Lautaro Martinez’s superb double fired Inter into the Coppa Italia final against Milan on Tuesday, as they ran out 3-0 victors at San Siro.
The Argentina international kept the Nerazzurri on course for a potential domestic double, after a goalless first leg last month set up a winner-takes-all clash this week.
With the Supercoppa Italia already secured against Juventus and Milan merely two points ahead with a game out of hand, Inter could yet complete a clean sweep of domestic honours.
Simone Inzaghi claimed a maiden Derby della Madonnina win with the result, and his side will now wait to discover if they face holders Juventus or Fiorentina.
With defeat leaving Stefano Pioli and his side with just the Scudetto left to fight for, though, the stage is now set for a thrilling conclusion to the Serie A season too.
The whistle for kick-off had barely sounded before Inter struck, Martinez volleying Matteo Darmian’s neat cross home near the penalty spot.
Such an early goal forced Milan onto the offensive, with Rafael Leao and Alexis Saelemaekers going closest in response.
Frenetic closing exchanges to the first half saw Ivan Perisic make a goal-saving clearance on the line, before the Nerazzurri scored effectively in the next passage.
Following Marcelo Brozovic’s release in transition, Martinez dinked Joaquin Correa’s throughball over Mike Maignan for a second to double the lead just before half-time, and it became a mountain for Milan to climb.
The Rossoneri continued to rally after the interval and critically had Ismael Bennacer’s goal disallowed, with Pierre Kalulu ruled offside. From there the air went out of the game and when Martinez bowed out with 20 minutes to go, it felt like the game was already over, even before Robin Gosens slid home a third to seal the deal.
What does it mean? Inter move towards complete collection
After dethroning Juventus’ decade-long hold on Serie A last term, the Nerazzurri now have the chance to take the Bianconeri’s lone remaining honour from them after victory over Milan.
It is 11 years since they last reached the final, when they claimed a 3-1 victory over Palermo to lift the trophy – and Inzaghi, a prior winner in 2019 with Lazio, will have his eyes on repeating that success, whoever they face.
Martinez continues fast start streak
After airing his grievances over discussions about his future following victory against Spezia on Friday, it was another superb reminder of the Argentine’s talents at San Siro.
It took him less than 200 seconds to break open the Milan defence – a speedy return that extends a streak that has seen him involved in the last three Derby della Madonnina goals scored during the opening five minutes.
Milan wayward once more in front of goal
For a team tucked into the thick of a battle for the Scudetto, it has been remarkable that not a single player has broken into double figures on the goalscorer charts this season in Serie A.
That has in part been to Milan boasting a wealth of players who can find the back of the net – except, that prowess deserted them on Tuesday, with Rafael Leao the only one of their squad to muster more than one shot on target.
Inter will welcome Roma to San Siro for a crucial Serie A clash on Saturday, while Milan travel to the capital to face Lazio on Sunday.