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SOCCER

Inzaghi: Results against Milan this season motivate Inter in Cup clash

Inter Milan have yet to beat city rivals AC Milan in three meetings this season. Coach Simone Inzaghi hopes that will change in Tuesday’s decisive Coppa Italia semi-final.

Update:
Inter Milan's Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez celebrates with Inter Milan's Argentine forward Lautaro Martinez after scoring during the Italian Serie A football match between Spezia and Inter on April 15, 2022 at the Alberto-Picco stadium in La Spezia, Liguria. (Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP)
ALBERTO PIZZOLIAFP

Inter Milan’s failure to beat city rivals AC Milan in three meetings this season will come as extra motivation when they clash in the second leg of their Coppa Italia semi-final, coach Simone Inzaghi said on Monday.

The two sides shared the spoils in their first league clash in November - that game ended 1-1 while Milan won the reverse fixture 1-2, before they played out a 0-0 draw in the first leg of the Coppa last month. Just two points separate them at the top of Serie A - Milan are at the summit on 71 points but Inter have a game in hand.

Juve or Fiorentina await in the final

Now they meet for the fourth time for a place in the Coppa final on 11 May, with Juventus taking a slim lead into the other semi-final against Fiorentina. “The team is full of desire and motivation. We know how important this game is and what it means to the club and the fans,” Inzaghi told reporters ahead of Tuesday’s clash. “The three derbies have all been different. We played very well in the first two, whereas the two teams cancelled each other out in the last one, knowing that there was a second leg to come and the importance of away goals.”

Inter are on Milan’s heels in Serie A but Inzaghi insisted that their sole focus right now was the Coppa Italia, which they last won over a decade ago. “It’s effectively a final... we’ll then need to do a good job of differentiating between the different competitions. The priority right now lies with the Coppa Italia tie tomorrow and then we’ll focus on Roma (on Saturday),” he said.

Line-up changes

Striker Lautaro Martínez, who scored off the bench against Spezia last week, could replace compatriot Joaquín Correa in the starting line-up and partner veteran Edin Dzeko against Milan. ‘In terms of choices, coaches always have doubts... there are two more training sessions before tomorrow’s game and I’ll try to make the right choices for tomorrow,’ added Inzaghi. ‘I have five fit strikers at the moment and they all deserve to play, but I have to make decisions.’ Juventus and Fiorentina meet in the other semi-final on Wednesday, with the Turin side taking a 1-0 advantage into the second leg.

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