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.
|Van Dijk fit for Liverpool return - Koeman|
|NBA 2018-19: Eastern Conference predictions|
|NBA season preview 2018-19: Five rookies to watch|
|Denly replaces injured Dawson in England ODI squad|
|Low confirms under-fire Neuer to start against France|
|NBA 2018-19: Western Conference predictions|
|Bolt offered two-year deal by European club, says agent|
|NBA 2018-19: LeBron the Laker - what it means|
|Griezmann ahead of Mbappe for Ballon d´Or - Modric|
|Billy Vunipola ruled out with fractured arm|
|Get the chequebook out! - Mayweather talks up potential Khabib clash|
|Amla ruled out of Australia tour|
|Class act Hamilton more complete than ever - Wolff|
|NBA 2018-19: It´s a big season for - Ball, Kawhi, Carmelo, Love & Cousins|
|Bellew: I have no fear of Usyk|
|Birthday boy Ozil is the most creative player in Europe|
|CSA reveals De Villiers and Rabada involved in Mzansi Super League|
|FA condemns England supporters involved in trouble in Seville|
|Gascoigne hits back over Scottish Hall of Fame snub|
|NBA 2018-19: LeBron closing in on Jordan, Curry chasing Miller and Allen|
|Ter Stegen should start ahead of Neuer for Germany – Matthaus|
|England´s Sterling impressed by Sancho´s work ethic|
|Vandoorne seals switch to Formula E|
|Halep to end 2018 as world number one|
|Sri Lanka´s Jayasuriya charged by ICC with breaching anti-corruption code|
|Vermaelen out for six weeks with hamstring injury|
|LeBron and Irving did not fall out, says ex-Cavs trainer|
|Ramsey out of Wales´ clash with Republic of Ireland|
|Bolt angry with drugs test|
|Bad luck is not a coincidence – Kimmich concerned by Germany form|
|Mahomes: Chiefs need to win like Brady and the Patriots|
|Schuster warns Real Madrid not to panic-buy striker in January|
|We´re here to win! - Paine not happy celebrating a draw|
|Injured Thauvin out of Germany clash|
|Southgate hits out at early Premier League start|
|Modric to Inter talk is ´fantasy´, says Guardiola|
|Pats hand first loss to Chiefs after wild shoot-out|
|Cowboys, Ravens dominate as Pats beat Chiefs in NFL classic|
|Brady becomes first QB to 200 regular-season wins in NFL|
|Red Sox level series against Astros|
|Mbappe leaves red-faced Dembele on his backside|
|Red Sox ace Sale admitted to hospital with stomach illness|
|From UFC to NFL? McGregor throws pass for Cowboys|
|Ancelotti praises ´dangerous´ Mbappe|
|Uncapped Papalii named in All Blacks squad|
|Kane would star in LaLiga – Ramos|
|Guardiola unsure about Man City´s Champions League chances|
|Dzeko: Premier League return? You never know|
|Gurley dominates to help Rams beat Broncos|
|Butler expected to play Timberwolves´ opener against Spurs|
|I´m no wizard – Mancini asks for patience with Italy|
|The Messi and Ronaldo era is phenomenal – Guardiola|
|Dolphins defeat Bears in OT with 47-yard field goal|
|Almirola picks up win at Talladega|
|Wigan´s Sarginson wanted Grand Final glory in memory of brother|
|McLeish: Scotland keep shooting themselves in the foot|
|Sarries´ walking wounded a concern for Jones|
|Poland 0 Italy 1: Biraghi seals last-gasp win to keep final-four hopes alive|
|Seahawks top Raiders with blowout win in London|
|In-demand Hogg hints at Glasgow exit|
|Holder calls on Windies batsmen to step up after India whitewash|
|France´s World Cup win hurt me - Koscielny retires from international football|
|Bailey performs U-turn on Jamaica call-up|
|Evans becomes Buccaneers´ all-time leading receiver|
|Overlooked Alba is one of the world´s best, says Ramos|
|Del Potro a major ATP Finals doubt due to fractured patella|
|Gomez to replace suspended Stones for England|
|Luis Enrique applauds ´adaptive´ Southgate|
|Pepperell holds off Bjork for wire-to-wire British Masters glory|
|Steelers´ Shazier returns to Bengals´ stadium for first time since injury|