Milan, April 19 (BNA): Inter tied 3-3 with Benfica on Wednesday to win the Champions League quarter-finals, 5-3 on aggregate, and will face rivals AC Milan in order to be the first Italian team to reach Serie A. Final for six years.
Reuters reported that this will be Inter’s first appearance in the semi-finals since winning the European Cup for the third time in 2010, and it is the last victory for the Italian Champions League, as Juventus lost the final of 2015 and 2017.
“It’s going to be a special derby,” Inter Milan forward Lautaro Martinez, who ended his 10-game scoring drought by scoring his side’s second goal against Benfica, told Amazon Prime Video.
“We all know what this match means, to play the Milan derby in the Champions League semi-finals.
“Happiness is the word, I’m so proud to represent this crest and this great club that is back where it belongs.”
Inter were resolute against Benfica and were never in danger of losing their grip on the equalizer, scoring on each of their only three shots on goal in the entire match.
Leading 2-0 from the first leg in Portugal, Inter were happy to sit back and wait for a counter-attack against a desperate Benfica side.
Inter took the lead after 13 minutes when defender Nicolas Otamendi failed to control an impromptu ball near his own area.
Niccolo Barella, who also scored Inter’s first goal in the first leg, was quick to react and after a brilliant one-two combination with Lautaro unleashed a powerful left-footed strike into the top corner of the net.
Benfica equalized in the 38th minute when midfielder Frederick Orsnes jumped high to hit a cross from Rafael Silva hard into the roof of the net.
Inter opened up a two-goal lead after half-time as Martinez and substitute Joaquín Correa scored from close range and were in control, making Benfica no shots on goal until the 86th minute.
But the Portuguese team refused to lie down, and defender Antonio Silva with a close-range header and substitute Petar Musa scored late goals for Benfica to salvage the tie.
The Milan team met twice in the Champions League elimination rounds, the 2002-2003 semi-finals and the 2004-2005 quarter-finals with Milan, the seven-time European champion, and won both matches.
They will meet at San Siro in the first leg on May 10 and on May 16 in the second leg. The winners will face Real Madrid or Manchester City, who meet in the semi-finals for the second season in a row.