Milan is no stranger to drama, or to big nights in the Champions League for that matter. But games like Tuesday’s semifinal second leg — Internazionale vs. A.C. Milan at San Siro — make it hard to be a neutral. So if you are, choose a side and settle in for another night of noise and memories of Italian soccer’s good old days. Here’s what you should know.
How to Watch
Inter vs. A.C. Milan is being broadcast by CBS (English) and Univision (Spanish), and streamed on Paramount Plus. Watching someplace else? A full list of UEFA broadcast partners is here. Kickoff is at 3 p.m. Eastern, no matter what the ads and the TV listings and the tweets tell you.
Check back here for updates during the match.
Inter-Milan Preview: Pressure Point
Like a group of naughty schoolchildren, A.C. Milan’s players stood with their heads bowed and their gazes fixed as they took in to what the club’s ultras — its most ardent, most organized fans — had to say. Standing among them, a case study in active listening, their manager Stefano Pioli nodded his head in agreement and understanding.
The ultras, Pioli revealed later, had simply wanted to “spur and stimulate” the team after a bitterly dispiriting week. Milan had lost twice in the space of four days: first, most damaging, to city rival Inter in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal; and then, salt in the wound, to 18th-place Spezia in Serie A.
Pioli has to be taken at his word, but from the outside it did not have the air of an especially inspiring encounter. Milan’s players looked stricken, somber, when they were summoned over to meet the fans after that game against Spezia. They did not give the impression that they appreciated being reminded of their responsibilities.
They have enough pressure ahead of the second leg, after all. First and foremost, of course, there is a place in the Champions League final at stake. Local pride is on the line, too: The specter of being eliminated by its housemate is a harrowing one. And then, thanks to that defeat at Spezia — which left Milan fifth in Serie A — there is the prospect of this being the club’s last appearance in the Champions League for at least a year.
The contrast with the mood at Inter is stark. Simone Inzaghi’s Inter side has spent much of the season sputtering and stuttering but appears to have found its rhythm at the last minute. Inter has lost only once since the start of April, and it has won its last seven games in a row, a streak that included victories over Juventus, Lazio, Roma and Milan.
At San Siro last week — a game that was technically Milan’s home leg — Inter seized control early and then held strong, restricting Milan to only sporadic menace after two early goals had secured what looks like an unassailable advantage. Inter has the more experienced, the more grizzled team; for the return, it will also be able to call on 70,000 or so fans.
No matter how stimulating Milan found that chat with its ultras, it is hard to avoid the suspicion that talk — ultimately — will not be enough.
The First Leg in Review
To be fair, you only need to watch the first 30 seconds to see both of the goals that have Inter in the driver’s seat. But the really fun part is the club-produced commentary.
Inter, naturally, loved it:
Extended highlights (with English commentary) is here.
The Inter-Milan winner qualifies for the Champions League final, which will be June 10 in Istanbul. Each team will be happy to be back after what has been (for them) an interminable absence.
Inter last appeared in the final in 2010, when a José Mourinho-coached team beat Bayern Munich, 2-0, at the Bernabéu in Madrid. Milan last played in the final in 2007; it won its seventh, and most recent, title that night, 2-1 against Liverpool.