RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Veteran forward Edin Džeko inspired Inter Milan to a 3-0 win over city rival AC Milan and a second straight Italian Super Cup trophy on Wednesday, adding to the Rossoneri's woes.
The 36-year-old Džeko scored one goal and also had a role in Federico Dimarco’s opener. World Cup winner Lautaro Martínez sealed the result late on as Inter lifted the first trophy of the Italian season at King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The result will increase worries over Milan’s start to the year. It beat Salernitana in its first match in 2023 but followed that up with two draws in the league and also was eliminated from the Italian Cup.
The defending champion has fallen nine points behind runaway leader Napoli, with Inter and Juventus just a point further back. Inter and Milan face each other again in a Serie A derby on Feb. 5.
The Super Cup is traditionally between the Serie A champion and the Italian Cup winner. Inter won it last year after winning the league, but entered this edition having lifted the Italian Cup last season.
Its defense of the title got off to a great start as it took the lead in the 10th minute. Džeko played a great one-touch layoff to release Nicolò Barella, who rolled the ball across for Dimarco to tap in at the back post.
That seemed to spark Milan into life and Inter goalkeeper André Onana had to pull off an impressive save to deny Rafael Leão.
Džeko got on the scoresheet himself in the 21st minute. He caught the Milan defense napping to race onto a free kick from inside Inter’s half and cut inside past Sandro Tonali before placing an angled strike past goalkeeper Ciprian Tătărușanu.
And the Milan defense was at fault again for Inter’s third as Martínez shrugged off Fikayo Tomori all too easily before curling in a delicious strike.
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The Associated Press