A brace by winger Matteo Rover helped the Inter Milan Primavera side to a 4-1 win over Danish side Esbjerg in the first leg of their UEFA Youth League matchup Wednesday at the Stadio Breda.
The teams will complete their series on Nov. 22 in Denmark.
It was Esbjerg that drew first when Larsen put a ball past Inter goalkeeper Vladan Dekic in the 23rd minute.
"We started a bit tense and we made a couple of mistakes which made life more complicated," said Inter Primavera coach Stefano Vecchi to Inter TV.
The Nerazzurri was quick to respond when Andrea Pinamonti drilled in a free kick from distance past Esbjerg keeper Mads Kikkenborg.
“Andrea is a player that everyone would like to have,” Vecchi said. “He makes the difference, he’s done it in the past and training with the first team is helping him to develop.”
Esbjerg put themselves in a hole a few minutes later when defender David Easter picked up his second yellow card of the competition and was sent off. His second yellow card came on a foul on center-back Manuel Lombardoni.
Inter took advantage of the man shortage in the 42nd minute when Rover picked up his first goal. It came as Pinamonti directed a strike at goal that was off the mark. Rover cleaned up the miss and put the Nerazzurri up 2-1 before halftime.
“We were controlling the game,” Vecchi said. “We were able to get back on track with Pinamonti’s free kick and their numerical inferiority made things easier for us.”
Jens Odgaard put the game out of reach after halftime when he was taken down in the box by Schultz. Odgaard stepped up and put the penalty shot home in the 54th to give Inter the 3-1 advantage.
Rover tacked on his double in the 73rd.
UEFA Youth League
Domestic Champions Path
Inter Milan 4, Esbjerg 1
Inter Milan 2 2 — 4
Esbjerg 1 0 — 1
First half: Larsen (23’) ESB, Pinamonti (38’) INT, Rover (42’) INT; Second half: Odgaard (54’ PEN) INT, Rover (73’) INT.
Cautions: Moller (E), Schultz (E), Kikkenborg (E), Gavioli (I), Rover (I), Zaniolo (I).
Red Card: Easter (41’) E – second yellow card.
INTER: 1 Dekic; 2 Valietti (30' 13 Zappa), 4 Bettella, 6 Lombardoni, 3 Sala; 8 Gavioli, 5 Brignoli (65' 16 Visconti), 10 Zaniolo, 7 Rover; 11 Odgaard, 9 Pinamonti (76' 18 Colidio)
Bench: 12 Tintori, 14 Nolan, 15 Rada, 19 Merola
Coach: Stefano Vecchi
ESBJERG: 16 Kikkenborg; 14 Olsen, 4 Sonderlund, 5 Schultz (68' 20 Lonne), 2 Mortensen; 3 Baekgard, 6 Easter; 19 Ankersen (58' 9 P. Egelund), 7 Larsen, 10 M. Egelund (78' 21 Nielsen); 18 Moller
Bench: 1 Kostow, 11 Holm, 12 Korkmaz, 22 Rejnhold
Coach: Lars Vind