Inter Milan made it through to the Champions League knockout stages with a comfortable win over Viktoria Plzen 4-0.
The Serie A side were dominant throughout and opened the scoring when Henrikh Mkhitaryan headed home an Alessandro Bastoni cross.
Edin Dzeko doubled their lead tapping home after Inter sliced a weak Plzen side apart.
The veteran striker then scored again calmly finishing with his weaker foot after a smart move by Simone Inzaghi’s men.
Romelu Lukaku then added a fourth after coming on as a late substitute, his first appearance since August after recovering from an injury.
The win ensures that Barcelona are out of the competition and will drop into the Europa League.
TALKING POINT – INTER CRUISE TO VICTORY
Inter winning and making it through to the Round of 16 never looked in doubt. Barcelona needed Plzen to do them a favour and even sent them messages of support prior to the game but with no luck. They did not have the quality to ever trouble Inter – there was a clear gulf in class between the teams.
The Italian giants played with confidence and kept the ball extremely well. Bastoni and Milan Skriniar are both fantastic on the ball and commanding in defence. Wing-backs Federico Dimarco and Denzel Dumfries push high up the pitch and play similar to wingers most of the time. The midfield has a plethora of technical players and Lautaro Martinez’s willingness to run the channels works perfectly alongside a target man like Dzeko or Lukaku. Inzaghi has built a great team.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – FEDERICO DIMARCO
Dzeko’s brace will grab the headlines but Dimarco was exceptional tonight. He may be a wing-back but he didn’t do much defending, he didn’t have to. He was a constant threat staying high and wide on the left and his crossing was an absolute joy. His balls into the box fly in at pace and he always picks his man out.
His assist for Dzeko’s goal was excellent calmy volleying a pass across for the Bosnian.
Inter Milan: Onana 7, Skriniar 7, Acerbi 6, Bastoni 8, Dumfries 6, Barella 7, Calhanoglu 7, Mkhitaryan 8, Dimarco 9, Dzeko 9, Martinez 8.
Subs: Correa 6, Asllani 6, Gosens 6, Lukaku 8, Gagliardini 6.
Viktoria Plzen: Stanek 7, Hejda 6, Pernica 4, Tijani 5, Havel 5, Bucha 5, Kalvach 5, Mosquera 4, Jirka 4, Vlkanova 6, Bassey 5
Subs: Chory 5, Holik 5, Jemelka 5, N’Diaye 5, Pilar 5.
35′ GOAL (MKHITARYAN) – It’s been coming – again Bastoni comes out the back and overlaps Dimarco, he crosses to the back post where Mkhitaryan is waiting and he heads in.
42′ GOAL (DZEKO) – Wow – what a goal and Dzeko scores from close range. Barella plays an oustanding switch to Dimarco – he controls it and puts it on a plate for Dzeko to tap home.
66′ GOAL (DZEKO) – Mkhitaryan flicks it over the defence to Martinez, he turns and rolls it across to Dzeko who strokes it into the bottom corner.
87′ GOAL (LUKAKU) – He is back with a bang. Typical Lukaku. The ball is played into his feet and Lukaku rolls his man, combines with Correa who slides him in and the Belgian striker finishes clinically.