Inter head coach Simone Inzaghi admitted that before he only dreamed of his team reaching the Final Four of the Champions League.
The Nerazzurri fell into what was considered the “death group” earlier in the tournament when they hit Bayern and Barcelona in second place ahead of the La Liga giants.
Inter beat Benfica 5-3 on aggregate after a 3-3 draw at the San Siro in the quarter-finals on Wednesday, meaning they will face city rivals AC Milan for the first time since the 2002/03 season. “. the first time the two would meet five times in a single season.
“It’s a great happiness,” Inzaghi said after the game. “We had a great match against a difficult team.
“We fully deserve this semi-final, which was previously only a dream. I’m happy for the guys and for our progress. We started with a very difficult group with Barcelona and Bayern. We work every day to experience these evenings.”
1 – Milan and Inter will meet for the first time in history in 5 matches in one season. Derby.#Championship #InterBenfica pic.twitter.com/yikIXGpX5G
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) April 19, 2023
Their advance to the Champions League semi-finals for the first time since they won the competition in 2009-10 should ease the pressure on Inzaghi, who has come under fire for the team’s league form by not winning any of their last five games. in Serie A, losing four.
“Critics are not the problem,” he insisted. “I know where they come from. Some are good, some are bad.”
Federico Dimarco had a productive game on Inter’s left wing against Benfica, netting six crosses in open play – twice as many as any other player – and assisting Lautaro Martinez and Joaquín Correa after Nicolò Barella had previously put the hosts ahead.
Roger Schmidt’s men equalized Barella’s thanks to Frederik Aursnes before the final efforts of Antonio Silva and Petar Musa equalized again.
“We are very happy, it has been many years since Inter reached the semi-finals,” Dimarco told Amazon Prime. – There is one more step to go.
“We played well, except for some inattention to our goals. Assists? I worked on this all week, the main thing is that the team wins.
When asked about the prospect of meeting Milan, he replied: “Let’s think about other matches first. I am calm, we have one more step left to move forward.”