Champions League: Dzeko double helps Inter beat Shakhtar, Haller strikes again
- Inter move top of Group D with 2-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk
- Sébastien Haller takes goal tally to nine as Ajax beat Besiktas
Edin Dzeko scored twice in the space of six second-half minutes to earn Internazionale a 2-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk, as Simone Inzaghi’s side closed in on an overdue return to the Champions League knockout stages.
The Bosnian swept home after 61 minutes to give Inter a deserved lead at San Siro after they had been left frustrated by two disallowed goals and a string of missed opportunities. The hosts are bidding to end a run of three consecutive group-stage exits, having not reached the last 16 since 2011-12.
Dzeko did not need long to double his tally, heading in an inviting Ivan Perisic cross to mark his 50th goal in European competition. Inter edged to the top of Group D with victory and will go through unless Sheriff Tiraspol can beat Real Madrid later.
Sébastien Haller continued his Champions League scoring spree with two second-half goals as Ajax came from behind to beat Besiktas 2-1 and take top spot in Group C.
Haller came off the bench at the start of the second half and netted in the 54th and 69th minutes as Ajax kept up their 100% run in the group. The former West Ham forward now has nine goals in five games, and is tied with Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski in the Champions League scoring charts.
Besiktas went ahead after Ajax fullback Noussair Mazraoui handled the ball and Rachid Ghezzal tucked away a 22nd-minute penalty kick. The visitors equalised when Haller converted Nicolas Tagliafico’s square ball to finish off a counter attack.
Ajax got the winner when Dusan Tadic’s free kick fell to Lisandro Martínez, whose mis-hit shot was turned in by Haller. The Ivorian forward would have had a hat-trick, but teammate David Neres was offside when he scored in stoppage time.
In the Europa League, Spartak Moscow defeated Napoli 2-1 thanks to two goals from striker Aleksandr Sobolev – a result that leaves Group C wide open before Leicester’s match with Legia Warsaw.
Sobolev fired Spartak ahead with a third-minute penalty amid driving snow in Moscow, and made it 2-0 with a far-post header in the 28th minute. Eljif Elmas pulled a goal back with a second-half header, and Spartak keeper Aleksandr Selikhov produced a number of saves to deny the visitors an equaliser.
Spartak top the group on seven points, edging Napoli on head-to-head record. Legia have six points, with Leicester bottom on five –but Brendan Rodgers’ side can go top with a home win on Thursday.