PILSEN, Czech Republic (AP) — Whenever Edin Džeko plays against Viktoria Plzeň, the goals start flowing.
Džeko scored one goal and set up another Tuesday to lead Inter Milan to a 2-0 victory over the Czech club in the Champions League. It was the Bosnia international’s 10th goal in nine matches against Plzeň, and ninth in the last six.
The 10 goals against Plzeň are the most Džeko has scored against any team.
“This is certainly an important result,” Inter coach Simone Inzaghi said. “The boys were good to make the match simple because it wasn’t easy, in fact no Italian team had ever won here.
“We are happy because we knew we couldn’t underestimate our opponents and we didn’t do it. The lads did well, they remained focused and I congratulated them after the final whistle.”
Inzaghi surprisingly left Lautaro Martínez on the bench for the match, starting instead with Džeko and Joaquín Correa. And the two combined for Inter’s opener in the 20th minute. Robin Gosens controlled a lofted ball with his back to goal and sent it to Correa, who in turn found Džeko on the left for an angled shot into the far bottom corner.
Plzeň was reduced to 10 men in the 60th minute when midfielder Pavel Bucha was sent off with a red card. Referee Sandro Schärer initially gave a yellow card for Bucha’s challenge on Nicolò Barella but then changed it to a straight red after reviewing the incident.
In the 70th, Inter again broke forward and Džeko picked out Denzel Dumfries, who scored past Plzeň goalkeeper Jindřich Staněk.
Inter has three points in Group C, while Plzeň has zero. Bayern Munich and Barcelona are also in the group, and both won their opening matches.
Inter also received news that forward Romelu Lukaku should be back for its next Champions League match against Barcelona. The Belgium international is expected to return from his thigh injury after the international break.
“At the moment we are without Lukaku, but with Džeko playing so well he can recover calmly,” Inzaghi said. “Edin did well, like all his teammates. Lukaku will be back after the break and then I will have to choose the front two on a game by game basis.”
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