UEFA Europa League
Generali Arena, Prague, Czech Republic
6′ V. Kadlec
25′ V. Kadlec
74′ Ranocchia Sent off (Second bookable offence)
Sparta Prague defeated ten-men Inter Milan 3-1 at the Generali Arena in Prague to inflict a second consecutive Europa League defeat on new Nerazzurri manager Frank De Boer.
A first-half brace from Václav Kadlec gave the home side a comfortable lead at the break before Mario Holek sealed the victory for the Czechs after Andrea Ranocchia was dismissed for a second bookable offence minutes after Rodrigo Palacio briefly pulled a goal back for the Italians 26 minutes into the second-half.
The hosts started well and went close in the third minute when V. Kadlec won possession and surged forward before firing a deflected effort that Samir Handanović saved with ease.
Three minutes later the hosts took the lead. Aleš Čermák found V. Kadlec, who did well to evade a poor, rash challenge from Felipe Melo before firing home into the bottom-corner.
In the 16th minute the Czech side should have been awarded a penalty after V. Kadlec went to ground under a clumsy challenge from Jeison Murillo but the referee was unmoved.
Ten minutes later Sparta doubled their lead. A quickly-taken freekick by Martin Frýdek, found V. Kadlec, who coolly slotted home past Handanović.
A minute into the restart the Czech side should have sealed the victory. Daniel Holzer beat Ranocchia with ease before sending in a dangerous delivery across the face of goal into the path of Vyacheslav Karavayev, who fired into the side-netting from a tight-angle.
Four minutes later V. Kadlec should have completed his hat-trick. Michal Kadlec found his namesake with a fine cross-field pass and the striker had just Handanović to beat, but the striker fired over the bar.
A minute after the hour-mark, the Italian side had their first shot on-target. Palacio was played through via a lofted pass and composed himself before firing an effort that Tomáš Koubek saved comfortably with his feet.
Ten minutes later the Italians pulled a goal back when Éder took advantage of a series of ricochets to find Palacio, who fired home past Koubek.
However the goal was short-lived as three minutes later, the already-booked Ranocchia was dismissed for a late foul on substitute Matěj Pulkrab. The Italian received a second yellow before he was given his marching orders.
Sparta took immediate advantage from the resulting freekick when Bořek Dočkal’s delivery was headed back across goal by Ondřej Mazuch into the path of Holek, who headed home on the goal-line.
Seven minutes later V. Kadlec looked to complete his hat-trick. The striker was found on the left and cut-inside before bending an effort at goal, but Handanović made an easy stop.
Four minutes later the Nerazzurri had a great chance to reduce the deficit when substitute Mauro Icardi found Éder, who did well to get the better of his man before firing wide when placed one-on-one with Koubek.
The result meant that Sparta Prague moved into third on three points whilst Inter remain bottom without a point. Southampton remained on top of Group K with four points; ahead of second-placed Hapoel Be’er Sheva (also on four points) on goal difference. It was the second consecutive Europa League defeat for the Italian side.