Inter retained their Supercoppa Italiana crown with a convincing 3-0 victory over fierce rivals Milan at King Fahd International Stadium on Wednesday.
Simone Inzaghi’s side have been in far better form than Milan since the World Cup break and that showed in Riyadh as they raced into a two-goal lead inside 21 minutes.
Federico Dimarco finished off a flowing team move and Edin Dzeko, who played a pivotal role in that opener, added a second to put Inter in command.
Last season’s Coppa Italia winners Inter added a third in the 77th minute through Lautaro Martinez to seal a seventh Supercoppa triumph, drawing them level with Milan’s tally.
Dzeko played a delightful first-time pass into the feet of Nicolo Barella, who in turn squared to Milan-born Dimarco for a simple finish for Inter’s 10th-minute opener.
That goal was allowed to stand following a VAR check, with semi-automatic offside technology being used for the first time in Italian football ahead of its roll-out in Serie A.
Inter added a second through a well-taken Dzeko goal after the striker collected the ball down the left, skipped inside Sandro Tonali and swept a shot past Ciprian Tatarusanu.
Not since Roma against Inter in 2006 had a team struck twice inside the opening 25 minutes of a Supercoppa Italiana match, and Milan could not find a route back into the game.
After sitting back for most of the second half, Inter added some gloss to the scoreline when Fikayo Tomori failed to clear a long ball and Martinez finished with the outside of his boot.
What does it mean? Inter move level with Milan
Milan are a point better off than Inter as we approach the midway point in Serie A, but they were deservedly beaten by their neighbours and are now winless in four matches.
By comparison, Inter have now won four and drawn one of their five games in 2023, with this the sweetest of the lot as they retained the Supercoppa for the first time since 2006.
The Nerazzurri have won this title seven times, which is level with Milan and within two of Juventus’ record haul.
Theis ours, AGAIN! 0-3 (FT)
— Inter (@Inter_en)
Derby delight for Dzeko
Dzeko’s sublime touch in the build-up to Dimarco’s strike set Inter on their way, and he was on the scoresheet himself soon after with a goal that truly rolled back the years.
At the age of 36 years and 307 days, Dzeko overtook Cristiano Ronaldo (35y, 350d for Juventus versus Napoli in 2021) as the oldest goalscorer in Supercoppa Italiana history.
Milan’s defensive woes
While Inter deserve credit for their good attacking play, all three of their goals were far too easy – the third in particular as Martinez spun in behind a disorientated Tomori.
That is now nine goals conceded in five games this year for Milan at an average of 1.8 per game, compared to 1.05 prior to the World Cup break (22 goals shipped in 21 games).
Key Opta Facts
– Inzaghi has won the Supercoppa Italiana for the fourth time (two with Lazio and two with Inter); no coach has won this trophy more often than him – level with Marcello Lippi and Fabio Capello.
– For the first time since 2013 (Juventus 4-0 Lazio), the Supercoppa Italiana final has been won by at least a three-goal margin.
– In each of the previous 14 Supercoppa Italiana finals, the holders of the Scudetto had always scored; prior to Milan, the last such team to fail to score were Inter on August 19, 2007 (0-1 v Roma).
– For the first time, Inter beat Milan in a final; on the previous two such occasions (Coppa Italia in 1977 and Supercoppa Italiana in 2011), the Rossoneri won both games scoring two goals in each.
Inter return to Serie A action next Monday with a home match against Empoli, while Milan have a further 24 hours to prepare for their trip to Lazio.