Inter qualify as Benitez finds his lucky charm

Milan: Inter Milan coach Rafael Benitez`s luck might just be changing after his side staggered into the Champions League last 16 thanks to a lucky goal and a late let off in a 1-0 win over Twente Enschede.

Reports said the Spaniard could be sacked if faltering Inter lost against the Dutch champions but Benitez can now rest a little easier, although a domestic ban for striker Samuel Eto`o following a headbutt complicates Sunday`s game with Parma.

The holders have not looked anything like European champions in recent weeks after a string of injuries caused a drop in form but they did just enough and nothing more in the Group A game to stumble through with a match to spare.

"When we are in difficulty like we have been this week, I don`t read the papers or watch the TV, we`ve just concentrated on the job in hand," Benitez told a news conference before being asked if he had seen club president Massimo Moratti.

"He came into the dressing room. Everything is fine."

Midfield dynamo Esteban Cambiasso, among the long list of players to have been struck down by the injury curse, made the difference despite still not being in top shape in a game Inter would have ended up drawing at the nadir of their bad patch.

His 55th minute goal had a huge hint of fortune about it, something the treble winners have been lacking lately when every little turning point has appeared to have gone against Benitez.

Wesley Sneijder`s free kick was deflected into the path of Argentina`s Cambiasso, who coolly fired home to spark a collective sigh of relief throughout the stadium.

Bureau Report