Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Champions League semifinal: Inspired Inter Milan beats AC Milan 2-0 in first leg

Inter Milan overpowered AC Milan early and held on to win the first leg of their Champions League semifinal derby 2-0 on Wednesday, leaving the Nerazzurri on the brink of a return to European football’s showpiece event for the first time since 2010.
Edin Dzeko and Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored two goals in three minutes to put Inter firmly in command and the visitors could have added more in a dominant first-half performance.
The second leg is on Tuesday. The winner will face either Real Madrid or Manchester City, who drew their first leg 1-1.
Milan was missing key forward Rafael Leão, who hasn’t fully recovered from a thigh injury sustained over the weekend.
There was an electric atmosphere at San Siro for the semifinal that had been dubbed the “Euroderby” in Italy.
The match was expected to be cagey and tight but Inter got off to the perfect start as it took the lead in the eighth minute. Hakan Çalhanoglu whipped in a corner from the left and Dzeko managed to get in front of Davide Calabria to hook a volley into the top right corner.
And Inter doubled its lead just three minutes later. Federico Dimarco’s low pass was wisely left by Lautaro Martínez for Mkhitaryan to lift over Mike Maignan.
Milan had only conceded one goal in its past six Champions League matches. Incredibly, Inter almost scored a third five minutes later but Çalhanoglu’s long-range effort came off the right post.
The Milan players were shellshocked but eventually managed to compose themselves and had their first attempt on goal on the half-hour mark but Calabria hit the side netting. Seconds later, Inter was awarded a penalty for a foul by Simon Kjær on Martínez but the referee revoked his decision after reviewing the incident on the pitchside monitor.


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