Edin Dzeko and Arturo Vidal impressed as Inter Milan get their first win of the UEFA Champions League campaign against group leaders Sheriff Tiraspol.

Serie A champions Inter Milan put up a stellar performance against Sheriff Tiraspol that not only saw them pick up their first win of the campaign but also stop the visitors in their tracks following their two-game win streak in the competition.

The Nerazzurri dominated the proceedings in the first half and had a number of opportunities to score. The breakthrough came in the 34th minute when Arturo Vidal flicked on a corner for Edin Dzeko to bury the ball into the back of the net. The veteran striker did not need to be asked  twice and took his opportunity well.

Dzeko went close once again shortly after while Ivan Perisic also had an opportunity to extend their side’s lead. It was not to be and the Italian giants went in one goal to the good at the break. Sebastian Thill, though, stunned Inter with an equaliser early in the second half and it looked as if the Moldovian side’s fairytale would continue. However, Vidal had other ideas and quickly restored Inter’s lead with a well-taken effort from Dzeko’s assist.

Veteran defender Stefan de Vrij went on to score Inter’s third of the night in the 67th minute as Simone Inzaghi’s side stamped their authority on the game. The scoreline would remain the same as Inter completed a well-earned win.

The win means Inter have picked up four points from their first three games. They are now two points off the summit of the group and put themselves in a good position to qualify for the Round of 16.

Given the disjointed performance against Lazio at the weekend, this was a timely reminder of just why Inter Milan are the defending Italian champions. We, at the Hard Tackle, now take a look at how the Inter players fared on the night.

Samir Handanovic: 6/10

The veteran was largely alert and saved whatever was thrown at him. However, he should have done a better job with Sebastian Thill’s free-kick. Marked his 400th appearance for the club with all three points.

Milan Skriniar: 6/10

Not the defender’s best performance but held his own largely against the Sheriff frontline. Was bailed out by Handanovic on one occasion and to his credit, he got better in the second half.

Stefan de Vrij: 6/10

A dependable presence at the back, the Dutchman led the Inter defence mostly with ease. It is a testament to Adama Traore’s skill that he was able to drag the veteran out of position on numerous occasions.  He also scored Inter’s third goal of the night, giving them breathing space.

Federico Dimarco: 6/10

The 23-year-old put in an excellent performance that certainly caught the eye. His defensive solidity was only matched by the set-piece prowess he displayed. Alongside Hakan Calhanoglu, the Nerazzurri appear to have another dead ball maestro who can cause havoc. Made a mess by conceding the free-kick that led to Thill’s equaliser. Taken off for Alessandro Bastoni, who added more steel at the back.

Denzel Dumfries: 8/10

A performance that saw the young Dutchman show off his best qualities. Dumfries made great use of his pace and was a constant menace for Sheriff down the right flank. He grabbed himself an assist for De Vrij’s goal but will consider himself unlucky not to have netted on the night.

Nicolo Barella: 6/10

A quiet night for the Italian international by his standards. Put in an industrious performance and was not afraid to get stuck in. Was largely content to let Vidal take the limelight instead on the night.

Marcelo Brozovic: 7/10

Continues to showcase why Inter should wrap up contract negotiations with him soon. Dominated the midfield on the night, providing others with the platform to attack. Brozovic also delivered two excellent corners from which Inter scored twice.

Arturo Vidal: 8/10

Rolled back the years in a performance that showcased him at his best. The Chilean was everywhere and aided Dzeko with his opener. He scored the all-important second goal for Inter that restored their lead and put them on course for the three points on the night.

Ivan Perisic: 6/10

The Croat struggled in an advanced role in the attack at the weekend. He, however, looked in his elements back in the left wing-back slot and was a constant menace down his flank. Struck the woodwork twice and put in a number of dangerous crosses. Proving himself to be a reliable outlet down the left.

Edin Dzeko: 9/10

Another player who made up for his poor outing against Lazio at the weekend. Took Inter’s opener well and served as the club’s focal point in attack. He returned the favour to Vidal by assisting him for the second goal and caused the Sheriff defence many problems. Inter’s best player on the night.

Lautaro Martinez: 6/10

An industrious performance by the South American, although he lacked the cutting edge on the night.  Almost stored late on but saw his well-taken volley tipped over the bar. 

SUBSTITUTES

Alessandro Bastoni: 6/10

The youngster replaced Dimarco early in the second half.  Added much-needed solidity to the backline following Thill’s equaliser. An excellent case for him to return against Juventus this coming weekend.

Roberto Gagliardini: 7/10

An excellent performance off the bench that kept Sheriff on their toes. His movement was hard to pin down and caused panic in the opposition lines. He also helped keep the ball well and often an into channels.

Alexis Sanchez: 5/10

A largely ineffective 20 minutes by the Chilean, who looks out of form and shape.

Stefano Sensi: N/A

Lasted just eight minutes but gave a good account of what he can bring to the side should he stay fit. A potentially pivotal player in the games to come.

Aleksandar Kolarov: N/A

A decent cameo from the veteran. Nothing much to write home about.

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