Martínez shoots Inter to CL final – Milan could never really make a fist of it
Who will Inter take on in the final?
We’ll find out tomorrow night, when Manchester City and Real Madrid battle it out in England. Last week it was 1-1 in Madrid, so it promises to be exciting.
We’ll keep you updated on that in a liveblog as well. See you tomorrow!
INT-MIL | 90+4′ Duel over, Internazionale win
Inter goes to Istanbul. For the first time in thirteen years, the club is in a Champions League final.
Over two games deserved, Milan never got into a rhythm tonight either.
Brief interlude: Guardado quits Mexico
Record international Andrés Guardado of Mexico will never again be in action for his national soccer team. The former PSV midfielder made this known on Tuesday.
“Thank you for everything I have experienced in these 16 years,” the 36-year-old Real Betis player wrote on Instagram. “It is impossible to express in words how grateful and privileged I feel. Many thanks to my teammates and all the national coaches. And to all the supporters. I am one of you.”
Guardado made his debut on Mexico’s national soccer team in 2005 and played his 181st and final international at the World Cup in Qatar late last year. He appeared in action at five World Cups. Guardado also played in Europe for Deportivo La Coruna, Valencia and Bayer Leverkusen.
INT-MIL | 37′ There was Leão then
Leão soloed into the Inter penalty box and provided himself with a shooting opportunity. His effort goes just wide of Onana’s goal.
It was a beautiful and typical Leão dribble, with a nice drag around Acerbi.
A moment later, Maignan Milan saved with a beautiful save.
INT-MIL | 29′ Milan has to come up with something
With Inter having taken over the initiative, Milan need to think of something to start turning the tide anyway. It was a mortal sin for coach Piolo’s team that Brahim Diaz killed off a great chance.
Leão’s contribution was minimal. The Portuguese was sorely missed last week, but still cannot distinguish himself tonight.
INT-MIL | 21′ Inter gets better
Without creating many chances, home team Inter is getting a little stronger. In the first 10 minutes, Milan was full on attack and that produced a few good chances, but now it is Inter that beats the clock.
Milan were now twice lucky not to get a yellow, as Calabria and Tonali emphatically applied for it.
INT-MIL | 11′ Diaz should have scored
Whew, what a chance for Brahim Diaz. He was perfectly served by Tonali, who came steaming up the left side.
Diaz was then able to slide right in, but his shot was too soft and a prey for Onana.
INT-MIL | 8′ Shooting chance Barella
Barella is released shortly before the sixteen-meter line and can shoot. The Inter midfielder’s shot goes over.
Still, it was remarkable – and disturbing from a Milan perspective – how passive Milan’s defense looked.
Will Onana keep his goal clean again?
Where André Onana took to his heels at Ajax last summer after much turmoil, the goalkeeper at Internazionale is now brushing up his reputation in a big way. The 27-year-old goalkeeper will play Inter’s second match of the Champions League semifinals against city rival AC Milan tonight.
He was once so beloved by Ajax fans. The goalie was even allowed to join the best goalkeepers in the world during the famous Champions League campaign in 2019, the Amsterdammers won against Real Madrid and Juventus, but were eliminated in the semifinals against Tottenham Hotspur.
After that, Onana ran into a doping suspension at Ajax and refused to renew his contract – mainly for financial reasons. Amsterdam saw Onana leave sooner rather than later. And so the Cameroonian did. He chose Italian side Inter, where he is now posted as a regular under crossbar.
You can read how he fared in Milan here:
Again no Lukaku in the starting lineup at Inter
Coach Simone Inzaghi regularly puts world star – because you can call him that anyway – Romelu Lukaku on the bench at Inter. Just like last week, tonight he prefers Edin Dzeko to the Belgian.
Lukaku, rented from Chelsea, has languished with his form and fitness this season. Yet on Sunday against Sassuolo, with two fine goals, Lukaku once again made an old-fashioned impression.
By the way, Dzeko popped another ball into the top corner last against Milan, so he is not a crazy option either.
Fine nomination for former Vitessen player Openda
Loïs Openda is one of five players still in with a chance of winning the award for best player of the season in France’s highest soccer league Ligue 1. The striker, active last season for Vitesse, has formidable competitors. Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé of Paris Saint-Germain are also nominated. As are his teammate Seko Fofana at RC Lens and Jonathan David of Lille.
The 23-year-old Openda already scored 19 goals this season for RC Lens, the surprising No. 2 in the Ligue 1 rankings. The attacker from Belgium prepared three goals.
Bennacer out of action for six months
It was already known that AC Milan midfielder Ismaël Bennacer’s season was over. But the injury he suffered against Inter last week appears to be costing him as much as six months.
The Algerian dropped out during the first semifinal between the Italian clubs after just over 15 minutes of play. In the quarter-finals of the Champions League, Bennacer was still decisive with a goal in the home game against Napoli (1-0).
Milan counts on star player Leão
Rafael Leão’s absence against Inter last week was a sporting disaster for AC Milan. Stefano Pioli’s team simply could not appear to be without the Portuguese striker’s creative impetus.
But it looks like Leão will play tonight “He has recovered, as have Rade Krunic and Junior Messias,” Pioli said when asked about Leão yesterday. “If everything goes well, they will be available for this afternoon’s training and tomorrow’s game.”
Aké also misses Manchester City’s return game against Real
Nathan Aké will also miss Manchester City’s home match against Real Madrid in the semifinals of the Champions League on Wednesday. The defender has not recovered sufficiently from an injury he sustained a week and a half ago during a league game against Leeds United. “Apart from Aké, everyone is fit,” coach Pep Guardiola said at a press conference.
City is yearning to win the Champions League, a trophy still missing from the trophy cabinet of one of the world’s richest clubs. “Of course we would like to win this tournament,” Guardiola said. “And we have been close many times. But when I signed here seven years ago, no one said to win the Champions League. And you can’t blame the players either, as long as they keep giving everything.”
So what about the San Siro (or Giuseppe Meazza)?
Those who watched the first game of the Champions League city derby (2-0 for Inter) last week may have wondered whether a new stadium should be built at all. San Siro was packed: interest in the match was so great that Milan could have sold out the stadium as many as 26 times.
Moreover, the atmosphere was phenomenal. Videos of the Milan fans’ impressively loud anthem (Sarà perché ti amo) went viral. viral On TikTok and Instagram. Pure advertising for the stadium.
But both Milan and Inter are still convinced that a new home is the best solution. While the soccer temple was full in the Champions League, it almost never succeeds in Serie A.
Up to 80,000 spectators can be accommodated at San Siro, following the stadium’s significant expansion for the 1990 World Cup. With the – often not well-filled – third ring that was put on it then, Milan and Inter are still struggling today.