Inter defeat Milan to qualify for first final in 13 years

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About 13 years after Inter won the Champions League under Jose Mourinho, the Nerazzurri are set to take a shot at the title again after they overcame city rivals AC Milan over two legs in the semi-final.

Lautaro Martinez’s 74th-minute strike on Tuesday ensured Inter completed a double over Milan with a 3-0 aggregate victory as they marched into the final which will be played in Istanbul later this month.

Inter had won the first leg 2-0 before completing the job at San Siro on Tuesday.

Although both legs were played at the same venue, Inter under Simone Izghazi showed they controlled the Northern Italian City.

The game

Inter with the same jersey of blue and black elegantly stepped on the San Siro pitch against their neighbours for the second encounter of the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday night.

The Nerazzurri had a huge boost going into the second leg after their 2-0 first leg victory last week.

While Simone Inzhagi made no changes to his high-flying squad, Stefano Pioli made three changes to last week’s squad.

Rafael Leao returned to the starting lineup alongside Malixk Thiaw and Junior Messias with Saelemaekers and Kjaer dropped to the bench.

Five minutes into the game, Theo Hernandez‘s effort went slightly off target to break the silence at San Siro.

However, Milan experienced another unfortunate circumstance in the 10th minute. After Oliver Giroud rounded off Goalkeeper Andre Onana, Brahim Diaz failed to slot the loose ball into an empty net. A minute later, the midfielder’s effort was saved by Onana.

In the 37th minute, Leao who was greatly missed in the first leg had a clear chance to break through Inter’s defence, waltzing past Darmian to have a one-on-one encounter with Onana but the Portuguese’s strike to the far left of the post went slightly off target.

Two minutes later, Mike Maignan parried Laturo Martinez’s header from Hakan Calhanoglu’s freekick.

At the cusp of the first half, Inter player Henrikh Mhkitaryan was substituted for Marcelo Brozovic after the Armenian midfielder suffered an injury.

The first half then ended in a stalemate.

Second half

The second half saw a twist in the game as Inter put pressure on their opponents.

In the 52nd minute, Francesco Acerbi escaped a potential red card after the VAR ruled off his attack on Sandro Tonali.

Inzaghi, seeking to spice his boring attack, sent in Romelu Lukaku for Edwin Dzeko in the 66th minute and it took the Belgian forward just eight minutes to create an assist for Lautaro Martinez to break the deadlock and seal a final berth in Istanbul.

Inter will be patiently waiting to see whether they would be facing Real Madrid or Manchester City in this year’s final. The latter two teams meet in Manchester Wednesday to decide which of them will qualify for the final.

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