Run It Back: Inter Milan Make First Champions League Final Since 2010

Lautaro Martinez scored the only goal of the second leg
21:51, 16 May 2023

1964.1965.1967.1972. 2010. 

Now Inter Milan can add 2023 to the list of years they have reached the European Cup final after a 1-0 second leg win at San Siro was enough to take them to Istanbul. It wasn’t the prettiest of encounters, but with fight and steel, Simone Inzaghi’s side were able to keep their nearest rivals at arm’s length. 

His brother may have won club football’s biggest price for the Rossoneri as a player back in 2007, but now he will hope to deliver Inter’s first crown since 2010. Just like Jose Mourinho’s Inter side, they will be written off as underdogs, but the current boss will be desperate to replicate the iconic manager who is still heralded as a legend in the blue half of the city. 

Nobody connected with I Nerazzurri like Jose did. And yet Inzaghi has dragged them to the Champions League final with a similar philosophy. It all starts with hard work. Inter’s 3-5-2 may not be the most tactically advanced on the continent but it is about limiting chances and getting the ball forward whenever possible. 


With a dynamic midfield three made up of Nicolò Barella, Hakan Çalhanoğlu and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Inter marry dedication with on the ball talent and it is that midfield that won them this semi-final. Supported by energetic wing-backs Denzel Dumfries and Federico Dimarco, they were able to stifle Milan and control the tie. 

Even when Mkhitaryan went off injured in the first half, it didn’t change that style. They were always on hand to intercept, press, and generally make the game bitty and not let Milan build up any momentum. Real Madrid or Manchester City may fancy their chances in the final, but this Inter side are so difficult to beat when they are in this mood. 

Edin Dzeko led the line as well as ever with his hard work off the ball only adding to his presence as a number nine. It was ‘boring’ for some, but football doesn’t have to be exciting for those that care. For many Inter fans, this will be one of the great games in their memory. A Champions League final against all the odds. Another chance at glory. 

Stefano Pioli was unable to get his side into the attacking positions and even the returning Rafa Leao, star man, was ineffective. He lacked the match sharpness to impact this tie and instead it was left to captain Lautaro Martinez to strike the decisive blow. It was late, and Mialn already looked beaten when Romelu Lukaku teed up his fellow striker to fire home at the near post. 

This stadium may have never sounded this noisy. The black and blue fans bounced upon the terraces of this famous old stadium that showed its worth tonight yet again, even if it wasn’t a pulsating encounter. But Inter are set for a showdown in the most famous club game on the planet once more. 

They will be expected to lose against either Man City or Real Madrid. But they were never expected to even get this far. Eight wins a row and another European Cup final to treasure. A fourth European crown would provide the most spectacular, and fitting finale. 

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