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Holders Inter stagger into last 16

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.

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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."

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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.


Sneijder and Dejan Stankovic then missed gilt-edged chances to extend the home side's lead and they were almost made to pay when Twente substitute Denny Landzaat shook the bar during a sustained period of late pressure for the visitors.

"In the first half my team played well and when you play well at a team as good as Inter you have to pounce when you have the chance," said Twente coach Michel Preud'homme, whose side must now be content with a berth in the Europa League after securing third spot in the group.

"We'd have liked to have achieved something prestigious."

Benitez would perhaps feel he was due a bit of luck after having a baptism of fire since taking over in June.

Jose Mourinho's feat of winning the Champions League, Serie A and Italian Cup with Inter last season already had the ex-Liverpool coach under pressure and the club's decision not to invest also left him with a stale and slightly small squad.

False steps have continued on and off since, including a derby defeat by AC Milan and the loss at Tottenham Hotspur, while top spot in the group is sti