Inter Milan sealed a 2-0 victory over their city rivals AC Milan in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinals at San Siro on Wednesday.
Inter Milan scored the opener in the 8th minute when their veteran striker Edin Dzeko brilliantly volleyed a corner from Hakan Calhanoglu.
The derby heated when Inter doubled three minutes after Henrik Mkhitaryan received the pass from Federico Dimarco.
The referee almost awarded Inter a penalty in the 31st minute when AC Milan captain Simon Kjaer fouled Lautaro Martinez. However, the referee overturned the penalty’s decision after a VAR review.
AC Milan strikes back
The home team retaliated in the second half. Junior Messias should have scored the opener for Rossoneri if his shot had not widened.
Sandro Tonali almost made it for Milan, but his shot hit the post in the 63rd minute.
Edin Dzeko sought the guest’s third goal, but Mike Maignan brilliantly denied the former Manchester City forward’s shot.
AC Milan’s defense saved Matteo Darmian’s shot in the 73rd minute.
The game was more balanced in the second half. The hosts did not score a single goal, and Simone Inzaghi’s men put one foot in the UEFA Champions League finals.
AC Milan’s first defeat to city rivals and Inter’s UCL Champions League dream after 13 years.
Wednesday’s derby was the fifth meeting of both Italian giants in the UEFA Champions League. The 0-2 defeat was AC Milan’s first loss to its city rivals in the European competition.
Milan-based outfits met in the UEFA Champions League semifinals in 2002/2003. Milan won and advanced to the final to meet another Italian rival Juventus (Rossoneri won the UEFA Champions League final in a penalty shootout).
They met again in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League in the 2004/2005 campaign. Again Milan won both legs.At that time, Milan went to the final before losing to Liverpool in the most dramatic final in Istanbul, Turkey.
Two years later, AC Milan beat Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League finals at Olympic Stadium in Athens, Greece.
Meanwhile, the last night’s result gives some hope for Inter Milan after a 13-year wait when they won the UEFA Champions League title under Jose Mourinho’s leadership.
In the 2009/2010 season. The Portuguese manager helped Inter to win three titles: Serie A, UEFA Champions League, and Coppa Italia.
Jose Mourinho, one of the world’s most decorated football managers, is now the manager of AS Roma.
The second leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinals between AC Milan and Inter Milan will be held on Tuesday (May 16) at Giuseppe Meazza (Inter’s home base).