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Friday, February 15, 2019

Rapid Vienna 0 Inter 1: Martinez makes up for missing Icardi

Inter are in control of their Europa League last-32 tie with Rapid Vienna thanks to Thursday's 1-0 victory in Austria.
A penalty from Argentine striker Lautaro Martinez six minutes before half-time was enough to give Luciano Spalletti's side the win, their second in a row in all competitions.
Much of the pre-match talk centred around Mauro Icardi, who was stripped of the club captaincy and then withdrew from the travelling squad, which he suggested was due to injury.
His compatriot made the most of a first start in Europe for the club, winning and converting the spot-kick to give his side the edge ahead of next week's return game at San Siro.
Inter's dominance of the ball yielded few early opportunities for Martinez, selected as the visitors' attacking spearhead in place of the missing Icardi.
There was a long delay when Mario Sonnleitner had to have a nasty cut to his head stapled after an accidental clash with Stefan de Vrij, and, three minutes after the restart, Manuel Thurnwald's clumsy challenge on Martinez allowed the forward to dispatch the ball calmly down the middle of the goal.
Rapid had a Dejan Ljubicic goal disallowed for offside shortly before the interval, before substitute Christoph Knasmullner forced Samir Handanovic into a one-handed stop from Veton Berisha's cut-back, but Inter repelled the home side's threat with relative ease to claim a valuable result.