The Nerazzurri won the Milan derby in the Champions League for the first time in their history.
During the draw for the semi-final pairs, it was clear to everyone that the Inter-Milan pair was inferior in class to the match between Manchester City and Real Madrid. But simultaneously, the excitement around the Italian semi-final is not harmful to the opposition of the European giants.
The Derby della Madonnina is one of the most essential derbies in world football and the most anticipated event on the Italian sports calendar. This year, the teams have already held two face-to-face meetings in the championship, which they managed to win once. Also, the Milan teams played in the Italian Super Cup this season; Inter took the trophy.
This time, fate brought Milan and Inter to the Champions League. Both clubs are no longer in contention for the Scudetto, leaving them only one option to win the trophy.
Dzeko showed Milan who is the boss
The beginning of the meeting was very cheerful. Inter took the ball under their control from the first minutes and showed Milan the pace that would impose the whole game.
In the 8th minute of the meeting, Hakan Calhanoglu performed a corner kick; the ball flew into the center of the penalty area, where Edin Dzeko won the top and headed the ball into the opponents' goal.
Dzeko scored against Milan at 37 years and 54 days; only Ryan Giggs scored in the Champions League playoffs at a more mature age (37 years and 148 days in 2011). Also, Dzeko already has three goals for Italian clubs in the semi-finals of the Champions League; only Alessandro Del Piero (5) has more.
The best of Armenians
The quick goal factor brought down the mood of Milan; Stefano Pioli's wards could not enter this game, for which they soon paid again.
The Nerazzurri smelled blood and threatened the gates of Mike Meignan repeatedly. The Frenchman tried to shout to his defenders so that they would take care of the Inter attackers more tightly but completely forgot about the midfielders.
In the 11th minute, Henrikh Mkhitaryan shot from a lethal position and increased the lead in the score to two goals. He became the first Armenian and the third player from the CIS to score in the Champions League semi-finals.
In 1999, Ukrainians Vitaly Kosovsky and Andriy Shevchenko scored for Dynamo Kyiv. Shevchenko later scored in the Champions League semi-finals for AC Milan (2003 and 2005). Russian Dmitry Alenichev scored in the Champions League final for Porto in 2004.
Crisis of ideas
After two goals were conceded, Milan's misadventures did not end. Rossoneri midfielder Ismael Bennacer has been injured. He had to leave the field and was replaced by Junior Messias.
In the first half, the game of the "red-blacks" did not improve. The Inter players were head and shoulders stronger and delivered more and more shots at the opponents' goal. But Meignan was reliable, and the bar came to the rescue when the French goalkeeper was powerless.
Milan players tried to fall beautifully in the opponents' penalty area, but the chief referee Manzano was adamant. The Rossoneri could only rely on set pieces since they could not create chances from the game.
No changes on the Milanese front
In the second half of the match, the pattern of the game did not change much. Inter also demonstrated its superiority. Inzaghi's team controlled the ball better and caught Milan well on the counterattacks.
The Rossoneri created chances at the gates of their neighbors several times, but it all ended in inaccurate shots. Sandro Tonali was closest to scoring a goal, but the Milan midfielder only managed to hit the post.
A new breath of Inter
By the 70th minute, the Nerazzurri were noticeably tired. Inzaghi should have left the form of his players unattended and made 4 substitutions in 10 minutes, including the released Romelu Lukaku, who remained in reserve.
After these rearrangements, Inter breathed again and continued to press, but the Black and Blue lacked realization in the final stage of attacks.
See you in Milan
Ultimately, both teams frankly brought the meeting to its logical conclusion. Inter won 2-0. The Nerazzurri were honestly stronger and deserved a small celebration today.
Milan, in turn, needs to work on the mistakes because, in the second leg, they will have to try to play in the Istanbul final seriously. Of the pluses, it can be noted that the team will not have to fly somewhere to have a rematch.
The return game will occur at the same time, in the same place, exactly one week later. Well, see you in Milan.