Liverpool were the better side by the numbers in both legs but a close aggregate scoreline means Inter Milan are left with regrets.
Inter Milan beat Liverpool 1-0 at Anfield on Tuesday night, a strong result for the Serie A giants but not enough to overturn a two-goal first leg deficit. They were also by most measures outplayed on the night.
The Reds had nearly two-thirds of the possession, completed a third more passes, and created nearly two expected goals compared to Inter, with the visitors creating less than half an expected goal on the night.
Still, they played Liverpool closer than many have this season, and with an aggregate 2-1 final scoreline it’s understandable the Italian club and its fans might today find themselves dreaming of a different outcome.
“We have got to this stage for the first time in 11 years and ended up perhaps playing the strongest team in Europe and we were their equals,” manager Simon Inzaghi reflected following Tuesday night’s result.
“We put in two tremendous performances, and in the San Siro we probably played even better than this evening [so] I’m more bitter about what happened in the San Siro rather than tonight. I regret that result.”
He’s not entirely wrong—in the first leg, Liverpool created slightly fewer expected goals and Inter slight more. On balance, though, the Reds were still significantly ahead of their opponents when it came to chance creation.
Taken together, if anything it’s Inter who are today flattered by the overall scoreline. Things were close enough, though, that on another night with another bounce or two going their way they could have upset the Reds.
“Sometimes it needs just a single episode to change the course of a game,” Inzaghi added, lamenting his side’s missed opportunities and and a second yellow for Alexis Sanchez that helped Liverpool see out the tie.