Former team-mates Simone Inzaghi and Sérgio Conceição meet in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League, as Inter host Porto at the Giuseppe Meazza stadium.
Inzaghi played alongside Conceição at Lazio in 1999/2000 and 2003/04, but must now get rid of his former colleague as Inter, who have never lost at home to a Portuguese club, look to reach the quarter-finals final for the first time since 2010/11.
Porto have reached the quarter-finals in two of the last four seasons.
Conceição, an Inter player of two seasons, is trying to outdo his former club to take the Portuguese to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League for the eighth time in his history.
Inter reached the round of 16 for the second consecutive season by finishing second in Group C, eight points behind Bayern Munich but three points ahead of Barcelona. Porto, meanwhile, bounced back from their first two defeats to win their next four games to snatch top spot in Group B from Club Brugge.
The previous four meetings between the two clubs date back to 2005, with Inter winning the round of 16 of the Champions League. The first leg in Porto ended 1-1, goal by Obafemi Martins in the 24th minuteand annihilated on the hour by Ricardo Costa. On return, at San Siro, Adriano’s brace (6and63and) gave Inter a two-goal lead, with Jorge Costa halving Porto’s deficit in the 69th minuteandminute before Adriano completed his hat-trick with three minutes to go.
Inter then lost 5–0 on aggregate to Milan in the quarter-finals.
The sides also met in the group stage the following season, with Porto winning 2-0 at home on Matchday 3 thanks to a Marco Materazzi own goal (22and) and Benni McCarthy (35and).
Porto also opened the scoring at Milan on matchday four, when Hugo Almeida took the lead on matchday 16.and minute before Julio Cruz’s brace (75and82and) bet the game in favor of Inter.
Those three points saw Inter finish six points clear in Group H on 13 points, with Porto trailing by five points, with this win against the Nerazzurri being the Portuguese’s only win.
Pepe was a substitute in Porto’s 3-1 defeat by Inter Milan in 2004/05 and played the full 180 minutes of the following season’s matches between the sides.
This is the Nerazzurri’s sixteenth Champions League appearance and fifth in a row, the longest run of the ten consecutive seasons between 2002/03 and 2011/12.
Inzaghi’s side ended last season’s run of three consecutive group stage eliminations by finishing second behind Real Madrid in Group D. Inter rallied after taking just one point from their first two matches, finishing with ten points and reaching the knockout stages for the first time since 2011/12.
However, Inter’s season ended in the round of 16, despite the 1-0 victory at Liverpool in the second leg, the damage was done by the 2-0 defeat in the first leg at Milan.
This season, Inter’s Group C started and ended with a 2-0 defeat against Bayern, but the team remained unbeaten between the two defeats, picking up ten points, four of which were crucial against Barcelona ( 1-0, 3-3) and finished with a 4-0 home win against Viktoria Plzeň on matchday five.
Milan have reached the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League for the twelfth time.
Inter’s record in the round of 16 is 4 qualifiers and 5 eliminations, the eliminations all came in the last seven two-legged matches.
Inter finished second in Serie A in 2021/22, finishing two points behind local rivals AC Milan.
The win against Pilsen was only Inter’s fifth in their last fifteen UEFA Champions League home games (D5 L5), although four of those have come in their last six games.
This is Inter’s first game against a Portuguese side since the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League group stage, when they lost 1-0 at Sporting CP but won at home by the same score.
The last victory against a Portuguese team, in 2006/07, took Inter to six successive home wins against the Portuguese; the 0-0 draw against Boavista in the first round of the 1991/92 UEFA Cup was the only one of Inter’s ten home games against Portuguese clubs that they failed to win.
Inter have won 10 of 19 matches against Portuguese clubs and have five draws.
The Nerazzurri have not faced Portuguese opposition in the knockout stages since beating Porto in 2004/05. They have not faced Portuguese opposition in a knockout tie since beating Porto in 2004/05.
Inter won their second European Cup by beating Porto’s rivals Benfica 1-0 in the 1965 final, played at the San Siro.
Porto turns 26and appearance in the Champions League proper, level with Bayern and one length behind Barcelona and Real Madrid’s record in the competition. The Dragons have been in 11 of the last 12 seasons.
In 2021/22, the Conceição side finished third in their group behind Liverpool and Atlético de Madrid, winning just one of their six games. It was the first time Porto failed to get out of the Champions League group since 2015/16.
The Dragons then reached the UEFA Europa League last season, beating Lazio in the round of 16 (2-1, 2-2) but losing to Lyon in the round of 16 (0-1, 1-1).
The Conceição side won La Liga and the Portuguese Cup in 2021/22 – Porto’s ninth double and second in three seasons.
Porto started the season with a 2-1 defeat at Atlético – all three goals came in added time, their first in the UEFA Champions League – before losing 4-0 at home to Club Bruges. The Portuguese bounced back with home (2-0) and away (3-0) wins against Bayer Leverkusen and turned the tables against Club Brugge with a 4-0 away win before overcoming the Belgian champions to win 2- 1 at home against Atletico
The win on matchday six was Porto’s twelfth in their last 26 appearances in the UEFA Champions League proper (D3 L11).
Porto have won five of their last ten away games in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final (D2 L3).
Porto have reached the round of 16 or better in seven of their last ten UEFA Champions League group stage appearances.
Porto’s overall record in the round of 16 is 5 qualifiers and 7 eliminations. The Douro side have won just three of their last seven meetings, although they have won their last two, both against Italian opponents after extra time: Roma in 2018/19 (1-2, 3-1) and Juventus in 2020/21 (2-1, 2-3).
Including last season’s games against Lazio, Porto’s record in 38 matches against Italian opponents is 12, 11 and 15 losses. Away, the balance is 4 wins, 5 draws and 9 defeats, with draws in the last two matches.
The Dragons’ record in round of 16 matches against Italian teams is 8 qualifiers (of which 3 in the last 3 occasions) and 4 eliminations.
Porto lost both European finals against Serie A sides: 2-1 against Juventus in the 1984 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and 1-0 against Milan in the 2003 UEFA Super Cup.
Have we met before…
Inzaghi and Conceição won the 1999/2000 Serie A-Coppa Italia double with Lazio and another cup in 2003/04 after Conceição moved to the Roman club.
Conceição, who also played in Serie A for Parma in 2000/01, was an Inter player from 2001 to 2003, 65 appearances in all competitions (2 goals). He started both elimination matches against Milan in the semi-finals of the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League (0-0, 1-1).
Conceição’s assistant Rui Barros played in Italy for Juventus between 1988 and 1990.
Have played in Italy:
Ivan Marcano (Rome 2018/19)
Marcano was in the Rubin Kazan squad that drew 2-2 at Inter in the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League group stage.
They played together:
Edin Džeko and Iván Marcano (Rome 2018/19)