Inter Milan beat rivals AC Milan at the San Siro Stadium on Tuesday to advance to the Champions League Final next month. It will be its first title game in the competition since collecting the trophy in 2010, a treble-winning season for the Nerazzurri.

The hosts entered the second leg of the tie with a massive advantage. Inter beat its rivals 2-0 in the first leg thanks to early goals by Edin Dzeko and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The duo scored both their goals inside the opening dozen minutes of the match last week in Milan.

Along with the advantage on the scoresheet, Inter also went into Tuesday with an edge in form. Inter entered the match having won seven consecutive victories in all competitions. AC Milan, on the other hand, have managed just two wins in their last eight games. Also, it had lost two straight matches as well.

AC Milan had chances early in the game

The ‘visitors’ did start the match a bit on the front foot though. Theo Hernandez hit a hard, dipping shot from distance in the fifth minute that fired just over the crossbar. Inter goalkeeper Andre Onana barely moved as the ball raced toward his goal. Brahim Diaz then had a huge chance to put his team ahead on the night six minutes later. However, the shot was fairly tame and Onana was able to grab hold of the ball.

Rafael Leao also had a solid opportunity to bring his team back into the tie in the 38th minute as well. The tricky winger beat his defender and put a shot toward goal just before the break, but he would pull the strike just wide of the post. Despite the early chances for AC Milan, the match went into the halftime break scoreless.

The match continued to slow down into the second half. Neither side had any serious goalscoring opportunities in the first 20 minutes or so of the latter period. Fouls, substitutions and wayward passes essentially brought the match to a screeching halt in the half.

Martinez shoots Inter into Champions League Final

Nevertheless, Lautaro Martinez put the tie to rest with a goal in the 74th minute. Second-half substitute Romelo Lukaku found his teammate free on goal inside the AC Milan six-yard box. Martinez then hit a hard shot passed Mike Maignan’s near post. The keeper may feel that he should have saved the shot. Regardless, it was the striker’s 24th goal of the current campaign in all competitions.

Inter will now face the winner of Real Madrid and Manchester City in the Champions League Final in Istanbul. The two teams play their second leg on Wednesday to determine the title game. City grabbed a second-half goal in the first leg to take a draw back to England ahead of the reverse fixture.

PHOTO: IMAGO / Gribuadi/ImagePhoto