AC Milan will have to achieve a historic feat if they are to overcome their first leg deficit against Inter and reach the Champions League final.
Both Stefano Pioli and Sandro Tonali stated in their pre-match press conferences that the team have the belief that they can overturn the deficit, but even the most optimistic of Milan supporters acknowledge the magnitude of the task at hand.
You can read our pre-match preview here, while below are the best stats ahead of the game…
➤ Alessandro Bastoni has been involved in more open play sequences ending in goals than any other centre back in the UEFA Champions League this season (8). Indeed, Bastoni leads all Inter players in the competition this term for touches (617), progressive carries (70) and passes into the final third (65).
➤ Inter’s Federico Dimarco has assisted five goals from open play in the Champions League this season, the most of any player. Indeed, it’s the joint-most by an Inter player in a single campaign in the competition on record (since 2003-04), along with Samuel Eto’o in 2010-11 and Wesley Sneijder in 2009-10.
➤ In the Champions League this season, Inter have recovered the ball and initiated their open play sequences at an average distance of 38.5 metres from their own goal – this is the fifth-deepest of any side in the competition this term, and the deepest of any team to have made the knockout stages.
➤ Inter haven’t trailed at any point in the knockout stages of the Champions League this season (W3 D2), keeping a clean sheet in four of the five games. The only Italian side to reach the final of the competition having gone unbeaten in the last 16, quarter-finals and semi-finals is Juventus, who did so in 2014-15 and 2016-17.
➤ Milan have only won one of their last 16 games as the away side in the knockout stages of the Champions League (D8 L7) – versus Bayern Munich in April 2007 (2-0). Overall, Milan – who need to score at least twice here – have only scored 15 goals in 24 away games in the knockout stages of the Champions League, at an average of 0.6 per game.
➤ All 23 of Olivier Giroud’s goals in the Champions League have been scored from inside the box. Since 2003-04 (when this data is available), the Milan striker is the player with the most goals scored in the competition with 100% of them coming from inside the box.
➤ Inter are looking to reach their sixth European Cup/Champions League final, and first since 2009-10 under José Mourinho. Should they progress here, Simone Inzaghi would be the fifth Italian manager to lead an Italian team to the UEFA Champions League final, after Fabio Capello with Milan (x3), Marcello Lippi with Juventus (x4), Carlo Ancelotti with Milan (x3) and Massimiliano Allegri with Juventus (x2).
➤ In Champions League history, only one team has won the first leg of the semi-final by two or more goals and then failed to progress, with Barcelona failing to go through against Liverpool in 2018-19, winning the first leg 3-0 but losing the second leg 4-0 at Anfield – current Milan striker Divock Origi scored two goals in that game, including the fourth and winning goal.
➤ After beating Inter in their first meeting this season in September, Milan have lost their last three against their rivals, all without scoring despite attempting 31 shots across these games. They’ve never gone four in a row without finding the net against Inter in their history.
➤ Inter have beaten Milan three times in all competitions this season, all in different competitions (Serie A, Italian Super, UEFA Champions League). They have only beaten them four times in a season once before, doing so in 1973-74 (twice Serie A, twice Coppa Italia).
Inzaghi owns Pioli. I don’t think a comeback is going to happen.
This is his moment for Milan!