The Derby della Madonnina went emphatically to Inter Milan on Tuesday as Simone Inzaghi’s team dominated rival AC Milan in their Coppa Italia semifinal second leg, 3-0. Inter on Tuesday advanced to their first domestic cup final since the 2010-11 season, beating AC Milan with a 3-0 score on aggregate after the first leg, played last month, ended 0-0.
It was a first-half brace for Lautaro Martinez that paced the hosts, with Milan struggling to test Samir Handanovic consistently. A late goal from Robin Gosens produced the unflattering result for the Rossoneri as the two sides are still set to battle for the league crown down the final stretch of Serie A season.
Inter had fewer chances than Milan and saw less of the ball but were much more effective, while Inzaghi’s team also defended well when it mattered, leaving very little space to work with in the box.
Right time for Lautaro to turn it on
There was a point this season where the striker just looked off and lost. From the span of Dec. 22 till Feb. 2, he failed to score a goal. But since then, he’s found his footing and fired his team into within reach of the trophy. Not only was it the goal at Anfield in the Champions League that helped him regain his footing, but he also scored a hat trick on March 4 in Serie A, found the back of the net against Spezia on Friday and then added a brace in this one. He’s got seven goals in the last month and a half. Inter have now gone 10 games without a loss, with Lautaro’s form making them the Coppa Italia final favorites … and potentially the same in Serie A.
He was absolutely clinical in this one, scoring this incredible winner just minutes in:
Inzaghi continues to look like the right man
Eleven months ago when Inter Milan appointed Simone Inzaghi as new coach after Antonio Conte packed his bags right after winning the scudetto, only few people imagined the Nerazzurri would fare this well, especially after losing key players such as Romelu Lukaku, Christian Eriksen and Achraf Hakimi.
The ex-Lazio coach in his first year in charge has won the Supercoppa, reached the Coppa Italia final, and is in the thick of the scudetto race with its in-town rivals until the end. The only competition where they have fallen short has been in the Champions League where they were eliminated by Liverpool in the round of 16 despite winning at Anfield. All in all. we can already say that it’s been somewhat of a successful season for the Inter coach as fans will now raise expectations and push for at least another trophy after beating AC Milan in the semifinals of the Coppa Italia.
Inzaghi must feel the pressure, especially as he’s potentially set to go atop the Serie A table if Inter Milan manage to win against Bologna next week. Inzaghi was able to keep the morale high after last summer in a moment where only few believed in the club’s project. The end of the season (and trophies) will determine his final judgement. It’s probably a bit brutal, but that’s Italian soccer for you.
A boost for the scudetto race for Inter
We must also take into account that this crucial win will also have some psychological consequences on the scudetto race. The last Serie A derby played in February featured a Olivier Giroud brace and it completely shook up the landscape of the scudetto race for the last two months. Inter Milan were definitely affected by the loss while AC Milan had a fresh, new energy that drove the team to the top of the table until now.
It all looked to be going Milan’s way until Inter picked themselves back up as of late. This game could have similar reverberations if Inter manage to take care of business as they control their destiny with a game in hand. The two teams featured on Tuesday have all the makings of leaving it until the very end to decide who hoists the Serie A title.
Inter Milan came out on top Tuesday as their fans hope that this is just a little taste of what can happen in few weeks in the streets of Milan. Winning a back-to-back league title for the first time since 2010 might be one of the greatest moments of the recent history of the club.
With the win, they will face either Juventus or Fiorentina in the final on May 11, with the other semifinal being decided on Wednesday live at 3 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network and Paramount+.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism