Inter mounted a stunning late turnaround to come from behind and shock Tottenham with a dramatic 2-1 Champions League victory at a raucous San Siro on Tuesday.
With five minutes of normal time remaining, the home side were trailing to Christian Eriksen's heavily deflected strike until Mauro Icardi and Matias Vecino netted in quick succession to turn the Group B encounter on its head.
Spurs were perhaps fortunate to see Eriksen's opener loop over Samir Handanovic off Miranda, but Mauricio Pochettino's side looked in little danger of relinquishing their lead heading into the final stages.
Inter were inspired by Icardi's moment of magic, however, the captain thundering a first-time volley into the bottom-left corner from 20 yards before Vecino nodded in Stefan de Vrij's header from a corner in the second minute of stoppage time.
INTER 2-1 TOTTENHAM— Inter (@Inter_en) September 18, 2018
THIS IS WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT!!! #INTERISHERE
Late goals from @MauroIcardi and @vecino ensure a magical comeback win on the Nerazzurri's return to the #UCL. GET IN!!!! #FORZAINTER pic.twitter.com/MS1y2hDXix
It was a dramatic denouement to a largely scrappy affair, which had taken 37 minutes for either team to carve out a chance of any note - Harry Kane rounding Handanovic but then losing control after being picked out by Eriksen's majestic chipped pass.
That disappointment was swiftly overcome after the resumption, though, as a flat-footed Handanovic clawed unsuccessfully at Eriksen's effort, having got down smartly to keep out the initial shot.
And there was little sign of the late drama to come as Icardi thumped in Kwadwo Asamoah's cross from the left before Vecino was in the right place to secure Inter's celebratory return to European football's top table for the first time since 2011-12.
What it means: Pochettino's unwanted hat-trick
Following successive Premier League defeats to Watford and Liverpool, Spurs have now lost three straight matches under Pochettino for the first time since his tenure began in 2014.
Pat on the back: Icardi proves Inter's inspiration
The Argentine was anonymous in the first half - his six touches were fewer than any other player - but his sensational volley galvanised both his team-mates and the stadium.
Boot up the backside: Spurs let it slip
With 84 minutes gone Spurs looked in no trouble. Although one can hardly legislate for Icardi's moment of brilliance, there was no man in a white shirt remotely near him. From that point on the momentum was with Inter.
Key Opta facts
- The last time Inter won their first Champions League group stage game was back in 2008-09.
- Eriksen has scored three goals in his last five Champions League appearances, one more than he netted in his previous 24 in the competition.
- Icardi has scored 108 goals for Inter in all competitions - only five of them have come from outside the box.
- Samir Handanovic played tonight his 250th match for Inter in all competitions.
Spurs will be desperate to avoid a fourth successive loss at Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday. Inter, with only one win from four Serie A games this season, will head to Sampdoria with a spring in their step.
