Inter Milan coach Frank de Boer breathed a sigh of relief when his side survived an onslaught from Southampton to end a three-match losing streak with a 1-0 win in the Europa League on Thursday.
The pressure was mounting on the Dutchman, who joined in the close season from Ajax Amsterdam, after a woeful start to an Inter career that left them 11th in Serie A and point-less in Europe.
De Boer’s men looked a struggling side as Southampton created a string of good chances but, just as the Premier League club were cranking up the heat, Antonio Candreva swept the ball home to secure Group K victory.
In contrast to Inter, Shakhtar Donetsk and Schalke 04 are cruising through the group stages and both maintained their perfect records with a third successive win.
A rampant Shakhtar thrashed Belgian side Gent 5-0 in Group H and Schalke edged past Krasnodar 1-0 thanks to an early goal from Yevhen Konoplyanka in Group I.
Four-times European champions Ajax saw their 100 per cent start in Group G halted by Celta Vigo in a 2-2 draw in Spain while Villarreal fought back from two down to draw 2-2 at Turkish side Osmanlispor in Group L.
Two goals from Fiorentina’s Nikola Kalinic helped the Italians move three points clear at the top of Group J after a 3-1 win at Slovan Liberec.