Inter crashed out of the Europa League despite a 4-1 triumph over Tottenham at San Siro on Thursday evening.
The Italians were well behind the eight ball heading into the match following their 3-0 loss to Spurs in the first leg at White Hart Lane, but knew that an early goal could give them a glimmer of hope in the tie.
Inter came sprinting out of the starting blocks and was rewarded when Antonio Cassano, who had one the best games of his illustrious career, opened the scoring with a header from close range in the 20th minute.
The Serie A outfit knew it still needed two goals to force extra time but it was exactly the start it was looking for.
The hosts pushed forward looking for another goal and Rodrigo Palacio almost provided it but hit the crossbar when he probably should have done better.
Inter continued to look for a second goal but had to be content with a 1-0 lead on the evening heading into the half-time break.
Palacio had a chance to atone for his earlier miss and did just that, as he made no mistake sliding the ball past Tottenham goalkeeper Brad Friedel.
It was game on at San Siro and Spurs looked shell-shocked. One more goal for Inter would make it 3-3 on aggregate and that’s exactly what happened when Cassano’s free kick was redirected by William Gallas into his own net in the 74th minute.
Inter was up 3-0 on the night and the encounter was remarkably heading into extra time.
The hosts looked exhausted, as Tottenham went close twice in succession before Emmanuel Adebayor tapped in a juicy rebound in the 96th minute.
The goal made it 3-1 to Inter but more importantly 4-3 to Spurs on aggregate. The Italians would now need two goals to progress to the quarterfinals.
Inter refused to give up and amazingly made it 4-1 when Ricky Alvarez headed past Freidel from close range with 11 minutes to go in extra time.
Spurs held firm though and Inter crashed out of the Europa League despite a heroic fightback.