Champions League: Inter beats Milan – Advantage for the Black Blues – Sport

Longing can develop a special sound, but in San Siro it sounds different again. Volume up. more imposing. Home to AC and Inter, Milan’s stadium was once the grand stage of European football, a stone-built melting pot of drama and glory – before clubs were hit by a sporting drought that was to last for more than a decade.

So the longing was great when the city rivals met on Wednesday evening for the Champions League semi-final duel. After the first act, the first leg, the black and blue part of Milan in particular can now hope to add another big chapter to their club history: Inter won 2-0 after goals from Edin Dzeko (8th minute) and Henrikh Mkhitaryan (11th). The final is for them Nerazzurri thus within reach.

On paper it was an away game for Inter, which was also covered by reality. San Siro was mostly dressed in black and red, the colors of Milan, but the Inter fans also wore theirs Curva North an impressive choreography. That was no wonder. The derby had been garishly broadcast over the past few weeks, and not just in the Italian sports gazettes, which ran agitated daily advance reports. There’s no story or tangent that hasn’t been highlighted: which jerseys are the best sellers for each team? Which events of the past can be used to build bridges to the present?

Well, the most popular are the kits of Sandro Tonali at Milan and Lautaro Martínez at Inter, but those were particularly relevant for the game ballottaggi – the media-based probability calculation, which players receive a mandate for the starting eleven. Prices are sometimes updated every hour, like on the stock exchange. Until the very end, Milan had trembled about the use of Rafael Leão, probably the outstanding player in the team, an attacker with speed and esprit. The adductors pinched, his absence could not be concealed. Without Leão, Milan lacked the element of surprise, his runs and dribbling are fundamental to the game Rossoneri.

With regard to Inter, the discussion was more about how the abundance of opportunities can be organised. Coach Simone Inzaghi assigned ex-Bundesliga professional Hakan Calhanoglu the role of midfield director, while Croatian Marcelo Brozovic had to stay out. Up front in his 3-5-2 formation, Lautaro Martínez and Edin Dzeko stormed, leaving Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku with only a bench seat. In retrospect, they were exactly the right personnel decisions: it was Calhanoglu who curled a corner ball into the six-yard box from the left, from where striker Dzeko scored with a perfect volley to make it 1-0. Shortly thereafter, Federico Dimarco ran in at high speed from the left side Interista since early childhood. Martínez let his cross pass in front of the penalty area, right into the path of Mkhitaryan, who ran into the penalty area from the center and then shot dry as a bone into the middle of the goal. Inter was 2-0 up after less than a quarter of an hour, which gave the visiting team self-confidence and stability. Milan, on the other hand, staggered, despite the constant support of the vocal supporters, who just wouldn’t die down.

Inter beat Milan: Henrikh Mkhitaryan made it 2-0 for Inter early on.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan made it 2-0 for Inter early on.

(Photo: Claudia Greco/Reuters)

Inter then happily gave the initiative to their city rivals, but control of the game remained with the Inzaghi team. Milan ran to the Nerazzurri defended and ambushed – and kept the upper hand with this strategy in both the first and second half. Calhanoglu hit the post, Martínez and Dzeko missed good chances. Milan’s best chance came from Sandro Tonali, whose shot, deflected slightly, also hit the post. But the hope for a return to old glory has mainly been in the black and blue part of the city since Wednesday.

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