Despite losing 3-1 in Germany, there was still an air of optimism in Milan before the second-leg tie between Inter Milan and Wolfsburg. The Italian side would only need a two-goal victory in the San Siro to send them through.
A superb goalkeeping performance from Diego Benaglio and goals from Daniel Caligiuri ended Roberto Mancini’s hopes as the Germans performed well both home and away.
Wolfsburg’s comfortable 3-1 win in Germany set up Dieter Hecking’s side beautifully, but it would only have taken an Inter goal to put them under pressure, and give the San Siro fans hope of turning it around.
Inter had their chances, both Gary Medel and Mauro Icardi had very good efforts saved by Benaglio. The Swiss goalkeeper was on top-form and wasn’t about to make life easy for the Italian side.
Any remaining hope the Italians had was wiped away after 24 minutes. The man of the moment, Kevin De Bruyne, was played down the left and his inch-perfect low cross found Caligiuri and the German midfielder, ironically of Italian descent, tucked it past Juan Pablo Carizzo.
One of the biggest problems for Robert Mancini’s side is his defence. The attack is very dangerous and that was shown by the six very good chances Benaglio had to keep out, but the back-line was never going to contain a talented Wolfsburg forward unit.
Bendtner made his entrance on the 64th minute, and with Inter having to score three, the result was all but secured. Rodrigo Palacio would get one back after a beautiful one-two with Hernanes, but it wouldn’t be enough.
The result was sealed with just minutes remaining when Maximillian Arnold found the Danish striker and Bendtner did well to fire his shot into the ground. The bounce beat Carizzo and former Arsenal man wheeled away knowing he had sealed Wolfsburg’s passage into the quarter-finals.