Inter Milan clinch 20th Serie A title with 2-1 victory over AC Milan

Inter Milan defeated city rivals AC Milan 2-1 on Monday to win the Serie A title for the 20th time in its history.

Francesco Acerbi and Marcus Thuram scored either side of halftime to put Inter ahead, but Fikayo Tomori equalized for AC Milan in the 80th minute, and both teams had a player sent off shortly before the end of the game as tempers flared, as reported by ESPN.

Inter were able to see out the result, and when the final whistle blew, they had an insurmountable 86 points, 17 ahead of Milan with five games remaining in the season.

“I told the guys, ‘We find ourselves in a situation that’s never happened before,'” Inter captain Lautaro Martínez said. “We needed to take advantage of this opportunity, because look around, the entire stadium is ours now.”

At the final whistle, a beaming Martinez and teammate Federico Dimarco climbed onto the top of the goal frame at San Siro.

Flares and fireworks were set off in the stands, and the Inter players danced raucously in front of their fans. A banner was unfurled, saying in Italian: “Repeat it to the Madonnina, who are the champions and who the crybabies.”

The Madonnina is the statue on top of Milan’s cathedral that overlooks the city, and which the derby is named after.After winning eight other trophies, Simone Inzaghi claimed his first league title as a coach.

“Winning the league with five matches left — more or less won with nine matches left, today making it mathematically certain — in a derby, with Milan the home team, that is something that will remain with us,” Inzaghi said.

“Everyone gave their very valuable contribution so that we could reach goals like this.”

Inter last won the league in the 2020-21 season but failed to replicate that form in the subsequent two years, watching on as Milan and Napoli triumphed in 2021-22 and 2022-23, respectively.

This time around, it has been a dominant campaign for Inzaghi’s men, with the Scudetto winners having scored the most goals in Serie A while also boasting the stingiest defence.

Lautaro’s impressive return powered the Nerazzurri’s attack, scoring 23 goals to be the front-runner for the Capocannoniere, with Marcus Thuram and Hakan Calhanoglu both reaching double figures.

The wing-back system employed by Inzaghi, with stability from Benjamin Pavard, Alessandro Bastoni and Stefan de Vrij allowing Dimarco and Denzel Dumfries to push forward, proved more than effective in nullifying opponents.

With this triumph, Inter move ahead of Milan in Italian league titles, having been tied at 19 ahead of this season. Juventus lead the way with 36 championship wins. A star is awarded for every ten Serie A titles. Only Juventus has won more, with a record 36, earning three stars.

It had long been a question of when, not if, Inter would win Serie A, and they knew that doing so in the Derby della Madonnina at San Siro — the stadium they share with Milan — would be extra special, even though they were technically the away team and only one end of the stadium was reserved for their black-and-blue-clad fans.

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Furthermore, Inter had won the previous five derby games, including both legs of the Champions League semifinal last year and a 5-1 defeat of Milan in Serie A this season.

Inter took the lead in the 18th minute, when Pavard nodded on Dimarco’s corner for an unmarked Acerbi to head in from close range.

Milan gained confidence after Tomori’s miss, and Rafael Leão had a chance to equalize after a quick counter-attack, but he shot straight at Inter goalkeeper Yann Sommer.

Thuram came close to doubling Inter’s lead, but his shot hit the outside of the far post.

It was end-to-end action, and Milan captain Davide Calabria forced an excellent save from Sommer at the end of the first half.

However, less than four minutes after the restart, Thuram ran onto a long Bastoni ball over the top and feinted around his marker before cutting in from the left along the edge of the area and drilling into the near bottom corner.

There was a tense finish after Milan equalized 10 minutes from the end. Sommer did an excellent job of parrying Matteo Gabbia’s header onto his post, but Tomori nodded in the rebound before grabbing the ball and gesticulating frantically to his teammates as he raced back to the center circle, desperate for the equalizer that would prevent Inter from winning the title.

As tempers flared, a scuffle broke out in stoppage time, and Milan’s Theo Hernandez and Inter defender Denzel Dumfries were both sent off. Calabria was also given a red card moments later after another altercation.


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