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In Focus: Inter Edin for bragging rights over Milan
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Danny Ryan
LiveScore
Edin Dzeko scored Inter Milan's opening goal in their 2-0 first-leg win
Edin Dzeko scored Inter Milan's opening goal in their 2-0 first-leg win

Inter Milan are within touching distance of the Champions League final.

Simone Inzaghi's side defeated local rivals AC Milan 2-0 in the first leg of their semi-final tie and go into Tuesday's decider in great form.

The Nerazzurri have won their last seven games in all competitions — racking up 21 goals.

Three of those were scored by the ageless Edin Dzeko, including the crucial opener against Milan.

Ahead of the second leg at the San Siro, we shine the spotlight on the 37-year-old, who is showing no signs of slowing down.

Evergreen Edin

Dzeko has impressed for Inter in Serie A action this season and his form has seen Romelu Lukaku have to make to do with a place on the bench at times.

The Bosnian striker ranks ninth in the division for goals scored from open play (eight) and sixth for shots attempted (71).

Twenty-five of the ex-Manchester City ace's shots have been on target, which is the eighth-highest total in the Italian top flight.

Whenever he is on the pitch, Dzeko is a menace in the final third — and he has other strings to his bow too.

Complete package

After Inter's 2-0 win away at Milan, Dzeko said: "Sometimes the goals don't arrive and people only talk about that, but I bring more than goals to the team.

"I work hard for my team-mates and I scored the goal, but also did important work for the team throughout the match."

And Dzeko adds far more to Inzaghi's side than goals. The right-footed forward ranks 12th in Serie A for through-balls attempted and seventh for through-balls completed.

It is no wonder his usual partner in crime up top Lautaro Martinez has enjoyed such a fruitful campaign with the Argentine netting 21 times in all competitions.

Edin Dzeko gave AC Milan defenders a torrid time during Inter Milan's 2-0 win
Edin Dzeko gave AC Milan defenders a torrid time during Inter Milan's 2-0 win

Golden oldie battle

Milan's own evergreen striker Olivier Giroud has scored 13 times this season, one fewer than Dzeko.

As well as claiming first place in the goals department, the Inter hotshot excels in various other areas when in battle with the Frenchman.

Dzeko has completed more passes both overall and in the final third, while he boasts a far better passing accuracy of 71.88% compared to Giroud's 62.29%.

Inter's No9 is everything you could want in an out-and-out centre forward and it is why the 2020-21 Italian champions are looking to extend his contract by a further year.

Edin Dzeko has outperformed Olivier Giroud in many key metrics
Edin Dzeko has outperformed Olivier Giroud in many key metrics

Staying grounded

Despite the Nerazzurri's significant advantage going into the second leg against Milan, Dzeko is not getting carried away about a potential reunion with former employers City.

When asked about facing Pep Guardiola's side in the Champions League final, he said: "I wish! I wasn't thinking that far because the semi-final is important, the last time I played it I lost. 

"Some bad memories here, even if I scored in both games [for Roma against Liverpool in 2018]."

Should the two teams come face-to-face in Istanbul, the Citizens will be very wary of their former marksman.

But first Dzeko and his team-mates have to complete the job against Milan, who lost 2-0 to Spezia on the weekend as their bitter rivals defeated Sassuolo 4-2.

Tags

InterAC MilanEdin DzekoChampions League
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