Inter 3-0 AC Milan (3-0 agg): Rossoneri miss out on the final after wasteful performance

By Oliver Fisher -

Inter booked their place in the final of the Coppa Italia with a resounding 3-0 victory over AC Milan in the second leg of the semi-final at San Siro.

The game could not have started worse for Milan as Lautaro Martinez opened the scoring inside five minutes with a thumping volley that Mike Maignan could only parry into the top corner, and it was 2-0 before the break when the Argentine doubled his tally with a composed finish after being put through.

There was a moment of controversy when Ismael Bennacer appeared to have halved the deficit with a sumptuous strike from outside the box but it was ruled out by VAR for an apparent offside, and Robin Gosens added some undeserved gloss on the scoreline.

The result is certainly a big dent in the hopes of winning a trophy this season as Fiorentina or Juventus await Inter in the final, while it remains to be seen what ramifications it has on the title race, but the initial feeling is that it cannot be good.

Stefano Pioli made just one change to the starting line-up that beat Genoa on Friday night as Davide Calabria came back into the starting line-up having recovered from his intestinal problem, with Pierre Kalulu shifted back to partnering Fikayo Tomori again with Matteo Gabbia dropping to the bench.

It took less than four minutes for Inter to get themselves ahead in the tie and it came via a splendid goal from Lautaro Martinez. A feed from Matteo Darmian down their right side found its way to the Argentine who finished with a powerful volley past Mike Maignan that he had no chance saving.

Milan went about trying to restore parity quickly knowing that an equalising goal would put them ahead in the tie, and a nice flick around the corner from Olivier Giroud sparked a break that ended with Franck Kessie firing a shot into the side netting at the near post.

The game descended into the kind of scrappy battle for supremacy that the first leg did with a lot of late niggling challenges and attempts at counter-attacks from both sides that lacked a bit of quality in the final third.

In the 28th minute Milan tested Samir Handanovic for the first time as the ball was shifted quickly out wide to Rafael Leao who attacked the box in a two-on-two situation, shifting onto his left foot and firing towards the near post but seeing his attempt well saved.

Handanovic made yet another excellent saw down low to his side when a free-kick from the left wing was cleared out to Alexis Saelemaekers whose half-volley was heading inside the post yet was excellently saved.

The pressure from Pioli’s men continued as they kept winning the ball back high up the pitch and Giroud couldn’t get out of the way after Leao’s cut-back was diverted towards goal by Sandro Tonali, though it may have been heading wide anyway.

There was a bizarre moment ten minutes before the break when the referee Mariani gave a free-kick to Inter just outside the edge of the box despite it looking like Theo was the one fouled, and Maignan was happy to see Barella’s effort from distance fizz over the bar after the delivery had been cleared.

Milan had two huge chances to level things as the minutes ticked towards half time. The first came when a one-two saw Theo Hernandez receive a pass in behind that he turned almost across the goal line but Kessie could not beat Perisic to it to convert, then Leao saw another shot from inside the box saved by Handanovic.

The missed chances would end up being costly as Inter doubled their advantage moments later. A swift counter attack involving Joaquin Correa and Lautaro ended saw the former slot the latter through on goal as Tomori played him onside, and the Argentine lifted the ball over Maignan to make it 2-0.

Pioli decided to make two changes at the interval knowing they needed two goals to get back on level terms, with Junior Messias and Brahim Diaz coming on in place of Saelemaekers and Tonali.

The first opportunity of the second half went to Simone Inzaghi’s side as Lautaro shifted the ball from foot to foot on his approach to the box before seeing a low shot saved to prevent a hat-trick.

Theo Hernandez fired the next shot on goal when he picked the ball up and charged towards goal, basically scuffing his attempt into the ground as it rolled wide of the far post.

With 25 minutes left on the clock, Milan thought they had got themselves back into the game and when Bennacer rattled a loose ball in from just outside the edge of the box. A lengthy VAR review commenced to check if Tomori handled the ball in the build-up but in the end it was Kalulu who was harshly adjudged to be offside when the ball whistled through the crowd.

A final double change came with 18 minutes left as Bennacer was replaced by Rade Krunic and Matteo Gabbia came on for Calabria, with Kalulu shifting over to right-back.

The game was put to bed inside the final ten minutes when Robin Gosens stole in at the far post and diverted the ball into an empty net to cap off a demoralising defeat.

Tags AC Milan Inter Milan


  1. Well ,Pioli doesn’t even try to change his tactic, our team is dying on field last 6 matches and he keep forcing same tactic.Nothing more to expect.

    1. Pioli’s tactics can only work if he has the players to suit his formation. It is also clear that he doesn’t pick the players to be bought. That’s M&Ms job, and they were horrible at it over the summer and the winter.

