Inter Milan take control of Champions League semi-final derby against AC Milan
Posted by  badge Boss on May 11, 2023 - 09:18AM
Inter Milan have one foot in the Champions League final (Picture: Getty)

Inter Milan have one foot in the final after beating city rivals AC Milan 2-0 in the first leg of their semi-final tie at the San Siro.

In the first Champions League Milan derby since 2005, Inter scored two goals in the first 11 minutes to stun AC Milan, who were the designated home side for the first leg.

Edin Dzeko volleyed home from a corner to score Inter’s opener, before another former player – Henrikh Mkhitaryan – doubled the lead.

Inter Milan came close to effectively putting the tie to bed when Hakan Calhanoglu hit the post and felt aggrieved when they had a penalty overturned by VAR.

AC Milan improved somewhat after half-time – striking the woodwork through Sandro Tonali – but have it all to do after an underwhelming display.

They will look to overturn their two-goal deficit when they face Inter at the same venue next Tuesday, with the winner facing in the Champions League final on June 10.

Just two points separates the Milan rivals in the Serie A table but Inter looked a level above in the early stages of the Champions League semi-final first leg.

AC Milan were the inferior side at the San Siro (Picture: Getty)

It took Simone Inzaghi’s side just eight minutes to take the lead as ex-Manchester City striker Dzeko emphatically volleyed home from Calhanoglu’s corner.

The San Siro was left stunned just three minutes later as former Manchester United and Arsenal winger Mkhitaryan was allowed to race through on goal and slot past a helpless Mike Maignan.

Inter Milan were almost in dreamland shortly after as Calhanoglu struck the post with a superb sliced effort, and Maignan produced a crucial save to deny Nicolo Barella from the same attack.

It took AC Milan 30 minutes to muster up their first shot on goal – Davide Calabria’s inventive backheel missing the target – but Inter soon went down the other end and thought they had won a penalty.

Lautaro Martinez was seemingly dragged back by Simon Kjaer but referee Jesus Gil Manzano was surprisingly advised to check the pitchside monitor and overturned his initial decision.

Brahim Diaz and Junior Messias both curled efforts wide as AC Milan looked to reduce the deficit after half-time, but Inter still looked dangerous and should have been 3-0 up when Dzeko found himself in behind but failed to beat Maignan.

The Italian clubs meet again next week (Picture: Getty)

The home side had their best chance of the match on the hour mark when substitute Divock Origi and Olivier Giroud combined well and laid the ball off to Sandro Tonali, who clipped the outside of the post with Andre Onana rooted to the spot.

A goal would have given Stefano Pioli’s side real hope of mounting a semi-final comeback but Inter nearly scored for the third time through Roberto Gagliardini, who was tackled in the nick of time.

AC Milan created another chance in injury-time but Tommaso Pobega’s strike lacked power, with Inter holding on to ensure they boast a two-goal advantage ahead of next week’s second leg.


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