After Lautaro Martnez’s second-half goal put an end to AC Milan’s challenge, Inter Milan will play in the Champions League final the following month.
The San Siro stadium was booming as Inter won the semifinal’s second leg 1-0 to go to the final on June 10 with a 3-0 final score.
Now, Simone Inzaghi’s team will have the opportunity to make Nerazzurri history by being the fourth Inter team to win the premier soccer competition in Europe.
In 1964 and 1965, Inter was led by renowned coach Helenio Herrera to back-to-back European Cup victories.
After that, Inter supporters had to wait 45 years for another European Cup victory until José Mourinho’s team shocked Europe in 2010.
The second leg was much more competitive than the first one was, but Inter captain Martnez came up big with a goal in the 74th minute to win it for Inter as AC Milan frantically searched for a score.
The tiny striker was introduced by Romelu Lukaku, who had come in as a replacement, and he drove a shot past Mike Maignan at his near post, causing chaos at the San Siro.
“The group was the key,”
According to AC Milan defender Fikayo Tomori, there “was a little bit of anxiety” during the first game, but Stefano Pioli’s team entered the second leg with nothing to lose.
The Rossoneri came out firing, determined to erase their deficit and encouraged by Rafael Leo’s comeback.
Brahim Dáz had a wonderful chance to give his team the lead right away, but André Onana easily stopped his feeble shot.
Soon after, Leo made a wonderful solo run forward but his effort painfully missed the goal post.
Despite missed opportunities, Maignan preserved his club in the semifinals by making an outstanding save to stop Edin Deko’s header in the first half.
Despite a strong start, AC Milan ran out of steam. Pioli’s team failed to manage a shot on goal after the break, and Martnez’s goal put an end to any chance of a comeback.
“In both games, we played really well. Goal scorer Martnez told Sky Italia that the group was the key. I had a similar feeling at the World Cup: if you are united, you get to play these crucial games in the greatest way possible.
The victor of the Real Madrid vs. Manchester City semifinal on Wednesday will meet Inter Milan in the Champions League final, which will be held in Istanbul on June 10.
Inter vice-president and former captain Javier Zanetti said he prefers not to encounter Real, the 14-time champions of the European Cup, in an interview with Sky Italia.
The 2010 Champions League champion captain of Inter stated, “I would like to avoid Real Madrid because the competition seems made for them.”