|I was in a different headspace – Hamilton revels in Austin pole|
|Barcelona can cope without Messi – Pique|
|Allegri: Juventus abandoned Genoa clash|
|Sale: Hospital visit was because of belly button ring|
|Valverde accepts Barcelona will miss Messi|
|No Messi or Ronaldo in El Clasico for first time since 2007|
|Barcelona have not won a Clasico without Messi since his debut|
|Ramos calls for Real Madrid unity after latest loss piles pressure on Lopetegui|
|Hamilton has title in sights after storming to Austin pole|
|Inter, El Clasico and more - the games Messi will miss with broken arm|
|End of Messi-Ronaldo duel good for LaLiga - Simeone|
|Messi out of Clasico with fractured arm|
|Awesome Ashton marks Sale bow with hat-trick|
|Klopp hopes for positive Henderson prognosis amid Liverpool injury issues|
|Benitez ´convinced´ Newcastle can survive despite seventh defeat|
|Barcelona 4 Sevilla 2: Messi injured but champions go top|
|Kovac relieved by Bayern´s timely victory|
|Strasbourg 2 Monaco 1: Sy howler and Grandsir red card cost Henry in first match|
|Leicester City defender Chilwell signs new six-year contract|
|PSG´s Tuchel hopes Verratti and Di Maria can face Napoli|
|Liverpool star Salah had no fear during scoring drought|
|Alonso´s 2019 plans not damaged by McLaren´s IndyCar decision|
|Edinburgh outclass troubled Toulon, Wasps and Bath play out thrilling draw|
|Barca concern as Messi substituted with worrying arm injury|
|Howe: South coast derby draw a fair result|
|Our heads were in Manchester – Allegri left fuming at Juventus´ loss of focus|
|Derby County 2 Sheffield United 1: Marriott blunts Blades with 77th-minute winner|
|We have so many problems – Jokanovic alarmed by Fulham defensive woes|
|Huddersfield Town 0 Liverpool 1: Salah snaps winless streak|
|Pellegrini ruing injuries after Yarmolenko hurts ankle|
|Villarreal 1 Atletico Madrid 1: Simeone´s side denied LaLiga top spot|
|Gracia: Not easy to dominate Wolves like that|
|Isner´s Finals hopes hindered by Stockholm defeat|
|Dyche incredulous at refereeing decisions in Man City thrashing|
|Juventus 1 Genoa 1: Champions´ winning run ends despite record Ronaldo goal|
|´Fantastic´ Lamela urged to find consistency by Pochettino|
|You don´t want to lose any players - Young speaks out on Wade NFL speculation|
|Championship Review: Smith gets off to a winning start, Leeds beaten|
|Guardiola hails extraordinary Fernandinho after Burnley drubbing|
|Pochettino lauds Lloris as one of world´s best after West Ham heroics|
|Paris Saint-Germain 5 Amiens 0: Ten wins in a row for PSG as Neymar rests|
|Cristiano Ronaldo nets record 400th league goal|
|Marcelo backing beleaguered Lopetegui despite Madrid slump|
|Garcia dazzles to hit the front at shortened Valderrama Masters|
|Cardiff City 4 Fulham 2: Paterson gets Bluebirds off the mark|
|Newcastle United 0 Brighton and Hove Albion 1: Benitez´s men bottom after dismal defeat|
|West Ham 0 Tottenham 1: In-form Lamela settles London derby|
|Manchester City 5 Burnley 0: De Bruyne returns in comfortable win|
|Wolves 0 Watford 2: Capoue and Pereyra turn form book on its head|
|Bournemouth 0 Southampton 0: Howe´s side stifled by Saints|
|Prove you´re crazy about Inter - Spalletti rallies players ahead of Milan derby|
|Wolfsburg 1 Bayern Munich 3: Lewandowski leads Kovac out of trouble|
|Goerges betters Bencic to clinch Luxembourg title|
|Morgan wants more from ´rusty´ England despite series win|
|Sarri says sorry after touchline bust-up overshadows Chelsea´s late escape|
|Chelsea draw an ´awful´ result for excellent United, says Mourinho|
|The Chelsea assistant that angered Mourinho - Who is Marco Ianni?|
|Steve Kerr supports Colin Kaepernick: ´I think he deserves a chance to play´|
|Lopetegui ´more motivated than ever´ amid Real Madrid sack reports|
|That´s football – Rudiger shrugs off late Ianni-Mourinho fracas|
|AC Milan´s improved mentality could be difference against Inter - Gattuso|
|Emotional Kasatkina comes back from the brink to win Kremlin Cup|
|Forget it, it´s over - Mourinho accepts apology over touchline row|
|Mourinho in furious bust-up with Chelsea staff after late equaliser|
|Chelsea 2 Manchester United 2: Barkley strike denies Mourinho|
|Raptors star Kawhi Leonard: Too early for MVP chants|
|WTA Finals 2018: Profiling the ´elite eight´|
|Cipriani sent off and facing ban for high tackle|
|Real Madrid 1 Levante 2: Lopetegui on the brink as abysmal run continues|
|Warriors coach Kerr: Jerebko ´one of us´ after game-winning tip-in|