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Inter will face Manchester City on Saturday (3 p.m. ET on Paramount+) in pursuit of their fourth Champions League title after winning in 1964, 1965 and the last one in 2010 when Jose Mourinho was in charge of the Italian side. That season they won the treble, becoming the first and still only Italian club ever to win all the three major competitions in the same year. Thirteen years later, Inter are back in the final and, despite being huge underdogs, can dream of something that was totally unexpected at the beginning of the season, when the team coached by Simone Inzaghi ended up in the same group stage as Bayern Munich and FC Barcelona. How did Inter get to Istanbul? We recap their route to this year's showpiece event in Turkey, and don't our recap of Man City's path to the title as well.


Simone Inzaghi's side ended up in second place during the 2021-22 Serie A season, when Inter lost the Scudetto on the last matchday of the season, while city rivals AC Milan won the title. Inter qualified for the Champions League's group stage for the fifth year in a row, while during the season Inter were eliminated by Liverpool in the round of 16. 


Inter landed in Group C along with Bayern Munich, FC Barcelona and Viktoria Plzen. Inter lost the opening game against the German side, but then managed to win at home against FC Barcelona and drew away in Spain in the two deciding clashes of the group stage, considering that Xavi's side ended up third in the group at the end.  

Group stage results

  • Matchday 1 - Inter 0, Bayern Munich 2
  • Matchday 2 - Viktoria Plzen 0, Inter 2
  • Matchday 3 - Inter 1, FC Barcelona 0 
  • Matchday 4 - FC Barcelona 3, Inter 3 
  • Matchday 5 - Inter 4, Viktoria Plzen 0  
  • Matchday 6 - Bayern Munich 2, Inter 0 

Round of 16 results

First leg: Inter 1, Porto 0

Inter faced the Portuguese side in the first game of the knockout stage and won thanks to the goal scored by Romelu Lukaku in the second half.

Second leg: Porto 0, Inter 0. 

Inzaghi's side played a defensive game against Porto in Portugal and suffered especially in the second part of the game but the Nerazzurri were able to keep the clean sheet with some crucial saves by Andre Onana and qualified for the quarterfinals for the first time since 2011. 

Quarterfinal results

First leg: Benfica 0, Inter 2. 

Inter managed to win away in the first leg of the quarterfinal against another Portuguese side. Benfica were considered favorites well before the clash, as they were able to eliminate Juventus in the group stage and also finished first in the same group as PSG. This was probably the game where a lot of people realized that Inter were actually strong this year, despite the disappointing results in the league. The Nerazzurri won 2-0 thanks to the goals scored by Nicolò Barella and a penalty from Lukaku. 

Second leg: Inter 3, Benfica 3. 

Despite the final result, Inter were always in control of the second leg as they managed to score the opener with Barella again. The away side leveled before Lautaro Martinez and Joaquin Correa scored the second and third goals for Inter. The Nerazzurri qualified for the semifinals for the first time since 2010, and not even the two late goals scored by Benfica could ruin a special night for the fans. 

Semifinal results

First leg: AC Milan 0, Inter 2. 

One of the most exciting clashes of the season, Inter faced AC Milan in the third-ever Derby della Madonnina clash in the history of the competition. While the Rossoneri eliminated Inter in 2003 and in 2005, this was the first time that the Nerazzurri made it through and won the first leg with two goals scored by Edin Dzeko and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. 

Second leg: Inter 1, AC Milan 0. 

Six days later, AC Milan tried to make a historical comeback with Rafael Leao back on the pitch (injured in the first leg). However, Inter won again thanks to the goal scored by Lautaro Martinez in the second half and qualified for their first European final since 2020, when Antonio Conte's side lost to Sevilla in the Europa League final.