      If you want a coach who can grind it out with any player thrown at him, then I’m sorry, Pioli is not your man.

  2. Awful performance. It seems we completely ran out of powder toward the end of the season. It is also highly likely that Scudetto will be missed too, which for me is equal to a failed season. Some players were painful to watch to be honest, particularly Saele and Messias. There is almost zero creativity emanating from them. This is a night to be forgotten asap.

  3. Referring was not great but we lost because we couldn’t encash our chances, the attack was toothless, we had 3 clear chances(one controversially ruled out ) and we couldn’t have any. If we had encashed those chances we would’ve been heading towards the final. But this lose was needed as a wake up call that we have to reignite and give no inch to inter for scudetto or they will claim a double, they will be high on confidence now pray they draw or lose and win your games ruthlessly. Whole attack needs a revamp except the left side

  4. The penny wise pound foolish decisions of not buying a proper striker, a number 10 and a left winger will always come to haunt us. How on earth an investment of 5 mil for Lazetic is going to benefit us? We are always looking for future talents and potential players but not once have we ever spoken about present. It was really what set us apart from Inter who painfully looked so organised, so determined, so united and so complete.

    1. Lol… The management knows what’s best for team.
      They weren’t given enough money… Lol
      The Club is still in debt…lol.
      It’s good to buy injured players before the season starts, so they can recover in time, and win us some trophies

      I hope you get the point

  5. Please sell Leao, his football IQ is very very low. dribble with no intention to co-op with teammate is all he could do. yes he can score bizzare goals, but look at his overall performence guys, his passing is disastrous, absolutely awful, he is not a modern footballer, way too many skills and mental ability need to improve, sell him while at high price

  6. This lost confirmed that Milan quality is still behind Inter and is not ready yet for Scudetto this season. The lost of Calhanoglu has reduced creativity of the team. I think 2nd and 3rd place would enough for Milan. Milan must meet suitable additional players this summer to improve quality of the squad. Players like Botman, Origi, Sanches or another, Nkuku, Nunez, Berardi and a backup for left back would be enough to win next Scudetto race and at least QF for next UCL.

    1. Quality has always been behind Inter, we just didn’t reinforce the team in the transfer windows. The objective probably was Top 4

  7. I say this always.

    Milan can’t win with this Dumbo Coach Pioli.

    There is a reason why he did not any trophy in his long career.

    He have coached Big teams on Italy e.g Inter, Lazio, Florentina. Yet he achieved zero trophy.

    Inzaghi only coached Lazio and he won trophies.

    Maldini and Massara biggest failure is sticking with Pioli.

    That Milan squad is good enough for trophies.

    1. Correct. Looking around the league..we have enough talent. Yes, we lack a CAM and RW….But we are very good team is perfect. Pioli is not a winner.
      I hope InvestCorp buys Milan and replaces him with Ancelotti.

      1. It is more faster you buy AC Milan and bring your coach choice. Ancelotti wont leave real Madrid ,he have huge contract there with squad star player. Why would he accept lower salary in AC Milan with mediocre squad like saladmaker,junior,castilejo,ballotoure,bakayoko

  8. I sometimes disagree with some things he does; but if you just look at the talent on Inter, Juve, Napoli… even Roma and Atalanta and even Lazio — I think they have more talent that we do. Inter/Juve/Napoli — A LOT more talent and far, far more depth. For us to have finished 2nd last year and even battling for Scudetto this year when we did go after bigger players in the market to fill such OBVIOUS holes we have, it is not Pioli’s fault. There is only so much you can do — you can’t create goals out of magic dust when our RW and CAM positions (and an old, tired Giroud who can’t track back like Benzema can — he needs good service and Leao and Saele and Diaz/Kessie aren’t giving it to you). Pioli has done well with what he has. This offseason, especially if this Bahrain fund buys the club, we absolutely MUST AND SHOULD get those final pieces to the puzzle to make this a team that SHOULD win the scudetto and should be dangerous in the knockout stages of CL next year. RW, CAM, and 2 forwards are absolutely necessary; and getting Botman to have depth at CB position is, IMO, good but less important than RW/CAM/Forward.

    1. The mentality of Pioli is a problem. The team never dominates ANY games..even against weak sides….too defensive.
      Pioli has lost big game after big game and will choke away the Scudetto again. iF INvestCorp come in….we need to get a big coach that knows how to win trophies.
      Pioli has always been a Choker. They should bring Ancelotti back.

  9. This has been comiong. We can’t score goals or dominate games even against small teams.
    PIOLI is not a winning manager. Yes the refs have robbed us this season, Pioli uses same tactic all the time..even when it’s clearly not working.
    He has blown 1 trophy(Coppa Italia) and will choke the Scudetto away next.
    We need a better coach to take us to winning level. Pioli has done his best, it’s time to UPGRADE

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