Inter Milan were knocked out of the Champions League in the group stage for the third season in a row on Wednesday after being held to a 0-0 draw at home by Shakhtar Donetsk, who was also knocked out.
Lautaro Martinez rocked the crossbar in the seventh minute of the Group B game, but Inter created few chances afterwards, despite dominating possession in a soggy San Siro, and mustered just four efforts on target.
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Shakhtar finished tied with Borussia Monchengladbach with eight points, but lost to the Bundesliga – beaten 2-0 by Real Madrid – on their head-to-head record to finish third and enter the Europa League at the square.
Inter, who could have claimed a win, finished last in the group with six points after making three of their six games and won’t even have the consolation of the second-string competition.
Real won the group with 10 points.
Inter, who beat Shakhtar 5-0 in the Europa League semi-finals last season in August, had to win to qualify and also to see the other game, between Real Madrid and Borussia Monchengladbach, do not end in a draw.
Martinez almost got the early breakthrough they needed, but his shot hit the center cross of Nicolo Barella.
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After that, Inter forced a succession of turns and tried their luck at long distance, but gave little to do for 19-year-old Shakhtar goalkeeper Anatolii Trubin.
Romelu Lukaku saw a header stopped by Trubin after the break before the Shakhtar started mounting his own attacks.
Tete, one of six Brazilian-born players in Shakhtar’s starting lineup, tested Samir Handanovic with a sparkling long-range shot and Maycon sent the rebound over the bar.
Trubin pushed a Christian Eriksen training under the bar in the stoppage time as Inter’s European season came to a disappointing conclusion.
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