Romelu Lukaku "cost the same as all of Getafe", Jose Bordalas said after his side's Europa League loss to Inter.

Goals from Lukaku and Christian Eriksen saw Inter record a 2-0 win over the LaLiga side in the last-16 clash in Gelsenkirchen on Wednesday.

Signed by Inter from Manchester United for a reported €80million (£72.3m) last year, Lukaku has scored 30 goals this season.

Getafe boss Bordalas said the difference between his team and Inter was enormous, highlighting how much Lukaku cost.

"We are sad because I think the team played a great game," he said.

"We had Inter on the ropes during the second half. We had control of the game and, unfortunately, in our mistake in their first goal after practically nothing had been put forward, but the team did not fall and we had the penalty that would have put us fully into the possibility of passing this tie.

"It is a shame, but I am proud because the approach has been fantastic, the team has interpreted it great. I am very proud of the work of the players.

"The difference is very big, only Lukaku cost the same as all of Getafe."

Jorge Molina missed a 76th-minute penalty for Getafe that would have drawn them level.

Inter will face either Rangers or Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League quarter-finals.

Romelu Lukaku is already looking forward after helping Inter reach the Europa League quarter-finals on Wednesday.

Goals from Lukaku and Christian Eriksen saw Inter beat Getafe 2-0 in Gelsenkirchen to move into the last eight.

Lukaku moved onto 30 goals in a season for the first time in his career and missed a glorious chance in the second half.

The striker was quick to forget about squandering that opportunity as he looked ahead.

"The miss? These things happen in football, but I'm already thinking about the next game," Lukaku told Sky Sport.

"I want to win and continue to help the team. The work we're doing with the coach is really important.

"The team is growing and we need to move ahead with the same mentality and desire to improve."

Jorge Molina missed a 76th-minute penalty for Getafe as Inter moved into a clash against either Rangers or Bayer Leverkusen in the quarter-finals.

Lukaku became the first Inter player to net 30 goals in a season since Samuel Eto'o in 2010-11 and the Belgian was happy to get on the scoresheet.

"We knew it would be a difficult game, against an aggressive team," he said.

"The defence did a really good job and we did well at the front. I'm happy with my goal, and Christian's too."

Inter will face Rangers or Leverkusen in Dusseldorf on Monday.

Antonio Conte said his Inter side are happy to "get dirty" in their pursuit of the Europa League title after overcoming Getafe 2-0 in the last 16.

In a one-legged encounter in Germany, goals from Romelu Lukaku and Christian Eriksen ensured Inter's place in the quarter-finals, with Rangers or Bayer Leverkusen up next.

Things could have been different for Getafe, with veteran striker Jorge Molina missing a penalty shortly after coming off the bench before Eriksen finally settled the contest with seven minutes to go.

Inter's performance left Conte pleased, with the former Chelsea and Juventus coach hailing his side's willingness to go toe-to-toe with a robust Getafe team.

"We knew full well the difficulties this game could bring," Conte told Sky Italia.

"Getafe started strong. They were going for the second ball and to make it physical. They were stronger at the beginning, but we got the game in hand and started to pass the ball around.

"We expected it to be a dirty game and we were not afraid to get dirty with them. That's a great sign, as it's that determination to get stuck in and fight for every ball, something we missed at times this season.

"Progressing in Europe is also a chance to gain experience. I am happy with the performance. We could've had an even better scoreline. We had more chances to score.

"They proved they want to keep going and aren't ready to go on vacation yet."

Jorge Molina paid for an awful penalty miss as Romelu Lukaku and Christian Eriksen sent Inter into the Europa League quarter-finals with a 2-0 victory over Getafe.

With Lukaku having opened the scoring for Inter midway through the first half, Getafe veteran Molina had the chance to restore parity with 14 minutes remaining following Diego Godin's handball.

Yet Molina fluffed his lines, hacking his effort embarrassingly wide just seven minutes after coming on as a substitute in Germany, where a one-off tie was played after the coronavirus pandemic delayed the original first leg.

A glaring miss from Lukaku moments later gave Getafe some hope, but Eriksen was on hand to extinguish any chance of a comeback and seal Inter's last-eight spot.

