Inter Milan secured their place in the Champions League semi finals after drawing 3-3 with Benfica at the San Siro. The Italian team advanced on aggregate 5-3, setting up a highly anticipated derby against city rivals AC Milan in the following round.
Barella shines again as Inter Milan seal semifinal spot
Nicolo Barella continued his excellent form for Inter Milan, scoring a stunning opening goal to set the tone for the game. Edin Dzeko contributed to the buildup, and Lautaro Martinez linked beautifully with Barella to give the Serie A champions a three-goal advantage. Despite a late Benfica comeback, Inter’s first-leg lead proved decisive in the end.
Inter Milan started the game on the back foot, as Benfica made the brighter start. Inter, on the other hand, seized the lead against the odds in the 23rd minute. Barella received the ball outside the box and curled a shot into the top corner of the net to give the home team the lead.
Benfica pushed for an equalizer and came near when Chiquinho forced Andre Onana into a save. However, Inter struck again in the 36th minute, with Martinez latching onto a Federico Dimarco pass and finishing with a superb first-time effort.
Benfica pulled one back before halftime, with Fredrik Aursnes nodding in a Rafa Silva cross to make it 2-1.
Inter restored their two-goal lead in the 66th minute when substitute Joaquin Correa fired a shot into the lower corner of the net. Benfica, on the other hand, refused to give up, scoring twice in the last phases of the game through Antonio Silva and Petar Musa to set up a tense conclusion.
Inter Milan, on the other hand, held on for the draw, sealing their position in the semifinals and a highly anticipated clash with city rivals AC Milan in the next round, in a historic Derby della Madonnina.
Benfica bows out with heads held high
On the other hand, Benfica tried their best to overturn the two-goal deficit from the first leg, but in the end, it wasn’t good enough. They fought back with two late goals, and they showed a fighting spirit that will be remembered. Thus, they can be proud of their performance in the continental competition and can focus on the end of the Portuguese league.