On Wednesday morning, Inter Milan put on an attacking effort to secure their place in the Coppa Italia final.
Milan and their supporters were ripped apart at the San Siro by their free-flowing local rivals.
The hosts, Inter, were well aware that a 0-0 first leg would leave them susceptible to losing on away goals if the game concluded in a stalemate. It never seemed likely after Lautaro Martinez scored his first of two goals four minutes in.
His two strikes were amazing, and they were his first this season in this event.
Matteo Darmian slid out to the right and fizzed a cross back into the area where Martinez had Fikayo Tomori dozed off.
Tomori has been terrific since leaving Chelsea for Italy, but he will need to shake this off quickly. Martinez beat him by a yard and fired with his right foot. Mike Maignan grabbed a hold of it, but it was already in the net before he understood what had happened.
The first of three partisan cries from the Inter fans.
Sandro Tonali, Franck Kessie, and Ismael Bennacer were completely overwhelmed in the first half. This was a message that extended beyond a place in the Coppa Italia final. Following this, Inter will have the upper hand in the Scudetto race.
‘The boys were fantastic tonight, playing a derby with intelligence, nuance, and timing.’ We wanted to win the Final and this derby since we had three very different matches before today,’ Inzaghi said Mediaset.
‘We aim to keep this momentum going, and we’ve been working on it since July 8,’ he said.
Our journey started in January, with a Supercoppa victory, a May Final, and a desire to end the Serie A season on a high note.
But, returning to Tonali, he seemed nervous early on and was fortunate that Joaquin Correa fluffed his lines on the break.
Inter improved alongside him and Milan, and this was an exceptionally poor performance from Pioli’s normally well-drilled group.
Another Nerazzuri favorite was Martinez’s second goal for Inter.
Martinez was lost to Tomori and Pierre Kalulu, and Correa played him through. To make it 2-0, the striker simply lofted it over Maignan.
Milan were so awful by their own standards that Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paulo Maldini had to wonder who the people in red and black were.
Bennacer seemed to have cut the lead in half just after the hour mark. Tomori chested a corner back into the box and sent a low, powerful shot past Handanovic.
After the first complaint was unsuccessful, Inter pleaded for handball, then offside. Until Maurizio Maraini gave offside, VAR analyzed and validated. Kalulu’s blocking of Handanovic’s eye-line thwarted the assault.
Finally, it was relegated to a footnote. Simone Inzaghi brought in Atalanta’s Robin Gosens in place of Bennacer.
He scored late in the game with a back-post tap-in, capping up a great night for Inter and a disappointing one for Milan.
‘We wanted to win, but we didn’t because we were up against a formidable opponent.’ ‘However, Inter scored at the right times,’ Pioli said Mediaset.
A 2-1 defeat would have transformed the game and given us more momentum, so it was a difficult situation.
‘Giving up three goals means that the opponent outperformed us and we made errors.’ We gave it all we had, but it wasn’t our night.
‘We had wanted to go all the way, but this is a fantastic opportunity for the group to express themselves and throw all into the Serie A campaign.’