Inter and Milan meet in the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg on Tuesday.
Inter’s flying first-leg start leaves them in pole position to reach a first UEFA Champions League final in 13 years, although the Nerazzurri could have won by an even more emphatic margin after Hakan Çalhanoğlu rattled a post and Mike Maignan denied both Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Edin Džeko either side of half-time. However, having won 18 of the 19 UEFA competition ties in which they have triumphed ‘away’ in the first leg, Inter will be confident of confirming their place in Istanbul.
Stefano Pioli’s side will hope to build on Wednesday’s much improved second-half showing, in which midfielder Sandro Tonali was also denied by an upright. Rafael Leão struck twice in Milan’s most recent triumph over their city rivals – a 3-2 Serie A victory back in September – and the Portuguese’s likely return from an adductor problem could prove key as the Rossoneri aim to plot a route back into this last-four tie.
What the coaches say
Simone Inzaghi, Inter coach: “This is one of the most important matches in Inter’s history. We have to play with our heads and hearts to achieve our dream of reaching the final. The first leg was 2-0 but Milan are always formidable and have great players.”
Stefano Pioli, Milan coach: “We will have to be balanced, compact, and play like a team that can beat our opponents. We know how important the first goal will be: it doesn’t matter what minute it is scored in. We started talking about this game on Sunday morning. We have only one chance and we must play this match with an exceptional attitude.”
Inter: Onana; Darmian, Acerbi, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Çalhanoğlu, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco; Martínez, Džeko
Milan: Maignan; Calabria, Tomori, Kjær, Theo Hernández; Tonali, Krunić; Saelemaekers, Brahim Diaz, Leão; Giroud
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