie, but then saw their momentum checked when Otavio was sent off for a second bookable offence. Inter Milan took full advantage of their numerical superiority, and Lukaku finally got the goal his side deserved.

The result leaves Inter Milan in a strong position ahead of the return leg, with Porto needing to score at least once to have any chance of progressing. It was a much-needed win for the Nerazzurri, who have been struggling in Serie A of late.

Having Lukaku back to his best and scoring form could be the spark that Inter Milan need to kick-start their season, and if they can hold on to their advantage in the second leg, they could be in contention to reach the quarter-finals.

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