Wednesday, May 17, 2023 – 8:46 PM
ABU DHABI, 17th May / WAM / Despite the brilliance of Inter Milan in the offensive aspect, and scoring 3 goals against its traditional rival Milan during the two semi-final matches of the European Football Champions League this season, the great credit for its qualification for the final match is due in large part to its strength. And the focus and intelligence of the team’s defense line.
Inter Milan had defeated its neighbor Milan 1-0 yesterday evening, Tuesday, in the second leg of the Champions League semi-finals, to reserve the team its seat in the final match of the tournament by beating Milan 3-0 on aggregate.
But the three goals and the brilliance of Inter Milan’s offensive line were not the biggest reason behind qualifying for the final, as much as the team relied on the strong defense line, which played a prominent role in the victory over Milan, and even in the team’s arrival to this stage of the European Championship.
And (Inter Milan) kept his net clean in the two matches against Milan, so that he had kept his net clean in 5 of the 6 matches he played in the knockout rounds of the tournament this season so far, and he also kept his net in 8 of the 12 matches he played in the various rounds of the competition until Now, which no other team in the competition has achieved this season.
This corresponds with the team’s success in winning the last 5 matches it played in the Italian League, in which it scored 18 goals against only 3 goals that were conceded, which helped it close to finishing the season within the first four places that qualify for the European Champions League next season.
And Milan coach Stefano Pioli admitted this matter during his statements after yesterday’s match, after he indicated that his team’s players did not fall short, but the defensive toughness of Inter Milan prevented the result from being adjusted, even if he acknowledged that the team missed the opportunity to compete to qualify for the final when it lost with two early goals in the first leg.
The first-leg match witnessed some attempts by Milan to return to the meeting after being late by two goals, but these attempts failed, as did attempts also to fail in yesterday’s match, before Inter scored with a goal in the second half.
In addition to this defensive solidity, Inter Milan benefited from the high level of his team’s players at the right time, whether in the team’s recent matches in the league or in the play-offs of the European Champions League.
And before the start of yesterday’s match, one of the challenges facing Simone Inzaghi, coach of the team, was the comparison between his brilliant strikers, the Belgian Romelu Lukaku and the veteran Bosnian Edin Dzeko, to push one of them alongside the Argentine Lautaro Martinez in the team’s attack.
Indeed, Simeone pushed the veteran Dzeko into the starting line-up, and kept Lukaku until the middle of the second half, to replace him with Dzeko.
Lautaro scored the only goal to lead Inter Milan to a fourth consecutive victory in 5 matches that brought them together in various tournaments this season.
European Union statistics for the game indicated that it was the first time in history, during which Milan failed to score Inter Milan in 4 consecutive matches, and Lautaro Martinez became the first Argentine to score for Inter Milan in the semi-finals of the Champions League, since his compatriot Diego Milito succeeded in This was during the 2009-2010 season, in which Inter Milan won the championship.
Lautaro Martinez raised his score against Milan to 8 goals, which he did not reach against any other team.
Asim Al-Khouli / Ahmed Zahran