Samir Handanovic was called into action inside two minutes, diving to his left to keep out Nemanja Maksimovic's header, and Alessandro Bastoni's block denied Jaime Mata.

Lautaro Martinez forced David Soria into two fine saves in response, before Lukaku went one better in the 33rd minute, slamming home with a brilliant finish after latching onto Bastoni's pass.

Danilo D'Ambrosio and Godin each almost doubled Inter's lead following the restart, while Handanovic pulled off an excellent stop from Mata's header at the other end.

Getafe were handed a lifeline when the VAR spotted a handball from Godin, prompting referee Anthony Taylor to visit the pitchside monitor and then award a penalty.

But having just replaced Mata, Molina got his spot-kick horribly wrong, sending a terrible attempt a yard wide of the left-hand upright.

Lukaku should have finished things off moments later, only to send a close-range shot wide, but his miss mattered little when substitute Erisken struck from eight yards out to compound Getafe's misery.

Romelu Lukaku matched a long-standing Alan Shearer record on Wednesday as he opened the scoring for Inter against Getafe.

Lukaku put Inter 1-0 up in their last-16 tie against the Spanish side in Germany with an exceptional finish in the 33rd minute.

The Belgian's strike made it eight successive Europa League appearances in which he had scored, with the 27-year-old having also netted in each leg of Inter's round-of-32 tie against Ludogorets.

He had previously appeared in the competition with Everton in 2014-15, scoring in matches against Dynamo Kiev, Young Boys and Wolfsburg.

Previously, only Premier League icon Shearer – back in 2004-05 with Newcastle United – had scored in his eight consecutive appearances in either the UEFA Cup or Europa League.

Lukaku has enjoyed a brilliant first season for Inter, scoring 23 Serie A goals as Antonio Conte's side finished second behind Juventus.

Inter head coach Antonio Conte preached unity amid doubts over his future as he eyes Europa League success.

Conte's future has dominated headlines since hitting out at the club for not protecting him or his players in the midst of criticism during the season following Saturday's 2-0 Serie A victory over Atalanta.

Inter are reportedly weighing up Conte's position after just one season at the helm, with former Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri and ex-Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino linked to the Nerazzurri.

But ahead of Wednesday's one-legged Europa League last-16 clash against LaLiga side Getafe at neutral venue Veltins-Arena in Gelsenkirchen due to coronavirus, Conte told reporters: "When I speak I do it for Inter.

"This is very important for me. It is not important for me, it is important for Inter. As usual when I speak. Let's try to speak about us, about something that keeps us close to each other under the same flag."

Inter ended the 2019-20 Serie A season as runners-up, just a point behind Juve after collecting 82 points from 38 matches – equalling the total of the 2009-10 treble-winning team under Jose Mourinho.

The Italian powerhouse now have their sights set on winning the Europa League, with Conte adding: "I think that Europa League is a very important competition for everybody, mostly for us.

"We need to be good, as [captain] Samir [Handanovic] said, because we don't want any regrets. We don't know where we will arrive with our best but in the end no regrets giving everything as we did everything in the league [Serie A] and across the season."

"When you win you feel more confidence in yourself," he continued. "This is nothing new. I say that it is not easy to win and if you succeed your level starts to be important.

"I think this is a very important competitions for us and winning it will help us to feel more confident in our qualities and team skills. But you need to win."

Five months after the Champions League and Europa League were halted, the continent's creme de la creme are ready to finish what they started.

Atletico Madrid's dramatic extra-time win at Anfield seems an age ago, as does Manchester United's 5-0 thrashing of LASK, with those results two of the final matches to occur before the coronavirus pandemic suspended the season.

Now, with those domestic leagues and cup competitions that did return having finished, the focus is solely on Europe's elite.

The Europa League resumes on Wednesday, with the Champions League coming back on Friday - both competitions reaching a conclusion this month with mini tournaments taking place in different countries.

Here, we detail the who, what, why, where and when.

 

PREVIOUSLY ON... THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE AND EUROPA LEAGUE

Both the Europa League and the Champions League are at the last-16 stage, but while all 16 teams remain in the Europa League, Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund, Valencia and Tottenham are all out of Europe's premier club competition.

