DÜSSELDORF, Germany (AP) — Romelu Lukaku scored one goal and set up another as Inter Milan defeated a tenacious Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 to reach the Europa League semifinals on Monday.
Lukaku was the driving force from the start, imposing himself on the game and disrupting the Leverkusen defense to keep Inter in the hunt for its first trophy in nine years.
When Nicolo Barella gave Inter the lead in the 15th minute it was off a rebound from a shot of Lukaku’s which had been blocked. Six minutes later, Lukaku scored after a link up with Ashley Young.
Just as Inter threatened to overwhelm Leverkusen, the German team kept itself in the game. Kai Havertz played a one-two with Kevin Volland and fired the ball past goalkeeper Samir Handanovic to cut the gap to a single goal four minutes after Lukaku scored.
A video review stopped Inter extending its lead, overturning a penalty given for handball against Leverkusen left back Daley Sinkgraven. Leverkusen pushed hard to level in the second half but that opened up chances for Inter and Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky was called on to make repeated saves.
Inter plays Shakhtar Donetsk or Basel in the semifinals om Aug. 17. The Ukrainian and Swiss clubs play their quarterfinal on Tuesday.
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