Wolves triumph at Inter to reach Europa League last eight
Milan - VfL Wolfsburg eased into the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals after beating FC Internazionale de Milano 2-1 away on Thursday evening, going through with a 5-2 aggregate victory.
Daniel Caligiuri's first-half goal effectively killed the tie off, and although Rodrigo Palacio equalised for Inter after the break it was not enough to alter the outcome, as substitute Nicklas Bendtner scored a fine goal late on to finally hammer the nail in the hosts' coffin.
Wolfsburg in front
With the home side looking to overcome a 3-1 deficit from the first leg last week, it was no surprise to see them start at a frantic pace in an effort to pull a goal back early on. Indeed, Inter twice went close in the opening period and the match could have taken on a very different complexion if Wolves goalkeeper Diego Benaglio had not been in such fine form, saving superbly from Hernanes and Mauro Icardi. Yet Hecking’s charges replied by dealing a hefty blow to Inter’s optimism and taking the lead. Timm Klose’s exquisite curling pass released Kevin De Bruyne down the left wing, allowing the Belgian attacker to cross for Caligiuri, who slotted home with a first-time effort. Inter almost got a foothold in the game on the stroke of half-time when Wolfsburg failed to clear a cross from the right, but Benaglio again pulled off an outstanding save to block Fredy Guarin’s close-range shot.
Bendtner on target
The expected early second-half onslaught from the hosts failed to materialise, with the Italians seemingly content to build patiently from the back. If Inter coach Roberto Mancini’s strategy was to lull the guests into a false sense of security then it worked, as Benaglio was again called upon to make a couple of smart saves. There was little he could do to stop Inter equalising, however, with Palacio getting the better of him following a well-worked move on the edge of the area. The hosts pressed with greater intensity as a result, leaving large gaps in midfield for Wolfsburg to exploit on the break. They endeavoured to do so, but, having already eased off by that stage, their passing became sloppy and chances swiftly vanished. One final flurry in the last minute of the game led to Maximilian Arnold setting up Bendtner for an excellent goal on the half volley, sealing a 2-1 win on the night and Wolfsburg's place in the last eight of the competition.