Inter top AC Milan for spot in Coppa Italia final
Sports Desk, Apr 19 (EFE).- Lautaro Martinez had a double Tuesday to lead Inter 3-0 over AC Milan in the second leg of the Coppa Italia semifinal and set up a clash between the Nerazzurri and either holders Juventus or Fiorentina.
Last month’s first leg at the San Siro, the clubs’ shared home, ended 0-0, but Martinez needed just 4 minutes to open the scoring in the latest installment of the derby, beating Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan with a header from the near post.
Inter’s Samir Handanovic, meanwhile, was not tested until the 27th minute, when Rafael Leao launched a low drive. The keeper handled that and was equally effective two minutes later against Alexis Saelemaekers.
In the 39th minute, Handanovic got help from Ivan Perisic, who delivered a vital goal-line clearance before Martinez stretched Inter’s lead to 2-0.
Leao was denied again by Handanovic and Martinez headed just wide of the post on a chance for the hat trick right before the break.
Maignan thwarted the Argentine striker early in the second half to keep the margin 2-0 and the Rossoneri fans erupted when Milan’s Ismail Bennacer halved the deficit in the 66th minute.
The elation was short-lived, however, as a VAR review determined that Pierre Kalulu was offside and the goal was disallowed.
Late sub Robin Gosens added a third for Inter with eight minutes left in regulation.
AC Milan, currently top of Serie A by 2 points over defending champions Inter, will now focus on the title race, leaving the Nerazzurri to dream of the double. EFE tfc/dr