Inter fans are in dreamland for a number of reasons as their team are now into a Champions League final for the first time since 2010. They will get the chance to achieve something that seemed utterly implausible just a handful of months ago, with each player knowing they are a game away from becoming legends of one of the world’s most historic clubs.
That factor alone is enough for the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza to be bouncing long after the final whistle, but what makes it all the sweeter for those Nerazzurri fans is they did it by beating city rivals AC Milan for an incredible fourth time this season in 90 minutes.
They had a clear job to do on Tuesday night in the Champions League semi-final second leg having already earned a 2-0 lead, and the result was never really in any doubt.
Inter ruling the city of Milan in 2022/23
Every big team in football has got what is known to many as a bogey team. It is usually a lower to mid-table team that for some inexplicable reason, keeps getting a result against a particular bigger team.
It is part of the sport, but what you never, ever want to be the case, is for your biggest local rival to be your bogey team. Milan may have won Serie A in 2021/22 at Inter’s expense, but the Nerazzurri have quite emphatically asserted their dominance over the Rossoneri in the 2022/23 season.
Having now played five matches against each other this season, Inter have come out with four victories and just one defeat. The first Serie A meeting was a dramatic 3-2 win for Milan, but since then, they haven’t come close to beating Inter. Simone Inzaghi’s side emphatically won the Supercoppa Italiana final 3-0 before then beating their rivals in Serie A 1-0, a scoreline that does not exhibit the control Inter had over the game.
All that would have been forgiven as far as Milan fans were concerned, as long as they knock Inter out of the Champions League semi-finals. That dream vanished within the first 15 minutes of the first leg thanks to goals from Edin Dzeko and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
The second leg passed with minimum incident as Inter were in control and looked more likely out of the two sides to score, despite having no need to. Lautaro Martinez put the tie beyond all doubt with 20 minutes to go and made sure that in individual games, Inter have beaten Milan 4-1 in 2022/23.
Inter can harness momentum to win two trophies
Momentum is an incredible thing in sport and when it comes to football, it can often be an even bigger factor than the individuals on the pitch. Inter have found it at exactly the right time and that is why they are now very likely to qualify for the Champions League through Serie A.
It also meant they could win the Champions League semi-final with relative ease. As long as that momentum does not dissipate too quickly, Inter are the kind of team that can beat anyone on their day.
It is no secret that Real Madrid and Manchester City are better than Inter, but it is one game of football and much weirder things have happened. Winning the Champions League would be an incredible achievement for this team, but even if they don’t, there is also the Coppa Italia final against Fiorentina to come.
If you offered Inter at Christmas a top-four finish, a Champions League final, the Supercoppa and the Coppa Italia, they’d have bitten your hand off. They could have that in a few weeks, and they could also have so much more.