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Inter Milan 1-0 AC Milan: Who runs Milan?

An ugly and somehow undeserved win in the Derby lifts Inter on top of the Serie A standings.

Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Let's start by enjoying this.

How long have we waited for this moment to come? Not only because Inter currently are the best team of the league, but they also have 8 points more than Juve, which are in deep crisis and will also have to play a Champions League match this week, and 6 more than our evil cousins, Milan. Plus the Nerazzurri conceded just one goal in three matches, which is actually great after seeing this team make all kinds of defensive atrocities in the past few seasons.

Now it's time to start dragging us all down from the clouds. Yes, Inter is in 1st place right now, but there is still a lot of work to do to seriously think about winning the Serie A this year. The midfielders have few (and confused) ideas with the ball in their feet, they lack chemistry, especially the forwards, and for the goal scoring part they rely too much on individual plays instead of creating chances with brilliant teamwork. These first three wins give Inter less pressure and more room to make mistakes in the following fixtures while they work hard to build a more solid and exciting game.

It was not an exciting Derby, to be completely honest, even though it has been one of the best of the last few seasons. I didn't expect it to be more entertaining since both teams always approach this particular match with more fear of losing than desire of winning,  making it a matter of concentration and safety and leaving little room for entertainment.

Both teams essentially played at the same level and with the same formation too:  4-3-3 with Ivan Perisic and Keisuke Honda acting between the lines in the trequartista position for Inter and Milan, respectively. Both players didn't shine though, probably also because they were not helped enough by midfielders while trying to make something happen for their team.

The "surprise" of this match was Mancini's choice to keep Ranocchia on the bench and play with Gary Medel as centre-back, which is not his natural role. Even though I would have gone with the much safer choice of having a real CB playing in that position, Medel didn't disappoint there, for Mancini's joy, actually he looked more self-confident, probably because he didn't have to be the team's playmaker, as already happened. Felipe Melo helped him too, and did a really good job destroying Milan's plays and helping the defence when needed.

Samir Handanovic was the top performer of the match. He was ready every time the opponents threatened to score and intercepted almost every cross or corner-kick and also helped his teammates starting the offensive maneuver. It's not by chance that Guarin's superb goal came after a risky but successful sequence of passes between him and the defenders that obliged Milan to unbalance and expose to Inter's attack. The Slovenian goalkeeper also made two world-class saves on Luiz Adriano and Balotelli, respectively at the beginning and at the end of the match, remembering us why he is considered one of the best GK of the world at the moment.

Another good thing Inter can take away from this match was Icardi's presence. I mean, his performance was mediocre to say the least, but after missing two games (he played just 15 minutes against Atalanta) it looked like his physical problems are not bugging him anymore and Inter can have his goleador back in full form, ready to score loads of goals on the opposition. He could have easily scored in this match too a handful of seconds before the end of the first half, when Jovetic found him completely free inside Milan's box, but Diego Lopez answered to his attempt with a brilliant save.

Balotelli tried to ruin Inter's plans many times, but first the post and Handanovic's save then were enough to prevent him from scoring what would have been an absolutely heart-breaking goal. I would crown him Milan's best player even if he played just 30 minutes, because he was a real danger every time he had the ball. I would also like to thank Mihajlovic for replacing Bacca with Balo, instead of the slow and almost useless Honda, because dealing with B&B would have been way more difficult for our defenders than containing the only Super Mario.

As I already said, what concerns most Inter fans right now is the absolute lack of organization and creativity in the midfield, which forced the team to rely on Jovetic's and Guarin's individual plays in this game. A better organized squad could have easily neutralized them with a stronger pressing while they were in possession of the ball, but luckily for us Milan left  the two enough space to create and threaten them.

It sounds weird, I know, but Inter will need more than great individual plays against Chievo when the Nerazzurri will meet them next week, because the Gialloblu are - historically, and this year in particular - a very solid side, capable of bridling the opponent's best players effectively, punishing without mercy even the slightest mistake. If you scroll up and take another look at the standings Chievo currently sits in second place, with their only tie occurred this week against Juventus.

P.S. : Please, teach Kondogbia how to use his damn right foot. PLEASE.