Inter Milan took an early lead and never looked back, defeating AC Milan 2-0 in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal matchup in the Euroderby.
With the win, Inter moves closer to a return to the final of European soccer’s premier competition for the first time in over a decade.
The Nerazzurri dominated the first half, scoring two goals in three minutes thanks to strikes from Edin Džeko and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Milan struggled to create chances without key forward Rafael Leão, who was sidelined with a thigh injury.
Despite the deficit, Milan improved in the second half and pushed toward their vocal supporters. However, they were unable to find the back of the net, hitting the post twice.
Inter could have added to their lead in the first half, as Hakan Çalhanoğlu hit the post from long range after the goals from Džeko and Mkhitaryan. The result leaves Milan with an uphill battle in the second leg, with Inter holding a commanding advantage.
The atmosphere at the San Siro was electric, with both sets of fans creating an incredible atmosphere. Inter will look to finish the job in the second leg on Tuesday, with the winner set to face either Real Madrid or Manchester City in the final.
Milan had been in impressive defensive form prior to the match, conceding only one goal in their previous six Champions League fixtures. However, Inter’s potent attack proved too much for the Rossoneri on the night.
Inter’s early goals stunned Milan, who struggled to recover from the setback. The Nerazzurri could have put the game out of reach early on, hitting the post through Çalhanoğlu, but were unable to extend their lead.
Despite Milan’s improvement in the second half, they were unable to find a way past Inter’s defense. Tonali hit the post with a long-range effort in the 63rd minute, but it was as close as Milan came to getting on the scoresheet.
Inter will be confident of securing a spot in the final after their impressive display in the first leg. Milan will need a remarkable comeback to progress to the final, but they will take heart from their improved showing in the second half.