MILAN (Reuters) – Shakhtar Donetsk were knocked out of the Inter Milan Champions League on Wednesday after being held to a 0-0 draw at home in the group stage for the third season in a row.
La Toro Martinez hit the crossbar in the seventh minute of the Group B match, but Inter then created some chances, despite a dominance at San Siro, only targeting four attempts.
Shakhtar ended the draw with Borussia Moysenkalatpak by eight points, but lost to the Bundesliga – Real Madrid 2-0 – in their first-ever head-to-head record of finishing third, instead going to the Europa League.
Inter, who could have crossed the line for a win, finished the bottom of the group with six points after failing to draw at home in three of their six games, and the second-string match would not even be comforting.
Real beat the team by 10 points.
“There are a lot of regrets, however, that I don’t really feel there is a lack of trickery, determination or concentration,” said Inter coach Antonio Conte. “We don’t have a goal. If you don’t get the score you won’t win.”
Inter, who beat Shakhtar 5-0 in the Europa League semi-finals last August, needed to qualify and watch the rest of the match, not ending in a draw between Real Madrid and Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Martinez made the early progress they needed, but his shot was deflected off the cross by Nicolo Parella.
After that, Inter forced consecutive corners and tried their luck from a long distance, but Shakhtar’s 19-year-old goalkeeper did nothing for Anatoly Trobin.
Romelu Lukaku saw a header stopped by the troop after the break before Shakhtar could launch some of their own attacks.
Ted, one of six players born in Brazil in Shakhtar’s starting line-up, tested Samir Handanovic with a long-range shot that sent Megan past the bar.
As Inter’s European season came to an end, Trobin was sent off by a Christian Eriksen run stoppage.
“It’s great that we’ve gifted our supporters the opportunity to play European football in the spring,” Trobin said. “Of course, we wanted to continue our path in the UEFA Champions League, but we could have been eliminated, so now everything is fine.”
Written by Brian Homewood; Compilation of Claire Fallen