UEFA Europa League
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza (San Siro), Milan, Italy
76′ Brozović Sent off (Second bookable offence)
Southampton’s first visit to the San Siro was a disappointing one as they were narrowly defeated 1-0 to ten-men Inter Milan in their third Group K match in the Europa League.
A rasping first-time effort from Antonio Candreva, against the run of play in the second-half, earned the Italian side their first victory of the competition. Prior to the Nerazzurri’s goal, the Saints dominated and even had a goal disallowed. Inter’s goal was their only shot on target in the entire match, in which they were reduced to ten-men after Marcelo Brozović was dismissed for two bookable offences.
The visitors started brightly but gifted the Nerazzurri a good chance after three minutes when a poor back-pass from Cuco Martina was seized upon by Mauro Icardi. The Argentine managed to get to the ball ahead of Fraser Forster but the angle was tight and instead tried to find a teammate with a back-heel but Forster dealt with the threat.
The Saint went close in the 27th minute from an Inter freekick. The visitors broke on the counter-attack with Jay Rodriguez, who found Sam McQueen, who seeked out the former after Samir Handanović ricocheted the ball off the striker. The loose ball had to be cleared off the line by Yuto Nagatomo.
A minute later the visitors went close again when Martina found James Ward-Prowse, who fired an effort just over the bar.
In the 37th minute the visitors nearly made the breakthrough when a Martina cross was flicked-on by Shane Long, whose header just evaded the sliding-in Rodriguez at the back-post.
Three minutes later the hosts went close when a clearing header from Maya Yoshida fell to Éder, who fired an effort inches wide of the bottom-corner.
Five minutes into the restart the visitors thought they had taken the lead when a Saints corner was headed home by Rodriguez but the referee had already blown for a foul from Virgil Van Dijk and the goal was chalked-off.
A minute later the Italian side had a good chance when Éder found skipper Icardi but he could only fire wide.
A minute later the visitors went close when Rodriguez found substitute Charlie Austin, who fired an effort inches wide of the bottom-corner.
In the 66th minute the Nerazzurri took the lead against the run of play. Davide Santon pulled the ball back to Candreva, who unleashed a vicious strike into the top-corner past a helpless Forster.
The Nerazzurri had a good chance to double their lead six minutes later when an Inter corner was met by the off-balance Jeison Murillo, who headed a free-header just over the bar.
Four minutes later the visitors were given a lifeline when the already-booked Brozović, fouled Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and received a second yellow card before seeing red.
In the 81st minute the visitors went close to making the man-advantage count when a Ward-Prowse freekick was met by Van Dijk on the volley, but he somehow fired the effort straight at Handanović, who instinctively palmed the effort away.
Van Dijk had another opportunity six minutes later when a Saints corner was met by the Dutchman, whose header was palmed away by Handanović before the hosts scrambled the ball behind for another corner.
From the resulting-corner the Saints went close again when the delivery fell to Austin but the striker’s effort was instinctively smothered away by Handanović.
With a minute to play the Saints had one last chance when Van Dijk found Ward-Prowse on the edge of the area, the midfielder volleyed an effort at goal but it flew just inches wide of the top-corner.
The result meant that Inter remained at the bottom of Group K on three points despite picking up their first victory of the competition. Southampton dropped to second on four points after Sparta Prague defeated Hapoel Be’er Sheva. Sparta Prague’s victory put the Czech side on top on six points whilst Hapoel Be’er Sheva remained in third on four points.