Dzeko, Mkhitaryan score early to shoot Inter closer to final

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The 236th Derby della Madonnina ended in favour of Internazionale, who scored two early goals through 37-year-old Edin Dzeko and 34-year-old Henrikh Mkhitaryan and claimed a crucial 2-0 away victory over AC Milan at San Siro on Wednesday.

This massive away win is a giant step towards qualifying for the Champions League final by the Nerazzurri.

The Game

The first half of the game saw Inter Milan take the lead in the eighth minute through a goal from Edin Dzeko, who volleyed home a corner kick taken by Hakan Calhanoglu.

Inter continued to dominate the half, and in the 11th minute, Henrikh Mkhitaryan doubled their lead with a well-placed shot from inside the box, assisted by Federico Dimarco. Calhanoglu hit the upright in the 16th minute from a fierce drive outside the box as the AC Milan defence continued to part like the Red Sea.

Without the injured Rafael Leao, AC Milan were toothless in attack, with Denzel Dumfries doing a number on Theo Hernandez by pinning the left back in his half. In the 18th minute, AC Milan were forced into a substitution after Ismael Bennacer hobbled off, and Junior Messias replaced him.

Referee Jesus Gil Manzano overturned himself in the 31st after awarding a penalty to Inter after Simon Kjaer felled Lautaro Martinez in the box. But after consulting with VAR and going to the monitor, Manzano overruled his first decision. Though Kjaer’s touch on Martinez was minimal, the penalty was the correct decision.

According to Opta, Inter are only the fourth side to take a two-goal lead in the opening 11 minutes of a Champions League semi-final match, after Juventus, Manchester United and Manchester City recorded similar feats in 1999, 2009 and 2022, respectively.

Whoever emerges victorious over two legs from this game will come up against Manchester City or Real Madrid in the final.


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