Livewire Lukaku leads Inter into Europa semifinals

Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku leads the celebrations after scoring his side’s second goal against Leverkusen. (AP pic)

DUSSELDORF: Romelu Lukaku scored as Inter Milan defeated Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 in Monday’s Europa League quarterfinal in Dusseldorf, becoming the first team through to the last four of a mini tournament behind closed doors in Germany.

Three-time former winners Inter struck first through Nicolo Barella as he guided in from the edge of the area on 15 minutes, with Lukaku bundling in a second six minutes later.

Kai Havertz reduced the deficit in possibly his final game for Leverkusen with a well-worked goal on 25 minutes after exchanging passes with fellow Germany international Kevin Volland, but Inter held on to seal their place in the semifinals.

Antonio Conte’s side will take on Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk or Swiss club Basel next Monday in Dusseldorf for a place in the final on Aug 21.