Southampton 2, Inter Milan 1: Saints show why they're attracting takeover talk with stirring win over Italian giants

 
Frank Dalleres
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Southampton FC v FC Internazionale Milano - UEFA Europa League
Van Dijk equalised for Southampton after Romeu's shot hit the bar (Source: Getty)

Southampton 2, Inter Milan 1

Southampton came from behind and recovered from missing a penalty to record a memorable victory over Inter Milan and revive their hopes of progressing to the Europa League knockout stage.

Inter striker Mauro Icardi put the visitors in front and the Saints wasted a chance to equalise just before half-time when midfielder Dusan Tadic saw his spot-kick saved by Samir Handanovic.

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But defender Virgil van Dijk fired in from close range to level the scores on 64 minutes and the home side took the lead moments later when Inter defender Yuto Nagatomo bundled into his own net.

A sixth win from their last seven home fixtures put Southampton in a strong position in Group K, second behind Sparta Prague but three points ahead of third-placed Hapoel Beer Sheva with two games remaining.

It came little more than 24 hours after it emerged that the Premier League club's recent rebirth as a stable and much-admired outfit had attracted potential investor interest from China.

Inter beat Southampton in the first meeting between the sides last month but arrived in England in some disarray following the sacking of manager Frank de Boer this week, less than three months after his appointment.

Nevertheless they went ahead when arch-poacher Icardi pounced in the 33rd minute and penalty specialist Handanovic lived up to his billing by correctly anticipating the direction of Tadic's kick.

Van Dijk turned in a loose ball after midfielder Oriol Romeu's hopeful hook rebounded off the crossbar, and Nagatomo handed the hosts all three points when he diverted a cross past Handanovic with his knee.

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