MILAN, Sept 18 ― Substitute Nicolo Barella scored a stoppage-time equaliser on his Champions League debut to rescue a dramatic 1-1 draw for Inter Milan at home to Slavia Prague in their opening Champions League group game today.
The Czech champions, beaten on all six previous visits to Italy, took a shock lead through Peter Olayinka in the 63rd minute to stun the San Siro in the Group F match.
Inter, eliminated in the group stage last season, were struggling to find a reply until Barella fired in the rebound in the second minute of stoppage time.
Despite Inter's relief, they may still come to regret the loss of two home points in a group which also includes Borussia Dortmund and Barcelona.
“That wasn't our football,” said Inter coach Antonio Conte who saw his 100 per cent record ended in his fourth game at the club. “We need more personality and we need to improve.”
“We didn't do any of what we practised and I am absolutely not satisfied. We have so much work to do.”
Stefan de Vrij and Danilo D'Ambrosio both missed good chances for Inter in the opening half hour before Slavia Prague, Europa League quarter-finalists last season, began to impose themselves.
They took a deserved lead as Olayinka cut the ball back to Jaroslav Zeleny whose shot was saved by Samir Handanovic and fell to the Nigerian, who turned in the rebound.
Nicolae Stanciu nearly added a second from a free kick but it was Inter who levelled.
Stefano Sensi curled a free kick against the crossbar and the rebound fell kindly to Barella, who met it first time and scored with a shot which bounced into the net.
“If we look at the whole match, then the draw is probably fair, because Inter had some chances too,” said Slavia defender Vladimir Coufal. “But after we survived this, it is a big pity to concede such an equaliser during added time.” ― Reuters