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Inter seal Serie A title with win in ill-tempered Milan derby

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 22 Apr 2024

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Inter Milan set the seal on a season of domestic dominance with an ill-tempered 2-1 victory over bitter rivals AC Milan to claim a 20th Serie A title.

Simone Inzaghi’s side have lost just once in the league this season and secured the Scudetto with five games to spare thanks to goals from Francesco Acerbi and Marcus Thuram.

Fikayo Tomori pulled a goal back with 10 minutes left to set up a potentially nervy finish, but the most notable action was a 93rd-minute melee – sparked by some needless pushing and shoving between Denzel Dumfries and Theo Hernandez – which saw both men sent off.

And Milan’s miserable evening was compounded when Davide Calabria was also shown a red card for swinging an arm into the face of Davide Frattesi as they waited for a corner.

The sides came into the game level on 19 titles each, but Stefano Pioli’s side were 14 points adrift of Inter and simply hoping to delay Inter’s title celebrations for a few days in the Derby della Madonnina.

That looked a forlorn task with Inter having scored the most goals in Serie A this season while also boasting the meanest defence and, after Lautaro Martinez blazed an early volley well over, they duly took the lead in the 18th minute.

Federico Dimarco’s outswinging corner was flicked on at the near post by Benjamin Pavard and Acerbi was somehow left unmarked to head home from close range.

Inter should have doubled their lead in the 25th minute when a delightful flick from Thuram allowed Dimarco to get to the byline and pull the ball back for Martinez, but again he could only direct his shot high and wide of Mike Maignan’s goal.

Milan briefly threatened on the counter-attack as Rafael Leao’s shot brought a decent save from Yann Sommer, but at the other end Thuram side-footed agonisingly wide after a neat exchange of passes with Nicolo Barella.

Sommer was called into action again to save a goalbound effort from Calabria and the ball was quickly swept down field to allow Henrikh Mkhitaryan to test the reactions of Maignan, who proved equal to the task.

Inter had to wait just four minutes after the interval to extend their lead however, Thuram taking full advantage of the Milan defence backing off to fire a low shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.

Milan offered little in the way of an attacking threat until 10 minutes from the end when substitute Samuel Chukwueze’s cross was headed back across goal by Leao, Matteo Gabbia’s header was turned on to the post by Sommer and Tomori was ideally placed to head into the empty net.

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