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banner Thursday, 22 November, 2001, 21:40 GMT
Ipswich stun Inter
Ipswich v Inter Milan
Pablo Counago gets past Milan's Luigi Di Biagio
Ipswich 1-0 Inter Milan

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Alun Armstong climbed off his sick-bed to hand Ipswich a famous victory over Inter Milan at Portman Road.

George Burley's side put their league worries behind them to give themselves a real opportunity of making it through to the fourth round.

Armstrong, who has missed the last three games due to a virus, came off the bench to head home what proved to be the winner in the 81st minute.


It could well be the most important goal of my career so far, but only as long as we get a result out there as well
Alun Armstrong
The result maintains Ipswich's unbeaten home record in Europe but it will still take something special at the San Siro in a fortnight to progress.

In a game that pitted second from bottom in the Premiership against the team second in Serie A, Burley's men were always on top.

But for most of the contest they struggled to test Francesco Toldo in the Inter goal.

Ipswich made a bright start and Titus Bramble almost gave them the lead after just five minutes.

Ipswich v Inter Milan
Mark Venus holds off Inter's Nicola Ventola
The defender met a Mark Venus free-kick from close range but could only steer his shot wide of Francesco Toldo's goal.

A minute later Matt Holland met another Venus cross and although Inter cleared the danger they looked to be vulnerable at the back.

It was a different story going forward and it took a brave block by Ipswich's Italian keeper Matteo Sereni to deny Nicola Ventola after the 11m man had been played in by the impressive Javier Zanetti.

Burley's gamble

Ventola looked to have rounded Sereni but he got back to make the save and Herman Hreidarsson was quickest to react to the loose ball to deny Mohammed Kallon.

Ipswich continued to create opportunities but for all their possession Burley's men failed to trouble Toldo.

The visitor's keeper was finally forced into action just a minute before half-time when punching clear Matt Holland's shot from the edge of the area.

Ipswich v Inter Milan
Titus Bramble challenges Inter's Nicola Ventola

Inter improved after the break and created the first real oportunity of the second-half when Ventola headed over a Seedorf cross.

At the other end Ipswich continued to look lost up front without the injured Marcus Stewart.

Pablo Counago wasted a superb shooting chance when firing over from just inside the area with only the Inter keeper to beat.

Burley knew his side needed a lead to take to Italy and took a gamble by bringing on the unfit Armstrong in the 75th minute for Richard Naylor.


We've beaten a tremendous side and I just hope we can carry that form on into the league
George Burley
Ipswich manager

And the switch paid off in spectacular fashion with Armstrong rising to meet a Jamie Clapham cross and beat Toldo from eight yards.

How Burley must wish his side could produce the same level of performance in the Premiership.


Ipswich: Sereni, Makin, Bramble, Hreidarsson, Venus, Wright, Holland, Peralta, Clapham, Counago, Naylor. Subs: Branagan, Wilnis, McGreal, Bent, Reuser, Armstrong, Gaardsoe.

Inter Milan: Toldo, Javier Zanetti, Cordoba, Di Biagio, Gresko, Seedorf, Cristiano Zanetti, Emre, Farinos, Kallon, Ventola. Subs: Fontana, Sergio Conceicao, Guglielminpietro, Georgatos, Materazzi, Adriano, Okan.

Referee: Kim Nielsen (Denmark)

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Ian Brown
"This was a wonderfully sure-footed performance by Ipswich"
Ipswich boss George Burley
"Very pleased with the win"
Ipswich's Alun Armstrong
"To score against Inter Milan is unbelievable"
Ipswich v Inter Milan
Watch the match highlights
Links to more Uefa Cup stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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