Inter were comprehensively out-played for most of the match after gifting a goal in the first four minutes, but Lautaro Martinez snatched a precious point away to Real Sociedad.

The Nerazzurri reached the Final last season and that boosted their confidence going into the next term, winning four out of four in Serie A including Saturday’s 5-1 victory over rivals Milan. Hakan Calhanoglu and Juan Cuadrado were ruled out by injury, replaced by Kristjan Asllani, while Benjamin Pavard made his debut plus Marko Arnautovic and Carlos Augusto stepping in.

It was a disastrous start for Simone Inzaghi’s men, as first they were saved by the woodwork on Ander Barrenetxea, then moments later Alessandro Bastoni was harassed on the edge of the area into losing possession cheaply after a poor pass from Yann Sommer, allowing Brais Mendez to score relatively undisturbed.

Robin Le Normand’s diving header was also just off target from six yards on the Takefusa Kubo cross, then Mikel Oyarzabal was offside when the crossbar was rattled.

On the stroke of half-time, Kubo forced a tricky save out of Yann Sommer at a tight angle, as Inter were hanging on.

After the restart, Sommer made two tough saves on the Mendez free kick, then an even better reaction to deny Oyarzabal’s header on the corner. Stefan de Vrij also ran a big risk on that corner with an arm in Le Normand’s face, as VAR did not consider it enough to warrant a penalty.

Inzaghi had to make changes after an awful performance, introducing Marcus Thuram, Federico Dimarco and Davide Frattesi.

There was controversy when the referee showed a straight red card to Nicoló Barella on 66 minutes for what he thought was a stamp on Mendez. However, VAR allowed Michael Oliver to review the footage and understand it was nothing more than Barella getting his foot tangled up between Mendez’s legs and trying to free himself, so the card was revoked.

Real Sociedad remained dangerous and Merino’s header thumped the crossbar on a Kubo corner moments later.

Inter had the ball in the back of the net on 79 minutes when Carlos Augusto rolled across for Marcus Thuram to tap in, but the ex-Monza man was offside.

Despite being dominated for most of the match, Inter equalised with their first shot on target. A Davide Frattesi wayward shot from the edge of the area turned into an assist for Lautaro Martinez to score from a tight angle at the back post.

Real Sociedad 1-1 Inter

Mendez 4 (RS), Lautaro Martinez 87 (I)

20-09-2023 20:00
Matchday 1

Player statistic

1st half
Brais Méndez Goal 4'    
    13' Yellow card Kristjan Asllani
2nd half
    60' Yellow card Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Mikel Merino Yellow card 70'    
    70' Yellow card Davide Frattesi
    87' Goal Lautaro Martínez
(Assist: Davide Frattesi)
Hamari Traoré Yellow card 88'    
Igor Zubeldia Yellow card 90+5'    

Match statistic

45
Possession %
55
14
Total shots
6
5
Shots on target
1
5
Shots off target
4
4
Blocked shots
1
7
Corners
4
1
Offsides
5
14
Fouls
14
Real Sociedad
Inter

Starting lineups

1
Goalkeeper
18
Defender
5
Defender
17
Defender
62'
24
Defender
4
Midfielder
8
Midfielder
14
Midfielder
72'
7
62'
23
Attacker
85'
10
Attacker
72'
1
Goalkeeper
95
55'
28
Defender
2
Defender
6
Defender
76'
30
Midfielder
22
Midfielder
69'
21
Midfielder
55'
23
Midfielder
10
8
Attacker
55'

Substitutes

15
30
Goalkeeper
22
Midfielder
13
Goalkeeper
16
12
Midfielder
28
Midfielder
3
Defender
62'
11
Attacker
62'
2
72'
19
Attacker
72'
20
Defender
85'
77
Goalkeeper
36
Defender
14
Midfielder
12
Goalkeeper
31
Defender
16
Midfielder
55'
32
Defender
55'
9
Attacker
55'
70
Attacker
69'
15
Defender
76'

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