Inter Milan secured their spot in the semi-finals of the Champions League with a 3-3 draw against Benfica, ensuring a 5-3 aggregate win. The result sets up a highly anticipated Milan derby against AC Milan in the last four, with both sides aiming to become the first Serie A team to win the competition since Inter’s triumph in 2010.
Despite a poor run of form in which they had only won once in their last eight games, Inter’s victory over Benfica was thoroughly deserved, with Nicolo Barella, Lautaro Martinez, and Joaquin Correa all getting on the scoresheet. Inter’s cup form has been impressive, although they have struggled in the league recently, and they will be hoping to go all the way in the Champions League under the leadership of manager Simone Inzaghi.
Lautaro Martinez and Joaquin Correa ended their goalscoring droughts and secured Inter Milan’s victory over their opponents, despite Fredrik Aursnes, Antonio Silva, and Petar Musa scoring for the away side.
Martinez expressed his happiness and pride in representing the club and stated that their victory meant a semi-final derby against their city rivals. He also expressed his desire to win everything possible and was thrilled to be in the semi-finals, adding that the club deserved to be there.
Silva and Musa’s late goals were of no significance as Inter had already secured their place in the semi-finals, where they will face AC Milan for a chance to reach the final in Istanbul on June 10th.
Inter Milan quickly dispelled any pre-match nerves among their sell-out San Siro crowd and played like a team in two cup semi-finals, rather than a team that had lost 11 times in Serie A. They had a chance to take the lead as early as the sixth minute, but Lautaro Martinez wasted a great counter-attack with a poor pass.
However, he redeemed himself by scoring the opener after a battle with the Benfica defence and exchanging passes with Nicolo Barella, who unleashed a perfectly placed curler with his left foot. Benfica pulled one back with a defensive lapse that allowed Fredrik Aursnes to score a header seven minutes before half-time.
Although Inter Milan manager Simone Inzaghi had stated before the match that his team would not just defend, they ended up sitting back as Benfica pressed for a potential spot in the next round. Martinez sealed the victory in the 68th minute, ensuring Inter’s place in the semi-finals, with the home crowd enraged by flares being thrown by Benfica fans.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan neatly found Federico Dimarco, who put in a fizzing cross that Lautaro Martinez expertly guided home to score his first goal since early March.
With 12 minutes left on the clock, Joaquin Correa scored his first goal since October as he skillfully evaded Nicolas Otamendi and curled the ball into the net, completing a perfect night for Inter fans.
Despite Antonio Silva nodding home Alejandro Grimaldo’s cross with four minutes left, the home crowd was already singing ribald songs about their rivals, AC Milan. Petar Musa’s low finish deep in stoppage time was only a second consolation for the defeated Portuguese, as Inter had already secured their spot in the semi-finals. Simone Inzaghi later revealed that the team conceded the goal because someone had blown a referee’s whistle in the crowd.
After a missed opportunity by Lautaro
After a missed opportunity by Lautaro, Martinez redeemed himself by exchanging passes with Barella and scoring the opening goal. However, a defensive lapse allowed Aursnes to equalize for Benfica with a powerful header. In spite of Inzaghi’s statement before the game that Inter would not only defend, they sat back as Benfica pressed forward for an improbable path to the next round.. Martinez ensured Inter’s progression to the semifinals with a goal in the 68th minute.
Martinez ended his own goal drought after being neatly found by Mkhitaryan, who crossed for Martinez to score his first goal since March. Correa completed the perfect night for Inter fans by scoring his first goal since October after shrugging off Otamendi.
With just four minutes left on the clock, Silva found the back of the net for Benfica, but the home crowd had already started singing chants about Milan fans. Musa’s late goal was a second consolation for the defeated Portuguese, which Inzaghi later claimed was conceded due to someone blowing a whistle in the crowd.
Martinez and Correa both broke their recent goal droughts with their strikes, securing Inter’s victory over Benfica. Despite Fredrik Aursnes, Antonio Silva, and Petar Musa all scoring for the away team, it had no impact on the outcome of the tie.
Martinez expressed his joy and pride in representing the Inter badge and club, stating that their advancement to the semi-finals meant facing off against their derby rivals. He also stated that his goal in playing football was to win as much as possible, and he was thrilled to be part of a club that deserved to be in the semi-finals.
In the end, Silva and Musa’s goals were mere consolations for Benfica, as Inter had already secured their spot in the semi-finals and were set to battle Milan for a place in the final on June 10th in Istanbul.
Benfica’s defensive lapse allowed Fredrik Aursnes to score with a powerful header, pulling one back for Benfica before half-time. Despite Inter’s pre-match promise not to solely defend, they sat back as Benfica pushed for a place in the next round.
The Benfica supporters’ act of throwing flares from the top-tier away end onto the home supporters left the home crowd enraged.
However, Lautaro Martinez ensured Inter’s win by scoring in the 68th minute, while Federico Dimarco and Joaquin Correa ended their goalscoring droughts, netting their first goals since March and October, respectively. Antonio Silva and Petar Musa scored for Benfica, but Inter had already secured their spot in the semi-finals against Milan. Inzaghi later explained that Musa’s goal was a result of someone blowing a referee’s whistle in the crowd.