Their conquerors - Atletico, Paris Saint-Germain, Atalanta and RB Leipzig - all won across two legs prior to pause being pressed on the campaign.

Only six of the eight first legs in the Europa League happened, with four away teams - United, Bayer Leverkusen, Shakhtar Donetsk and Basel claiming advantages, while Istanbul Basaksehir beat Copenhagen 1-0 in Turkey and Wolves drew 1-1 at Olympiacos.

With Spain and Italy being two of the countries initially hardest hit by the pandemic, Sevilla's tie with Roma and Inter's fixture against Getafe could not begin. 

 

SO HOW WILL THIS ROUND CONCLUDE?

Let's deal with the Champions League first.

PSG and Atalanta can put their feet up knowing their quarter-final begins on August 12, the day before Leipzig face Atletico Madrid.

Four last-16 ties remain and the quartet of home teams in the second leg - Manchester City, Juventus, Barcelona and Bayern Munich - will respectively host Real Madrid, Lyon, Napoli and Chelsea in their own stadiums without fans present.

That is also the case in the Europa League, though Sevilla's clash with Roma, and Inter's encounter with Getafe will now be one-off fixtures at neutral venues in Germany.

 

AND FROM THE QUARTER-FINALS ONWARDS?

Due to the need to get this thing wrapped up quickly before the 2020-21 season begins, both the Champions League and Europa League have done away with two-legged affairs for the quarter-finals and semi-finals.

Instead every last-eight and last-four match will be decided across 90 minutes - or 120 minutes, or a penalty shoot-out should they be required.

And with the pandemic still a very real threat, the two competitions will be concluded in one city to minimise travel and reduce the risk of spreading COVID within the squads.

Benfica's Estadio da Luz will be the venue for the Champions League quarter-finals, semi-finals and final between August 12 and 23, while those comparative stages in the Europa League, taking place between August 10 and 21, will be staged in Cologne.

 

WILL ALL THE PLAYERS STILL BE INVOLVED?

This stage of the football calendar is typically transfer time and even a global pandemic could not stop that.

So Leipzig's Timo Werner, who scored four times for the Bundesliga club in their run to the last eight, is now on Chelsea's books while winger Leroy Sane has swapped Manchester City for Bayern Munich. Neither man will be able to play for either their new team or their old.

Those like Achraf Hakimi, a recent Inter signing from Dortmund, will also be reduced to a watching brief.

It is a different case for Hakimi's new team-mate Alexis Sanchez, who has been included in Antonio Conte's squad for the latter stages after terms were reached on a loan extension with Manchester United - though a new arrangement will need to be made for him to be available from the quarter-finals onwards.

Sanchez's parent club were not willing to let Roma have loanee Chris Smalling any longer, though, the English centre-back having bade farewell to the Eternal City on Tuesday ahead of his return to United, for whom he cannot feature either given his prior involvement with the Giallorossi.

Inter head coach Antonio Conte claimed he and his squad received "little protection" from the club amid criticism as he hit out at the Nerazzurri.

Conte's Inter ended the 2019-20 Serie A season runners-up, just a point behind champions Juventus, following Saturday's 2-0 victory at Atalanta.

Danilo D'Ambrosio and Ashley Young scored first-half goals as Inter collected 82 points from 38 matches, equalling the total of the 2009-10 treble-winning team under Jose Mourinho.

However, Conte – in his first season at San Siro – vented his frustration post-match, having previously insisted he would not hesitate to leave Inter if they were not happy.

"We must give merit to these lads, 82 points is a lot, it's a lot and it shows that we worked well," Italian boss Conte told reporters.

"It's displeasing though that I saw Inter being attacked in a bad way, gratuitous attacks against the players and against me; I didn't like that, also because I saw little protection from the club.

"That said, we became even more solid and stronger, and today we enjoy this, me and the players, with all due respect for all the others, but we enjoy this, us working at Appiano, at Pinetina, these 82 points.

"Even though I repeat, they mean nothing, because as I said, those who win write history. This is a good result though, because we're coming from many years where the points [gap] were a lot."

While the Serie A season has concluded, Inter's attention turns to their Europa League last-16 clash with Getafe on August 5.

