When Inter Milan began its Champions League campaign with a home loss to Bayern Munich, few could have predicted that eight months later, the Nerazzurri would be on the verge of their first final in over a decade.
Inter carries a 2-0 advantage into Tuesday’s second leg of its semifinal series against AC Milan, having dominated its city rival in the first leg at San Siro last week. In September, Inter’s chances of advancing past the group stage appeared remote.
Simone Inzaghi’s squad had just lost 2-0 at home to Bayern, the group’s co-favorite to advance alongside Barcelona. However, Inter defeated Barcelona 1-0 at home and tied 3-3 in Spain. And it was those matches that gave Inter the conviction it could contend for its first European championship since Jose Mourinho led the club to league, Italian Cup, and Champions League titles in 2010.
Inter-assistant coach Massimiliano Farris stated, “We work together seven days a week, we went through difficult times, the work is that of the entire staff, and we spend hours in the office.” “In numerous circumstances, Simone gave us the will to persevere, but we all worked together.
“Such as after the Champions League loss to Bayern, when everyone believed we were condemned. Simone responded, ‘Okay, we can do it against Barcelona; let’s try.’ And from Barcelona, the sprint across Europe began.”
Also see: Inter aims for ultimate victory over AC Milan in the crucial Champions League semifinals.
Inter enters Tuesday’s match having won seven consecutive matches across all competitions. It is now on the verge of another treble after defeating Milan in the Italian Super Cup in January and advancing to the final of the Italian Cup.
In addition, Inter’s assault is active. During this stretch, veteran forward Edin Dzeko has scored three goals, Lautaro Martnez has scored six goals, and Romelu Lukaku has scored five goals as the Belgium international appears to be back to his best.
“[Lukaku] is a wonderful person. “He has heart, compassion, and empathy,” said Farris. “We missed him a lot in the beginning of the season, but I think we are seeing the real Romelu at the moment; you can see how influential he is in so many games.”
Inter is also on track to qualify for the Champions League next season, as it is currently third in Serie A, one point ahead of Lazio and five ahead of Milan with three rounds remaining.
Should win CL
As a result of Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to relegation-threatened Spezia, winning the Champions League may be Milan’s only path to next season’s competition.