Inter at the expense of city rival AC Milan to Champions League final
A week after its 2-0 victory over AC Milan in the outward match of the Champions League semifinals, Inter also beat its city rival in the return. At Stadio Giuseppe Meazza it was 1-0 thanks to a goal by Lautaro Martinez.
Inter can therefore call themselves Champions League finalists again for the first time since 2010, when under José Mourinho’s leadership and with Wesley Sneijder on the pitch, they won the final against Bayern Munich.
Either Manchester City or Real Madrid will be the opponent in that final on June 10 in Istanbul.
Milan, who had to hunt for goals, got off to a strong start. First it was back Theo Hernández who took the goal by storm with a hard shot. The Frenchman saw his effort from 30 meters or so skim just over former Ajax player André Onana’s goal.
A few minutes later, Brahim Diaz had Milan’s opening goal up for grabs. The Spaniard was perfectly served by Sandro Tonali who came charging up the left side. Diaz had the corner to choose from but, to the horror of all the red and black fans in the stadium, produced a weak roll.
After Milan had fizzled out, Inter, where Denzel Dumfries had a starting place, became stronger and stronger as the first half progressed. Except for a fine solo by Rafael Leão, who returned from injury, Milan was no longer dangerous.
Lautaro decides the match
Indeed, the biggest danger came at the other end when Edin Dzeko headed a hard incoming free kick toward goal. With a superb reflex, Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan then kept his goal clean.
Not much happened after halftime. Milan were unable to really make things difficult for Inter and Dumfries’ and Stefan de Vrij’s team, who remained on the bench throughout the match, were fine. When Lautaro Martinez beat Maignan in the near corner on a pass from substitute Romelu Lukaku fifteen minutes before the end, it was all over for Milan.