Instead of a two-legged tie, Inter and LaLiga outfit Getafe will meet in a single knockout match amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Conte added: "It will be a battle against Getafe. They are a tough team, they defend in 10 below the ball line, they throw the ball forward as soon as they can, with the two forwards they engage in certain fights... just look for reference at Real Madrid-Getafe or Barcelona-Getafe to understand the difficulties faced by such teams.

"And we're talking about top teams - in order to beat Getafe. Results like 1-0, meagre results; it will be a battle, but at the same time I can count on great players and above all great men, therefore I am calm in light of that. I say, to our supporters, we will do whatever we can, as we did this season, we will give everything.

"I don't know whether this will bring us to the quarter finals, to the semi-final, to the final, or to raising the cup; that I can't say, but what we will do is surely fight tooth and nail."  

Antonio Conte is confident Christian Eriksen will prove a success at Inter in the long term but called on the midfielder to keep working.

Eriksen was a January arrival from Tottenham but has scored just three goals in 19 games for the Nerazzurri, whose Serie A title challenge waned over the same period.

Head coach Conte was encouraged by the Denmark international's display in the midweek draw against Fiorentina, however.

And the former Chelsea coach believes Eriksen can now kick on at San Siro as long as his work ethic does not drop.

"I prefer not to talk about individuals," Conte told Inter TV. "But [Eriksen] made an excellent first half with Fiorentina.

"He has now arrived. He is trying to give his best and we can put him in the best conditions to be able to succeed.

"Behind the strikers, he can do whatever he wants. But he must continue to work steadily and seriously. The results will come."

There is still time for Eriksen to have an impact in this campaign with Inter facing a frantic final stretch.

After visiting Genoa on Saturday, the Nerazzuri face Napoli and Atalanta in their last two Serie A fixtures, before their Europa League campaign resumes against Getafe just three days later.

"First of all, there is a difference [to the other Serie A teams]," Conte said.

"On August 5, we play in the last 16. Our next opponents, Napoli and Atalanta, will instead have more time to prepare for the Champions League, to rest and give their players the right preparation.

"We finish and then immediately play in Europe. It's a period of lots of work, physically and mentally."

Leganes' four-year stay in LaLiga came to an end on Sunday, despite a spirited display against champions Real Madrid, while Getafe miss out on a place in Europe.

Madrid already had the league title wrapped up heading to their city neighbours, but still claimed a point which proved enough to send Leganes down following a 2-2 draw.

Javier Aguirre's Leganes had won three of their previous four outings but, despite twice coming from behind, they failed to claim the win they needed to overtake Celta Vigo, who were held to a goalless draw by relegated Espanyol.

At the other end of Spain's top flight, Granada made a late charge for a place in the Europa League with a 4-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao, who finished 11th.

Granada's triumph meant Getafe, who went down to a 109th-minute goal from Coke against Levante, dropped out of the top seven.

A 4-0 win over Eibar saw Villarreal consolidate their place in fifth, with the Yellow Submarine four points above Granada and Real Sociedad, who snatched a late 1-1 draw at Atletico Madrid to be sure of their European qualification.

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone claimed his side's determination to churn out results to secure a LaLiga top-four finish during a season of upheaval augurs well for the future.

Simeone's side are on course to finish third in LaLiga after goals from Marcos Llorente and Thomas Partey secured a 2-0 victory over Getafe in their penultimate league game of the season on Thursday.

It left Atleti two points clear of fourth-placed Sevilla – who drew 0-0 with Real Sociedad – and with a superior goal difference.

Simeone's side conclude their LaLiga campaign with a home match against Sociedad before their attention switches to the Champions League.

Atleti have a quarter-final match with RB Leipzig which will be played as a single-leg tie in Lisbon in August as part of a mini tournament to finish the competition.

It has been an impressive turnaround for Atleti and Simeone, who was under pressure earlier in the season but has now seen his side go 15 games unbeaten in LaLiga.

"There were many changes this year," Simeone said in a post-match media conference after the win over Getafe.

"Senior players left and new players came. In defence, for example. Periods of difficulty pass, but the team after the victory in Liverpool and the work since starting again has improved us.

"Being in the top four is important and a necessity for the club to continue growing.

"Is this a good signal for the Champions League? After the quarantine, except for the game against Real Betis and the first minutes against Getafe, the team has had work and a willingness to reach these good results."

