“This is one of the most important games in Inter’s more than 100-year history.” Coach Simone Inzaghi was not sparing with pathos when he spoke of today’s semi-final second leg in the Champions League against AC Milan. Six days ago his team paved the way to Istanbul with a 2-0 win, where the final will take place on June 10th. The second finalist will be determined tomorrow between Manchester City and Real Madrid.
“We know we still have a lot of work to do before we can start dreaming. We still have 90 minutes plus injury time to make our dream come true,” said Inzaghi. Inter got in the mood with a 3-2 win over Sassuolo, their seventh competitive win in a row. AC Milan, on the other hand, stumbled in the 0-2 draw against La Spezia. That’s not the only thing that clouds confidence: Inter have won ten of the last 15 matches, while Milan have only won three. Recently, the black and red remained three times in a row without a point and without a goal.
Hope bears the name of Rafael Leao. The 23-year-old Portuguese missed the first leg with an adductor injury. “He’s doing better,” reported coach Stefano Pioli before the final training session: “If he’s fit, he’ll play from the start.”
Pioli and Maldini wobble
“It’s about everything for Milan,” headlined the “Gazzetta”. This not only applies to the Champions League: Due to the recent blunders in Serie A, AC Milan is also in danger of missing out on the top four places in the table and thus missing out on qualifying for the “premium class” next season. According to the mechanisms customary in the industry, coach Pioli has to fear for his job. According to the media, even club legend Paolo Maldini could be replaced as technical director.