On Wednesday, the first legs of the Champions League semi-finals kicked off with the Derby della Madonnina between Inter and AC Milan at the San Siro.
Inter put an end to their Champions League curse against their city rivals by taking a commanding 2-0 lead at the midway point of the match.
Although the hosts were without Rafael Leão due to an injury, Inter benched Marcelo Brozović for the first EuroDerby since 2005. In the eighth minute, Edin Džeko stunned AC Milan with a volley from Hakan Çalhanoğlu’s corner to record his first goal in the Derby della Madonnina. Just three minutes later, Henrikh Mkhitaryan fired a low drive past Mike Maignan to double the Nerazzurri’s lead after the hosts’ defense allowed him the freedom to do so.
Çalhanoğlu almost made it 3-0 with a long-range effort that bounced back off Maignan’s left-hand post, while Milan suffered a setback as Ismaël Bennacer limped out through injury just moments later. Although Inter was initially awarded a penalty for Simon Kjær’s pull on Lautaro Martínez, it was overturned on a VAR review, offering a reprieve to Milan.
In the second half, Milan started brighter with Brahim Díaz and Junior Messias each sending a curling effort just past André Onana’s right-hand post. However, Maignan was still the busier of the two goalkeepers as he had to thwart Džeko from doubling his tally after being played in by Alessandro Bastoni. Sandro Tonali went closest for Milan with a shot from the edge of the penalty area that rebounded back off the outside of Inter’s woodwork.
Inter will now look to secure a spot in their first Champions League final since 2010 when they host AC Milan back at the San Siro in six days’ time.