Simeone started Diego Costa ahead of Alvaro Morata in attack against Getafe, with Llorente continuing in a playmaker role in behind.

And the Argentinian acknowledged the impressive displays of Llorente have made it difficult for his two leading strikers.

"Marcos has physical strength and danger with an assist, and with a goal. He is a boy to whom nobody gave anything and earns it day by day," added the Atleti coach.

"Costa has been through bad times and it is complex for the coach because Morata scores goals and whoever of the two is left out will be angry. 

"I have to guess the one that suits us in every game and maybe they are getting closer to being able to play together."

Marcos Llorente and Thomas Partey gave Atletico Madrid a 2-0 win over Getafe on Thursday to keep Diego Simeone's side on course for a third-place finish in LaLiga.

Getafe squandered a number of chances in the first half before Llorente struck eight minutes after the break with a fine finish from 20 yards.

Partey added a second goal when he tapped in from close range after a counterattack with 10 minutes left.

Getafe had Allan Nyom sent off late on for a high challenge as the defeat dented their bid to secure a Europa League place.

Atleti coach Diego Simeone made six changes to his side as Diego Costa and Yannick Carrasco were both recalled to the starting line-up.

With an entirely new back four, Atleti's defence looked vulnerable and they were fortunate not to be behind at the break after an impressive first-half display from Getafe.

Jaime Mata had three good chances in quick succession early on as he lifted a shot over the bar, saw an effort hooked off the line by Felipe and miscued a close-range shot.

Atleti's best opportunity before the interval fell to Costa after he got on the end of Llorente's cross, but the striker could only guide his header over the crossbar.

The same combination linked up again three minutes into the second half, but Costa failed to hit the target from a central position following Llorente's cut back.

Llorente took matters into his own hands shortly afterwards when he smartly turned Getafe's David Timor on the edge of the box then wrong-footed goalkeeper David Soria with a low shot into the corner.

Partey made the points safe when he confidently guided the ball home after Getafe were caught on the break, and the home side then saw Nyom sent off in stoppage time.

 

 

What does it mean? Atletico edge closer to third

With Champions League football already assured for both, Atleti are jostling with Sevilla to finish in third spot.

This victory gave Simeone's side a two-point cushion over Sevilla – who drew 0-0 at Real Sociedad – meaning they are well-placed to achieve their target.

Getafe are clinging on to the final Europa League spot in LaLiga after this defeat.

Llorente stars up front

Originally a bustling central midfielder, the former Real Madrid man has been reinvented as a versatile attacker by Simeone, and he oozed class against Getafe. Llorente was Atleti's most creative player with intelligent movement and capped a fine display with a well-taken goal.

Mata fails to make his mark

The Getafe striker escaped the attentions of Atleti's defence and frequently found himself in dangerous goalscoring positions, but all too often his poor finishing or a lapse in concentration let him down at the key moment.

What's next?

Atleti host Real Sociedad in their final LaLiga fixture of the season on Sunday, while Getafe travel to Levante.

 

Diego Simeone is not surprised by rumoured interest in Jan Oblak but hopes the goalkeeper will remain at Atletico Madrid.

Oblak has been named best keeper in LaLiga for the previous four seasons and has only conceded 26 goals in 36 games in the current campaign, helping Atleti once again clinch a top-four finish.

Chelsea are reported to be interested in the 27-year-old Slovenian, with speculation suggesting they could look to involve Kepa Arrizabalaga in player-plus-cash deal.

Simeone has become accustomed to rumours over the future of key players in his squad, however, as was the case previously in the Antoine Griezmann transfer saga before he eventually joined domestic rivals Barcelona.

"It does not surprise me, every year our most important players are wanted by the best in the world," the Atletico boss told the media ahead of Thursday's game with Getafe.

"It is normal to always look for the best – and we have many. Some have left and others have stayed.

"It is logical and normal that anyone wants Oblak. He is our captain and an important player. I hope we can count on his work, which is enormous for Atleti."

When asked again about Oblak's future at Atletico during the media call, Simeone replied: "I repeat the same thing: it is normal that they want a goalkeeper of his characteristics and value.

