Nonetheless, the teams will return to the Giuseppe Meazza next week to decide who advances to the next round of the Europa League after a 0-0 draw at the Commerzbank Arena in Frankfurt.
A penalty shot in the latter stages of the first half was a golden opportunity for the Nerazzurri to return to Italy with a goal advantage. However, it was not to be.
Inter started the match lively, dominating possession against a Frankfurt team known for its scoring prowess.
Danilo D’Ambrosio had the first shot of the match in the 3rd minute, but it was saved by Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp.
Three consecutive set pieces in the 5th minute yielded three more shots for Inter, but Kwadwo Asamoah, Lautaro Martinez and Stefan de Vrij all failed to convert.
Die Adler didn’t collect their first attempts at goal until the 14th minute after Sebastien Haller tried a left-footed shot across the left side of goal that missed.
Luka Jovic also tried his luck from outside the area, but his delivery went wide. A minute later, Samir Handanovic was called into action when Mijat Gacinovic tried a shot from the right that was saved.
Finally, in the 21st minute, Martinez drew a penalty in the area after a soft foul. However, Marcelo Brozovic’s shot was saved by Trapp in the right corner.
But, Inter continued to press the attack with shots coming from Milan Skriniar and Matteo Politano in the 22nd and 23rd minutes, respectively.
Skriniar's backheel flick pic.twitter.com/75EnkGFNON— InterYaSkrinYa (@InterYaSkrinYa) March 7, 2019
After that series, however, Inter got a little lax as Frankfurt started to find their legs.
Luka Jovic tried a shot in the 30th minute after being found near the area by Filip Kostic, but Jovic’s shot was blocked away.
But, in the second half, Die Adler seemed to come alive.
Martin Hinteregger missed a couple of opportunities early in the second half as Frankfurt seemed to be able to check Inter’s midfield and avoid service forward.
Inter’s offense was shut down so much that the Nerazzurri didn’t have an attempt at goal until the 83rd minute when Milan Skriniar’s header from the center of the area was too high after a cross in from Brozovic.
That would be the first and only attempt Inter would have on goal in the second half.
In the meantime, Frankfurt peppered Inter’s defense regularly as they seemed to find a rhythm. Jovic, Jetro Willems and Goncalo Paciencia each had opportunities late in the match, but could not find an opening.
Now, the teams will return for the second leg at the Giuseppe Meazza a week from Thursday. Inter will be back in Serie A action Sunday when they host SPAL.
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