- Inter Milan were forced to settle for a point at the San Siro against Group F minnows Slavia Prague
- The Czech side struck in the 63rd minute after Peter Olayinka swept home a rebound from close range
- Antonio Conte’s side were frustrated in the group opener and struggled to break down their opponents
- Romelu Lukaku toiled up front for the hosts but was unable to make an impact on the European clash
- The hosts’ blushes were spared inside second half stoppage time through Nicolo Barella’s well-taken strike
Inter Milan required an injury-time equaliser from Nicolo Barella to earn a 1-1 draw with Slavia Prague in the opening match of the Champions League on Tuesday.
Barella volleyed in the rebound after a free kick from Stefano Sensi hit the crossbar.
Slavia’s 23-year-old striker Peter Olayinka was dangerous throughout and put the visitors ahead shortly after the hour mark by turning in a rebound from close range.
Romelu Lukaku was handed his Champions League debut for Inter Milan but failed to score as the Italian side were held
The visitors punished Inter’s profligacy in the 63rd minute when Peter Olayinka fired home a rebound from close range
Nicolo Barella rescued a late point for Inter after his volley on 92 minutes hurtled through a crowd of bodies to beat Kolar.
Inter Milan: Handanovic, D’Ambrosio, de Vrij, Skriniar, Candreva (Lazaro 49), Gagliardini, Brozovic (Barella 71), Sensi, Asamoah, Lukaku, Martinez (Politano 71)
Unused substitutes: Godin, Sanchez, Vecino, Padelli
Scorers: Barella 90+2
Booked: Asamoah, Martinez, Politano
Slavia Praha: Kolar, Coufal, Kudela, Hovorka, Boril, Traore (Zeleny 60), Soucek, Husbauer, Stanciu, Masopust (Helal 79), Olayinka (Provod 85)
Unused substitutes: Tecl, Skoda, Frydrych, Markovic
Scorers: Olayinka 63
Booked: Hovorka, Soucek
Inter won their opening three matches in Serie A to open up a two-point lead atop the Italian league but Antonio Conte’s side struggled from the start against the Czech champions, recording only one shot on goal in the first half.
Making matters more difficult, key Inter midfielder Antonio Candreva went off shortly after the break with an apparent injury.
Slavia beat CFR Cluj 1-0 twice in the playoffs to qualify for the group phase, having given eventual champions Chelsea a tough game in last season’s Europa League quarter-finals, losing 4-3 on aggregate.
Slavia nearly doubled their lead but a free kick from Nicolae Stanciu went just wide and then an attempt from Lukas Masopust sailed high.
Slavia goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar, who was also a key to the success against Cluj, prevented Inter from scoring a late winner when he made a one-handed save to deny Romelu Lukaku’s header in the final minutes of injury time.
Slavia had lost all of their six previous matches in Italy.
The Italian side struggled to break down Slavia Praha at the San Siro in the first half and entered the interval goalless
Boss Antonio Conte was typically animated on the sidelines and appeared visibly frustrated with his side’s performance
Danilo D’Ambrosio had come closest for the hosts after forcing Slavia goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar into action to parry a header
Lukaku’s strike partner Lautaro Martinez was guilty of squandering a couple of good opportunities to hand Inter the lead
Jaroslav Zeleny had forced home stopper Samir Handanovic to save low to his left but Olayinka pounced to open the scoring