Inter beat Milan in ECL 'Euroderby' semi-final 1st leg
Inter Milan have overpowered AC Milan early and held on to win the first leg of their Champions League semi-final derby 2-0, leaving the Nerazzurri on the brink of a return to European soccer's showpiece event for the first time since 2010.
Edin Dzeko and Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored two goals in three minutes to put Inter firmly in command and the visitors could have added more in a dominant first-half performance on Wednesday.
The second leg is on Tuesday with the winner facing either Real Madrid or Manchester City, who drew their first leg 1-1.
"We had an extraordinary first half, the scoreline was tighter than it should have been, with what we created," Inter coach Simone Inzaghi said.
"This is obviously a derby ... the guys were really great in managing such an emotional match.
"We have to continue like this. We know that we're just one step away from a dream that we believed in from August until today."
Milan were missing key forward Rafael Leao, who hasn't fully recovered from a thigh injury sustained over the weekend.
There was an electric atmosphere at San Siro for the tie dubbed the "Euroderby" in Italy.
Inter got off to the perfect start, taking the lead in the eighth minute. Hakan Calhanoglu whipped in a corner from the left and Dzeko managed to get in front of Davide Calabria to hook a volley into the top right corner.
Inter doubled their lead just three minutes later when Federico Dimarco's low pass was wisely left by Lautaro Martinez for Mkhitaryan to lift over Mike Maignan.
Milan had only conceded one goal in their past six Champions League matches.
Incredibly, Inter almost scored a third five minutes later but Calhanoglu's long-range effort came off the right post.
Milan eventually had their first attempt on goal 30 minutes in but Calabria hit the side netting.
Seconds later, Inter were awarded a penalty for a foul by Simon Kjaer on Martinez but the referee revoked his decision after reviewing the incident on the pitchside monitor.
The Rossoneri should have pulled one back in the 63rd minute but Sandro Tonali's effort came back off the base of the left post.
"I know my team, I know my players, I know we can do better. I know Inter is a very strong team, but we're not any less," Milan coach Stefano Pioli said.
"It will be a difficult night mentally for both teams, the last chance to get into the final.
"We have to give everything we have -- talent and heart -- to turn around a situation that has become difficult but not impossible."