Soccer-Inter secure Serie A title in heated win over Milan


Soccer Football - Serie A - AC Milan v Inter Milan - San Siro, Milan, Italy - April 22, 2024 Inter Milan's Nicolo Barella celebrates winning Serie A with Federico Dimarco after the match REUTERS/Daniele Mascolo

(Reuters) -Inter Milan won their 20th Serie A title on Monday after a 2-1 win at AC Milan gave Simone Inzaghi's side an unassailable lead in the standings.

A goal from Francesco Acerbi and Marcus Thuram in each half proved sufficient to secure Inter's victory, with Fikayo Tomori scoring a late goal to reduce the deficit.

The match also witnessed three red cards in stoppage time, with Milan being reduced to nine men as tensions flared, with Theo Hernandez and Davide Calabria getting their marching orders along with Inter's Denzel Dumfries.

Inter, who have lost only once in the league this season, hold a 17-point advantage over second-placed Milan with five matches remaining.

For Inzaghi, this was the first Serie A title of his managerial career and sixth trophy with Inter.

"There are so many protagonists of this success, first and foremost the players, but also the directors and chairman Steven Zhang, as anything we needed during this journey was provided for us," Inzaghi said to DAZN.

"It’s an incredible sensation, we did something incredible and it’s only right to share it with as many people as possible."

The San Siro was packed with supporters from both clubs, with Inter fans displaying two stars to symbolise their impending 20th Scudetto, spelling out a message to their rivals: 'Our destiny, your nightmare.'

HEATED MATCH

The match heated up in the opening minutes as both sides engaged in pushing and shouting following a late challenge on Inter's Nicolo Barella. However, play resumed a few minutes later without any bookings.

After 18 minutes, the away fans erupted after Benjamin Pavard flicked a corner to a completely unmarked Acerbi, who had little trouble heading in the lead for Inter.

Just before the break Inter keeper Yann Sommer made a superb reflex save on a Calabria effort, while at the other end Milan keeper Mike Maignan blocked Henrikh Mkhitaryan's shot moments later.

Four minutes after the break, Thuram doubled Inter's lead by sending a low shot from the edge of the box into the bottom-left corner.

As the minutes ticked closer to the end, fans set off flares in the stands, casting a foggy veil over the pitch.

Milan reignited the match 10 minutes before the time when a save from Sommer rebounded off the post and fell into the path of Fikayo Tomori, who headed it home.

In stoppage time, tempers flared as a scuffle broke out between the players which resulted in Dumfries and Hernandez being shown red cards.

Yet another brawl ensued on the pitch minutes later, culminating in Milan's Calabria receiving a red card for striking Inter's Davide Frattesi.

"It was a good game, it’s a pity that it got so tense in the last five minutes, as it had been very fair until then. We played well, could’ve scored another goal in the first half, but we are very happy," Inzaghi said.

As the referee sounded the final whistle, Inter players and staff began to celebrate the triumph.

Inter fans then moved the party out of the stadium and towards the Piazza Duomo, a well-known celebration spot in Milan, where thousands celebrated with fireworks and cheers, casting shades of blue and black against the backdrop of the Milan Cathedral.

(Reporting by Tommy Lund in Gdansk, additional reporting by Alessandro Garofalo, Daniele Mascolo and Jennifer Lorenzini, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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