After Champions League heartbreak, Inter Milan inch closer to ...

16 days ago

Inter Milan players celebrate during their clash with Empoli at the San Siro Stadium in Milan, Italy, April 1, 2024. /CFP

Inter Milan - Figure 1
Photo CGTN

Inter Milan players celebrate during their clash with Empoli at the San Siro Stadium in Milan, Italy, April 1, 2024. /CFP

It has been a shade over two weeks since that heart-wrenching defeat in the penalty shootout against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League quarterfinal, but ask any devoted Inter Milan fan, and they will tell you the pain still lingers. Some might recount waking up in the dead of night, contemplating what might have been if Inter had shown more composure in front of the goal. However, life must go on, and Inter have spared no effort in tending to the wounded hearts of their faithful followers.

On Monday night, the illustrious Italian giants took another stride towards securing the Serie A title with a 2-0 victory over Empoli. This straightforward win maintained their commanding 14-point lead at the summit of the league table. With just 11 more points required from their remaining eight matches, Inter are tantalizingly close to clinching their 20th Italian league crown, leaving their arch-rivals AC Milan trailing in their wake.  

Inter Milan - Figure 2
Photo CGTN

To be honest, Inter didn't quite showcase their usual incisiveness, but they managed to settle their nerves early on. Within just five minutes, Marcus Thuram burst forward to collect a lofted pass in the right channel and deftly played it back towards Alessandro Bastoni, who had ventured forward from his full-back position on the opposite flank. 

Inter Milan's Federico Dimarco reacts after scoring during their clash with Empoli at the San Siro Stadium in Milan, Italy, April 1, 2024. /CFP

Inter Milan's Federico Dimarco reacts after scoring during their clash with Empoli at the San Siro Stadium in Milan, Italy, April 1, 2024. /CFP

Bastoni then delivered a clipped ball into the edge of the penalty box, finding Federico Dimarco perfectly positioned to calmly guide it into the bottom corner of Elia Caprile's goal with a composed strike of his left boot.

However, despite taking the lead, Inter struggled with their finishing throughout the match and were fortunate not to concede a penalty when Francesco Acerbi clumsily challenged Sebastiano Luperto late in the first half. It was at this critical moment that Alexis Sanchez emerged as the savior.

Inter Milan - Figure 3
Photo CGTN

Only four minutes after coming onto the pitch, the Chilean star made an instant impact by converting a cross from Denzel Dumfries in the 81st minute, securing the victory for Inter. On the other hand, Empoli found themselves relegated to the bottom three based on goals scored, as Frosinone managed to climb out of the relegation zone despite not being in action.

Inter Milan's Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during their clash with Empoli at the San Siro Stadium in Milan, Italy, April 1, 2024. /CFP

Inter Milan's Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during their clash with Empoli at the San Siro Stadium in Milan, Italy, April 1, 2024. /CFP

The immense pressure weighing on Inter coach Simone Inzaghi was palpable, as evident by his loss of voice during the match from incessantly shouting instructions. Assistant coach Massimiliano Farris had to step in to handle the post-match responsibilities. However, there was a collective sigh of relief within the Inter camp.  

With Monday's victory, their path to the title became clearer. If they can secure wins in their upcoming league clashes against Udinese and Cagliari, they will enter the much-anticipated Milan Derby on April 22 knowing that a triumph against their city rivals would secure their first title since 2021. Should Inter achieve this remarkable feat, their loyal fans can certainly look forward to a restful slumber, accompanied by sweet dreams.

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