Inter 1 AC Milan 0 (agg 3-0): Lautaro Martinez goal seals Nerazzurri’s Champions League final spot over fierce rivals

Well-known opponents could be waiting for Manchester City and Pep Guardiola in the Champions League final.

Former City player Edin Dzeko and his Inter Milan team-mates are on their way to Istanbul after beating their staunch city rivals in the biggest clash Milan has seen in 20 years.

Lautaro Martinez celebrates his winner this evening


Lautaro Martinez celebrates his winner this eveningCredit: Alamy
25-year-old Martinez shot Inter into the Champions League final


25-year-old Martinez shot Inter into the Champions League finalPhoto credit: Reuters
Martinez was the key man for Inter


Martinez was the key man for InterPhoto credit: Getty
Martinez celebrates his goal with the fans


Martinez celebrates his goal with the fansPhoto credit: AP

Neither Carlo Ancelotti, a former Milan coach, nor Guardiola, whose Barcelona side lost to Inter in the 2010 semi-final as the Serie A side lifted the trophy for a third time, will not underestimate them.

In those two games, Inter showed that they can be as disruptive as they are dangerous.

A real threat if you want to play direct attacking football but aren’t afraid to drag your opponents into a fight just in case they’re thinking of playing nice football.

Simone Inzaghi’s side valiantly defended the advantage they gained here last week before Lautaro Martinez sealed their return to club football’s greatest stage with 15 minutes remaining.

Milan’s road to Istanbul would only become more difficult considering Edin Dzeko and Henrik Mkhitaryan scored after eleven minutes after a brilliant start to the first leg.

Stefano Pioli, the Milan coach, admitted his side needed a miracle.

They were already in a terrible position and faced this clash away, with Inter fans dominating San Siro.

A huge banner featuring a triumphant knight praising the sacrifices made this Champions League season (including Barcelona and Bayern Munich) was unfurled to inspire Inter, accompanied by the rallying cry: “Victory is life for us.”

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Milan’s fans in the Curva Sud replied: “To the attack”, but it never really happened.

Hopes that a miracle might be possible came when Rafael Leao’s name appeared on the squad list after missing the first leg with a hamstring injury – despite being far from fit.

But it always felt that this was a step too far for Milan, with or without Leao.

If Milan were to have any hope at all, they needed a spectacular start.

Theo Hernandez made sure of that, shooting just over the bar from 40 meters away.

Matteo Darmian had to head over his own bar before Brahim Diaz fired a low shot at Andre Onana – a missed chance that could have increased the pressure on Inter.

Inter tried to get things under control after a difficult start but Leao made things much more difficult than last week.

The winger broke through Inter’s defence, but his shot agonizingly went wide of the far post. Close, but one more lets go.

For a clash between the two titans of the world’s trendiest city, this turned into one hell of a battle.

The Red-Blacks ran forward hoping to force something – but that didn’t work, leaving just a single shot on target in 90 minutes.

Inter were happy to smash away any momentum their rivals could pull off.

Milan’s hopes dwindled as Inter’s confidence grew before enthusiasm erupted.

Martinez had been kicked and tackled throughout, but this time he found space through a one-two with Romelu Lukaku.

The World Cup winner conceded and fired a low shot at the near post, causing blue and black chaos.

It would be foolish to rule out a similar sight in Istanbul.

Inter Milan celebrates with their fans


Inter Milan celebrates with their fansPhoto credit: AFP
AC Milan has been clearly beaten by its strong rivals


AC Milan has been clearly beaten by its strong rivalsPhoto credit: Getty



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Zack Zwiezen

Zack Zwiezen is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Zack Zwiezen joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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