Inter put one foot in Champions League final with win over rivals AC Milan

Inter Milan claimed a comfortable 2-0 win over city rivals AC Milan in the semi-finals after running riot in the first half. The Nerazzurri may feel they could have taken an even stronger lead into the return leg at the San Siro next week after passing up a number of good opportunities after taking an early lead. 

Here Express Sport looks at four things learned from the game with Inter taking one massive step towards the Champions League final. 

Premier League rejects shine

When Edin Dzeko and Henrikh Mkhitaryan left the Premier League, you would be forgiven for thinking that they would not reach their best again. However, the duo turned back the years in the semi-final as their strikes put Inter in the driving seat.

There was much more to their game than just goals. Dzeko was a constant menace for Milan centre-backs Fiyako Tomori and Simon Kjaer with his physical presence too much to handle. 

Mkhitaryan impressed too. The Inter midfield controlled large swathes of the game with the Armenian crucial in the centre before being replaced by the more defensive Marcelo Brozovic around the hour mark. 

The duo will once again be crucial in the return leg next week as Inter look to maintain their advantage. 

Bad night for Tomori

Fiyako Tomori has deservedly been widely praised for his displays for Milan since joining from Chelsea in 2021 but he was once again lacking in a high-pressure game. 

The 25-year-old badly struggled on his Chelsea reunion earlier in the tournament, conceding three on his return to Stamford Bridge before getting sent off within 20 minutes at the San Siro, and his performance against Inter drew parallels.

Dzeko and Martinez ran riot in the first half as Tomori and centre-back partner Kjaer were unable to get close and may feel annoyed that they did not score more. 

Leao missed

There was good news for Milan fans ahead of kick-off with reports stating that the talismanic Leao had signed a new deal with the club, tying him to the San Siro for the next five years. 

However, the mood of supporters would have changed when they saw the team lines. Leao was a notable absentee after failing to recover from a hamstring injury in time. 

He was badly missed. Without his pace and trickery, the Rossoneri struggled to break down the Inter defence after they took an early lead in the tie as they failed to get back into the game. 

Milan fans will be desperate to see him back in the side in the second leg next week. Their Champions League hopes could hinge on it. 

Maignan keeps score down

If Milan do manage to mount a comeback next week they will have their goalkeeper to thank. The Frenchman pulled off important saves from Nicolo Barella and Dzeko with the score still 2-0, keeping his side in the tie. 

Maignan has been one of the best goalkeepers in world football this season and displayed all of his qualities again in the semi-final. The likes of Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea could be on the lookout for a new goalkeeper over the summer - the 27-year-old shot-stopper should really be near the top of their lists. 

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