Slavia Prague 1-3 Inter: Martinez and Lukaku boost Champions League knockout hopes
A brace from Lautaro Martinez gave Inter victory at Slavia Prague to keep alive their hopes of reaching the Champions League's last 16.
Inter's Champions League fate is in their own hands after Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku inspired a 3-1 win at Slavia Prague on Wednesday.
Martinez's crisp finish put Inter ahead before they saw a second goal chalked off and Slavia instead awarded a penalty, which Tomas Soucek converted to tee up a draw that would do
little for either side.
But late strikes from the outstanding Lukaku and Martinez secured the precious points for Inter as they bid to reach the knockout stage.
Antonio Conte's men are second in Group F on seven points, ahead of third-placed Borussia Dortmund on head-to-head.
Inter will qualify if they beat Barcelona in a mammoth San Siro showdown on matchday six, while Dortmund host now-eliminated Slavia and hope for a Nerazzurri slip-up.
Martinez gave Inter the lead in the 19th minute with a goal that owed much to the intelligence, awareness and strength of Lukaku, who shrugged off two Slavia defenders and cut the
ball back for his strike partner to hook into the net.
Inter thought they had doubled their advantage in a chaotic spell just after the half-hour mark as Lukaku tapped in a Martinez cross after a mistake by Michal Frydrych.
But the VAR instructed referee Szymon Marciniak to consult the pitchside monitor and he instead awarded a penalty to Slavia, with Stefan de Vrij spotted clumsily fouling Peter Olayinka.
Home captain Soucek confidently dispatched the spot-kick low past Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic.
However, an increasingly tired Slavia performance was punished ruthlessly by Inter in the final 10 minutes of the second half.
Lukaku rounded Slavia goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar and slotted into an empty net to vitally put Inter 2-1 up, before a stunning volley from Martinez secured the points.
Belgium striker Lukaku thought he had added a fourth in stoppage time, too, only for his effort to ruled out for offside following a VAR check.