Edin Dzeko and Henrikh Mkhitaryan give Inter a huge advantage after a 2-0 win over city rival AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League encounter semi-final first leg at San Siro On Wednesday night. The two Italian giants are battling it out to be Serie A’s first finalist since 2017 in one of the most evocative fixtures possible at this stage of Europe’s elite competition. AC Milan had suffered a big blow even before kick-off when newly signed superstar Rafael Leao was ruled out after failing to recover from a thigh injury he suffered against Lazio last weekend. Dzeko put his Inter side upfront after just eight into the fixture when former Manchester City striker outmuscled Davide Calabria from Federico Dimarco’s corner and thrashed a volley from 12 yards past the helpless Mike Maignan in the Milan goal. And they had a second just three minutes later. Federico  Dimarco was released down the left and cut the ball across the box into the path of the onrushing Mkhitaryan, who marched through the Milan defence to stroke past Maignan. The Rossoneri were all adrift as Inter came within inches of a third when former Milan midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu lashed a 25-yard strike against a post before Maignan blocked Mkhitaryan’s effort from close range. The hosts, looked shell-shocked and did not register an attempt on goal in the first half but Sefan Poli’s side started the second period much better. Brahim Diaz curled just wide from 20 yards and Junior Messias wasted a great chance when through on goal, and Sandro Tonali hitting the post. No Italian side has won the Champions League since Inter Milan in 2009-10 as part of their Treble. The second leg is on Tuesday nextv week and the winners will face Real Madrid or Manchester City in the final in Istanbul.        


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