Sunday, May 28, 2023
Inter Milan secured their spot in the Champions League with a 3-2 victory over Atalanta, showcasing strong form ahead of their upcoming final in Europe's top club competition.
The win propelled Inter to second place in Serie A and came on the heels of their Italian Cup triumph. Early goals from Romelu Lukaku and Nicolo Barella, along with Lautaro Martinez's late finish, sealed the win for Inter.
They now hold an eight-point lead over fifth-placed Atalanta, effectively ending Atalanta's hopes of a top-four finish. Inter's impressive performance also means that AC Milan only need to avoid defeat against Juventus to secure their own Champions League qualification.
Romelu Lukaku, potentially in his final match for Inter, opened the scoring less than a minute into the game, rounding the goalkeeper and calmly finding the net. Inter extended their lead in the third minute when Barella volleyed home after Marco Sportiello had denied Federico Dimarco.
Atalanta managed to reduce the deficit through Mario Pasalic's goal just before halftime, but Inter remained in control. Martinez sealed the victory in the 77th minute, tapping in a chance created by Lukaku and Marcelo Brozovic.
The win solidified Inter's place in the Champions League and provided a boost of confidence ahead of their final against Manchester City. Inter manager Simone Inzaghi expressed his satisfaction with the team's performance, emphasising the importance of unity and teamwork. Meanwhile, Atalanta, sitting one point ahead of Roma, saw their chances of reaching the top four vanish with a loss against Fiorentina. Roma's only remaining route to the Champions League is by winning the Europa League final against Sevilla.
In other news, Torino coach Ivan Juric became the latest victim of racism in Serie A, as he was subjected to racial abuse during his team's victory over Spezia. The use of racial slurs targeted at players from the Balkans and Eastern Europe has unfortunately persisted in Italian football. The match was briefly halted by the referee due to the severity of the abuse.