Inter defeated bitter cross-town rivals AC Milan on Sunday night at the San Siro in a 3-2 thriller that we’ll surely be talking about for years to come. In a game that saw Milan come back to equalize things on two separate occasions, a 90th minute Mauro Icardi penalty proved to be the difference in the end. The Nerazzurri preserved their unbeaten start to the season and moved into sole possession of 2nd in Serie A, while Milan fall to a disappointing 10th place after coming away with no points. Head over to Matt’s match recap for a full tale of the tape.
As for player ratings...
Samir Handanovic - 7
Despite conceding twice, Samir actually played well. The 33-year-old Slovenian between the sticks for Inter recorded four saves, some of which were pretty special. After sticking out a big hand to deny a Fabio Borini equalizer from close range in the first half, Handanovic came up big in the second half on a number of occasions. Following a nearly untouchable strike from Suso for the Rossoneri’s first goal of the evening, Inter’s keeper was unlucky to concede a second when the ball bounced off of the post onto him and into the back of the net after he made the initial save. Was that *technically an own goal? Maybe, maybe not, but either way, it was one of Samir’s better performances of the young season.
Danilo D’Ambrosio - 6.5
Milan consistently found space by exploiting both of our fullbacks, and in turn, D’Ambrosio didn’t have all that memorable of a game. Danilo linked up with his Italian national team teammate Antonio Candreva quite well on Inter’s first goal, but his constant defensive shortcomings largely evened things out.
Milan Skriniar - 6.5
Inter’s exuberant young center back distributed well out of the back for the entirety of the match, but the space Milan players were consistently finding themselves in directly in front of our back line (especially in the second half) should fall on Skriniar and Miranda. While I think Miranda played the better of the two, one would hope that we can cut down the chances we concede as a whole in the coming weeks. All in all, Milan recorded 21 shots. That should be unacceptable for a center back pairing of Skriniar and Miranda’s caliber.
Miranda - 7
Inter’s Brazilian veteran in center defense started this Derby relatively shaky: giving the ball away to Andre Silva in a dangerous area and picking up a yellow card in the fourteenth minute. Afterwards, however, he seemed to bear down. Miranda’s experience shone through against Milan’s youthful, energetic attackers time and time again. He and Skriniar were both successful in clearing dangerous crosses and loose balls, but unlike Skriniar, Miranda’s distribution out of the back still leaves something to be desired.
Yuto Nagatomo - 6.5
As aforementioned, Milan consistently exploited the Nerazzurri’s fullbacks. While I still like Yuto as the starting left-back over new arrival Dalbert, sometimes he looks overmatched. Borini gave Nagatomo more fits than he should have, and the assist for Milan’s second goal came at Yuto’s expense. Much like D’Ambrosio, Yuto’s overall performance was... meh.
Roberto Gagliardini - 6.5
Gagliardini is still developing. I don’t think he’s exactly found his place in Luciano Spalletti’s team just yet, but I do think he’s getting there. Roberto still somewhat disappears during matches from time to time. He and Ivan Perisic were both at fault for leaving Suso to have his magnificent hit, when I’m pretty sure everyone in the stadium knew the young Spaniard was trying to get the ball on his favored left-foot. That was Gagliardini’s job as defensive midfielder, and he failed.
Matias Vecino - 7.5
Inter’s Uruguayan midfielder has the impeccable ability to show up in the right place at the right time. Often times, when another Inter defender gets beat on the dribble or by a quick pass, Matias Vecino is there to clean up the mess. He also possesses sneaky pace and dribbling ability. It was his wonderful run in the final stages of the game past four or five Milanese defenders that resulted in the corner kick during which the penalty was given. It seems Vecino just keeps improving, and it puts an enormous smile on my face.
Antonio Candreva - 8
In our community preview, I said that Inter’s right flank was my biggest concern coming into the Derby. Antonio must be an SoM reader, and as a result, this was his performance of the season beyond a shadow of a doubt. After his first cross of the game in the opening minutes sailed out of bounds for a Milan goal kick, I thought what I’m sure every Inter fan was thinking... not again. Miraculously, that was one of his only mishaps of the entire match. Candreva linked play from defense to attack incredibly well on numerous occasions, and his assist to Mauro was simply sublime. There’s no other way to put it. Bravo, Antonio.
Borja Valero - 7
Due to the absence of both Marcelo Brozovic and Joao Mario, Luciano Spalletti called upon Borja to play the trequartista role in behind Mauro Icardi. No, Valero doesn’t go on the blistering dribbling runs that Joao Mario does. Neither does he possess the occasional eye for goal that Brozovic does. What Valero does do, however, is get the job done. While not his best performance of the season, Valero continues to display his consistency in the Inter midfield. It’s just what we’ve come to expect.
Ivan Perisic - 7.5
Even when Ivan isn’t too involved, he produces. That’s part of the reason that we love him so much here at SoM. Perisic joined Roberto Gagliardini in leaving Suso unmarked in Milan’s final third for his third goal of the season, but what Ivan provides going forward is just about invaluable. At this point, Inter fans know exactly what’s coming when they see #44’s step-over and blow-by. Ivan recorded his fourth assist of the season on Sunday night at the San Siro, and he and Mauro’s chemistry continues to be off the charts.
Man of the Match: Mauro Icardi - 10
This is the first 10 rating we’ve handed out this season. Surprised? Don’t be. A clinical finish, an acrobatic finish, and a penalty. Just another day with Mauro Icardi leading the Inter front line. The player with the fewest touches of either team’s starters (24) was the best player on the pitch. One of the best strikers in Europe at the moment is simply irreplaceable; there isn’t much else to say.
Joao Cancelo - 5.5
Cancelo only played twenty minutes in his second appearance for the Nerazzurri, and they weren’t all that impressive. The 23-year-old Portugese wing-back missed a golden opportunity to slot a mouthwatering ball into Matias Vecino for Inter’s third goal, and he lost his man, Jack Bonaventura, which resulted in Milan’s temporary equalizer. Brighter days to come, hopefully.
Eder - N/A
Eder came on for Borja Valero in the 85th minute and only recorded four touches, but one of those touches was the deflected shot that led to the corner kick that will stick in our memories for quite some time.
Davide Santon - N/A
Played mere seconds and recorded a measly two touches.
Luciano Spalletti - 6.5
For once, Spalletti’s substitutions didn’t seem to change the game in a noticeable way. His biggest selection dilemma was the hole left at the trequartista role because of Marcelo Brozovic and Joao Mario’s injuries, and it was interesting to see him leave Eder out of the starting lineup. While the positioning of Borja Valero did work out in the end, I’m excited to see how Spalletti approaches the Napoli match if Brozovic and Joao Mario are still unavailable.