"It does not surprise me. He is decisive and important in the dressing room year after year. He has evolved in every way, as a goalkeeper and within the group."

Oblak has been integral in helping Atletico's nine-match unbeaten run since the resumption of the season in Spain.

The impressive streak – which includes a 2-2 draw away to second-place Barcelona – has secured Champions League football again for next season, while they still remain in the running to win this year's competition after knocking out holders Liverpool in the last 16.

For Simeone, qualification is crucial for Atleti's development both on and off the field.

"It's our responsibility to qualify, always looking at the growth that the club has from this possibility that we generate by qualifying year after year," he said.

"That's how the club grows in every aspect, so it is a responsibility, an objective to be met, which is not easy always to do in life.

"We all have objectives, in any type of job. I have the luck, the work ethic and the perseverance to qualify every year and allow the club to grow and improve. When the goals are met it is normal for the club to grow."

Manchester United are set to face either Istanbul Basaksehir or Copenhagen in the quarter-finals of the Europa League. 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side, who hold a 5-0 lead from the first leg of their last-16 tie with LASK, could then meet Wolves, Olympiacos, Roma or Sevilla in the last four. 

Antonio Conte's Inter will take on either Bayer Leverkusen or Rangers in the last eight, if they defeat Getafe in the last 16. 

Shakhtar Donetsk or Wolfsburg will face Eintracht Frankfurt or Basel in the other quarter-final. 

The matches between Getafe and Inter, and Roma and Sevilla, will be held as one-off games at neutral venues in Germany as the first legs could not take place due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

All other remaining last-16 ties were able to complete their first legs, meaning the reverse fixtures will be held at the home team's stadiums. 

Those games will take place over August 5-6 before the quarter-finals begin from August 10, with those matches being staged in Cologne, Duisburg, Dusseldorf and Gelsenkirchen. 

The semi-final venues are yet to be confirmed, but the final on August 21 will be held in Cologne. 

Quater-final draw:

Shakhtar Donetsk or Wolfsburg v Eintracht Frankfurt or Basel
Manchester United or LASK v Istanbul Basaksehir or Copenhagen
Inter or Getafe v Bayer Leverkusen or Rangers
Wolves or Olympiacos v Roma or Sevilla

Semi-final draw:

Winner of QF4 v Winner of QF2
Winner of QF3 v Winner of QF1

Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane wants Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi to remain in LaLiga amid speculation of a possible departure.

Messi, 33, is contracted to Barca until 2021 but a report emerged on Thursday, claiming the six-time Ballon d'Or winner is considering an exit.

According to Cadena SER, Messi has halted contract negotiations due to his frustrations with Barca – who are on track to be dethroned by bitter rivals Madrid this season.

Zidane was asked about the rumours regarding Messi after Madrid moved four points clear of two-time defending champions Barca thanks to Thursday's 1-0 win over Getafe.

"I don't know what will happen but we hope not because he is in this league and we want the best in this league," Zidane said post-match.

Sergio Ramos was the hero for Madrid against Getafe, scoring the only goal from the penalty spot in the 79th minute at the Alfredo di Stefano Stadium.

The victory was Madrid's sixth in a row as Los Blancos extended their advantage over stuttering Barca with five matches remaining in LaLiga.

Zidane hailed captain Ramos, who took his LaLiga tally to nine goals in 2019-20 following his 450th league appearance for Madrid.

"Our captain is our leader on the field, but also outside," Zidane said of the Spain skipper, who took his career total to 100 goals.

"He is an unrepeatable player. He is unique and we know what he transmits to everyone else. I'm happy for him for his goal because when it comes to shooting a penalty, he has a lot of confidence. 

"It's almost in the 80th minute and Dani Carvajal's effort in goal is from the whole team. We know that with patience and tranquillity we can score goals. This is what happened.

"The last 20 minutes with freshness we claimed a very important result. We have to congratulate all the players because what we are doing is not easy."

Zidane also provided an update on star centre-back Raphael Varane, who took a blow to the head and had to be replaced in the first half.

"Right now he's not right because it's a blow to the neck," Zidane added. "He has gone home and the doctor is going to see him and we will see from tomorrow [Friday]. 

"We are not going to risk anything. It was a strong blow and tomorrow we will see exactly what he has."

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