Milan out as Nerazzurri book place into UCL Finals
Updated: May 26
Inter Milan beat AC Milan 1-0 in the second leg of their historic UEFA Champions League (UCL) semi-final to reach the competition’s showpiece for the first time since 2010 with a 3-0 aggregate victory, winning a fourth consecutive Derby della Madonnina without conceding.
The San Siro was mostly full with Nerazzurri shirts, but on this particular occasion, Milan got off to the stronger start. As Stefano Pioli's team hunted the goal they so sorely needed, Théo Hernandez got agonizingly near with an outrageous strike, but Brahim Díaz didn't show enough conviction to beat André Onana after excellent work from Sandro Tonali to set him up. While resisting the Rossoneri onslaught, Inter began to threaten with their own excursions forward, even if Henrikh Mkhitaryan missed with a shot off an Edin Džeko’s cutback.
With the two teams going toe-to-toe, Rafael Leão came tantalisingly close to marking his return from injury with the most vital of goals as the winger raced behind Matteo Darmian but eventually dragged his shot agonisingly wide, before Džeko’s header brought an incredible save out of Mike Maignan and Lautaro Martínez soon struck off target. Even though their two-goal lead was intact, the Nerazzurri were still dealt a blow before the break, as Mkhitaryan was forced off injured.
Clément Turpin didn't issue his first caution of the game until the 56th minute, when Malick Thiaw cruelly stopped Martínez. Surprisingly, Inter came out of the break firing. In a city known for its fashion, Inter's tenacity and organization kept Milan at bay, giving Martínez the opportunity to smash a shot beyond Maignan's outstretched hand and give Inter the lead and put the tie out of Milan's reach.
Emotions ran high after that moment, as Inter booked their tickets to the UCL final in Istanbul with their ninth match unbeaten across all competitions. While the Nerazzurri wait to see whether they will face Manchester City or Real Madrid in June, Milan will be praying that they can find a way into Europe’s primary club competition for next season after winning one of their last five, as they currently sit four points behind the fourth and final UCL qualification spot in Serie A.