Inter Milan defeated AC Milan 2-0 in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal at San Siro thanks to goals from Edin Dzeko and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
After a strong first half, Inter easily could have ended the match after blitzing their local rivals with two goals in the first 11 minutes.
After a lackluster start in front of their supporters, Milan performed better after the break, but they will be happy to still be within striking distance of the 2010 champions.
The bitter rivals hadn’t faced off in the Champions League since their 2005 quarterfinal match, which was called off after 73 minutes of the second leg after some Inter fans started throwing flares onto the field. Milan was dealt a setback before the game when star attacker Rafael Leao was ruled out due to a muscular injury.
Eight minutes in, former Manchester City striker Dzeko beat Davide Calabria to Federico Dimarco’s corner kick and slammed a volley to give Inter the lead.
Lautaro Martinez was brought down by Simon Kjaer in the 31st minute, and Inter were given a penalty. However, Spanish referee Jesus Gil Manzano reversed his initial decision.
Brahim Diaz’s 20-yard curl narrowly missed the goal as Milan had a much better start to the second half. Junior Messias also squandered a fantastic opportunity to score when through on goal. Maignan made a fantastic one-on-one stop to deny Dzeko.
Milan kept becoming better, and substitute Divock Origi was crucial in setting up Sandro Tonali.
Inter made a significant advancement toward the Istanbul final by taking the edge off Milan’s comeback.