Ludogorets lost 0:2 to Inter despite playing at the absolute limit. The Italian team fought hard to achieve their first win in Bulgaria.
The champions’ coach Pavel Vrba included all his best players in the team composition except Keseru, whose place was taken by Swierczok. Inter’s coach Antonio Conte left his scorer Lukaku as a replacement player and let Martinez and Sanchez lead instead.
Biraghi tried to score a couple of minutes after the game began but a Ludogorets defender kicked the ball out. The action took place in the home team’s half at first but they eventually pushed it back towards the center.
Vesino took a long shot in the 18th minute but he was not accurate. Moses passed to Eriksen six minutes later, but Iliev saved the following goal attempt.
Eriksen tried to score again in the 29th minute but Iliev intervened even before he had the chance to kick the ball. The first half ended with zero goals scored.
Inter applied pressure as soon as the second half began. They had the best chance to score in the 50th minute when Moses passed to Sanchez and the Chilean player kicked the ball with his heel. Iliev was able to divert it.
Martinez’s powerful shot in the 53rd minute did not reach the gate. Nedyalkov kicked the ball towards the center after that situation but there was nobody to receive it. Eriksen kicked the ball again ten minutes later, and he used his left foot this time. Iliev performed great once gain and saved.
Lukaku entered the field in the 64th minute, replacing Martinez. The new VAR system was used for the first time in Bulgaria just minutes later. Ludogorets demanded a penalty kick because D’Ambrosio played with his hand, but the referee decided there was no penalty after agreeing with the assistant referees. Nedyalkov tried to score twenty minutes before the end but he was too far to do it.
Inter took the lead in the 71st minute when Eriksen left no chance for Iliev to save. Lukaku send the ball to him and the Danish player scored easily. He tried to repeat the same seconds after the first goal but he hit the woodwork.
The referee used VAR once again in the last minute and decided there was a penalty. Lukaku scored for 0:2.
LUDOGORETS – INTER 0:2
0:2 Lukaku (90' +4) - penalty
Ludogorets: Iliev, Nedyalkov, Cicinho, Grigore, Terziev, Oliveira (90 – Biton), Dyakov (67 – Badji), Marcelinho, Wanderson, Anicet, Swierczok (76 – Tchibota)
Inter: Padelli, D’Ambrosio, Biraghi (81 – Young), Ranocchia, Godin, Valero, Vesino, Moses (72 – Barella), Eriksen, Martinez (64 – Lukaku), Sanchez
Yellow cards: Grigore, Tchibota (Ludogorets); Martinez (Inter).