Inter takes it all with win over Milan

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Milan, Apr. 24: Winning the derby ended up being the cherry on top of a special night for Inter Milan.

Holding off AC Milan 2-1 on Monday clinched for Inter the Serie A title that had been sign-posted for weeks, and earned a coveted second star on its jersey for winning a 20th Italian league title, breaking a tie with its fierce city rival. "I told the guys, 'We find ourselves in a situation that's never happened before,'" Inter captain Lautaro Martínez said. "We needed to take advantage of this opportunity, because look around, the entire stadium is ours now."

Not even the pouring rain could dampen the spirits of the Nerazzurri and their fans.

Francesco Acerbi and Marcus Thuram scored and, although Fikayo Tomori's late goal for AC Milan threatened to delay the celebrations, Inter held on for the win that stretched its lead to an insurmountable 17 points over second-placed Milan, with five rounds remaining.

At the final whistle, a beaming Lautaro and teammate Federico Dimarco climbed onto the top of the goal frame at San Siro.

Flares and fireworks were set off in the stands, and the Inter players danced raucously in front of their fans. A banner was unfurled saying in Italian: "Repeat it to the Madonnina, who are the champions and who the crybabies." The Madonnina is the statue on top of Milan cathedral that overlooks the city, and which the derby is named after.

After winning eight other trophies, Simone Inzaghi claimed his first league title as a coach.

"Winning the league with five matches left — more or less won with nine matches left, today making it mathematically certain — in a derby, with Milan the home team, that is something that will remain with us," Inzaghi said.

"Everyone gave their very valuable contribution so that we could reach goals like this."

A star is awarded for every 10 Serie A titles. Only Juventus has won more, with a record 36 and thus three stars on its jersey.

Despite the rain, the stars aligned for Inter to wrap up Serie A, another star and the Derby della Madonnina on one night at San Siro, the stadium both teams share. Inter was technically the away team and only one end of the stadium was reserved for its black-and-blue-clad support.

Inter had won the past five derbies, including both legs of the Champions League semifinal last year and a 5-1 humiliation of Milan earlier this season in Serie A. (AP)

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