• Sports - Football - Gossips
  • Updated: May 17, 2023

UCL: Lautaro Fires Inter Milan Past AC Milan Into Final At Istanbul

UCL: Lautaro Fires Inter Milan Past AC Milan Into Final At I

Lautaro Martinez

Argentine forward Lautaro Martinez's sole goal in the match propelled Inter Milan to a resounding 3-0 aggregate win on Tuesday—their first Champions League final appearance in 13 years.

Despite being labelled as underdogs for the upcoming final in Istanbul on June 10, Inter's impressive performance throughout both legs of the all-Milan encounter indicates they will be a formidable force to reckon with.

The defining moment of the night occurred when Martinez, the Argentinian forward and Inter's captain, brilliantly exchanged passes with substitute Romelu Lukaku. Martinez then fired a shot from inside the penalty area that slipped past Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan at his near post.

Martinez emphasized the unity and cohesion within the Inter squad, drawing parallels to his experience with the Argentine national team during the World Cup. He stated, "What counts is the squad... It makes it easy if you have a united squad with everyone pulling in the same direction."

Martinez expressed his belief in reaching the final and remarked, "After winning the World Cup and experiencing what is the pinnacle for a player, I knew we could reach this final, and we did it."

The goal effectively sealed Milan's fate in the tie. Trailing 2-0 from the first leg, Milan mounted a spirited effort in the first half, with Rafael Leao narrowly missing one of their best chances. Additionally, Maignan made an exceptional save by dropping to his knees to collect Edin Dzeko's header from Hakan Calhanoglu's swift free-kick.

However, it was Lukaku's entrance in the second half that invigorated Inter's attack and expanded their lead. Lukaku, who has gradually recovered from injuries and redeemed himself following a disappointing World Cup campaign, posed constant problems for the Milan defense.

The introduction of the on-loan Chelsea forward ultimately led to Martinez's decisive goal, securing Inter's place in the Champions League final, a feat they last achieved when they won the competition under Jose Mourinho in 2010.

"Tutti a Istanbul," resounded with joy as Inter fans celebrated, recognizing that their team is now just one game away from capturing their fourth Champions League title. Inter coach Simone Inzaghi expressed his elation, describing the achievement as a dream come true.

Inzaghi commended his players for their remarkable journey, highlighting their running, determination, and concentration throughout the campaign.

Inter Milan now awaits the winner of the closely contested semifinal between Manchester City and Real Madrid. The tie currently stands at 1-1, with the second leg scheduled to take place at Manchester City's Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.

Martinez acknowledged the daunting task ahead, stating, "We're going to have to give it our all." Meanwhile, Milan's coach Stefano Pioli lamented the disappointing end to what he described as a terrific run to the semifinals. Pioli conceded that Inter deserved the victory, admitting they had outperformed his side in both matches.

Reflecting on Milan's journey over the past three years, Pioli expressed the immense disappointment of falling short of reaching the final, considering it would have been a fabulous achievement.

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Oladimeji Balogun
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