Inter Milan and AC Milan met in a classic Derby della Madonnina, with Inter coming back from 2-0 down to win 4-2 at the raucous San Siro. Despite Milan dominating the first half and scoring twice, Inter were revitalized in the second, with four unanswered goals. This was the definition of a game of two halves, and then some. Before we dive into things, here’s the formations and lineups both managers went with.
Inter Milan’s starting 11 with subs:
AC Milan’s starting 11 with subs:
Milan started the better side, and by the 10th minute had attempted four shots compared to Inter’s none. The “visitors’’ came closest to opening the scoring in the 9th minute when a low shot from Hakan Çalhanoğlu at 25 yards struck the left post, despite having Inter’s keeper, Daniele Padelli, completely beaten.
By the 15th minute Inter had begun to grow back into the game but were still second best. Nonetheless, the Nerazzurri created its best chance of the half in the 24th minute. From the right side of the box, near the endline, Romelu Lukaku played a pass back to Matías Vecino in the center of the box. The Uruguayan, however, sent a low shot right at Milan keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Milan took a deserved lead in the 40th minute via in-form Ante Rebić’s third strike of the season. A cross found Zlatan Ibrahimović in the box, and the Swede headed the ball down and across the six yard box. Although Padeli attempted to come out and clear the ball, he missed and Rebić knocked the ball into the empty net. Ibrahimović then doubled Milan’s lead in the 46th minute. A flicked on corner found an unmarked Zlatan at the back post, and he headed the ball across the goal and into the back of the net.
Padelli again should have done better, as he could not control his momentum towards the near post which allowed Zlatan an entire half of the goal to place his header into. Milan deserved its lead going into halftime and were the sharper side while keeping Inter from threatening Donnarumma’s goal. That statistics backed that up, as Milan had 57% possession and 13 shots versus Inter’s 6. Most of Inter’s possession came in its own half, as well, thanks to Milan’s high defensive line and solid midfield. Title credentials were no doubt in question.
After a team talk from Conte that we can only imagine, an amazing goal from Marcelo Brozović cut Inter’s deficit in half in the 51st minute. A blocked Inter cross looped up into the air and to the center of the field. From 25 yards out, Brozović struck an extraordinary volley and sent the ball into the left side of the goal. It was a fantastic goal and a fitting start to the comeback. I didn’t have enough time to write up the first goal before Inter brought themselves level just two minutes later. Inside the six yard box Alexis Sánchez received a ball through Milan’s defense and took the ball past Donnarumma. The Chilean smartly played the ball back to Vecino who capitalized past an out of position Donnarumma.
Although there was a VAR check for a possible offsides on Sánchez, the goal stood and sparked chants of “who does not jump is a Rossoneri.” I only hoped that no one would enter through the doorway and see me bouncing around like a madman. Inter completely turned the Derby on its head in the 70th minute when Stefan de Vrij scored a beautiful header. A Candreva corner was met by the stooping Dutchmen, who sent a curling header into the far post netting.
Even more chants regarding jumping and whether one supports AC Milan could be heard from the Inter faithful. Christian Eriksen almost added a fourth in the 80th minute, when a fantastically struck free kick from 30 yards out banged off the crossbar. It was a shame the ball didn’t go in. With Milan pushing itself forward, Inter had another chance to seal the three points in the 89th minute. Nicolò Barella was played behind Milan’s defense in the midfield and he took the ball all the way to the six yard box, but he sent a low shot directly at Donnarumma. Milan, meanwhile, almost equalized in the 90th minute.
A cross from Lucas Paquetá on the endline was met by Ibrahimović, but the Swede sent a header off the near post. Then in the 93rd minute, Lukaku put the game to bed. A Victor Moses cross from the lower right corner of the box found Lukaku at the top of the six yard box. The Belgian beat his defender to the ball and capitalized with a strong header to the near post. Inter were victorious in the Derby of Milan for the fourth straight occasion!
Inter were fantastic in the second half, and outshot Milan 11 to 4, but most importantly outscored the Rossoneri by four. Nonetheless, it must be said how poor Inter were in the first half, as it could not find its footing in Milan’s half, and was also overrun in midfield. But the second half was a different story, with the attack being ferocious and clinical, while the defense was solid and kept Ibrahimović out of the play.
This is a huge result for Inter’s Scudetto chase, as the Milanese side move level with Juventus on 54 points, but have a superior goal differential. Lazio are a close third, with the Rome side on 53 points. Inter take on Le Aquile next Sunday in a huge clash, but first travel to the San Paolo on Wednesday to meet Napoli in Leg 1 of the Coppa Italia semi final. We’re first!
This is AC Milan’s first loss of 2020, and brings the Rossoneri’s winless run vs Inter to eight. Milan were tactically, and physically superior in the first half but crumbled in the second. Once Inter scored its first, Milan lost confidence and were torn apart by the Nerazzurri’s attack. Zlatan failed to influence play and the entire Milan offense looked out of place. Due to other results, Milan, on 32 points, now falls two points behind Hellas Verona, which occupies the last European spot.
Milan is in tenth place, level with Parma and Cagliari but two ahead of the dumpster fire of Napoli. Milan are also in the Coppa Italia semi finals, and host Juventus on Thursday before meeting the other Turin side, Torino, in Milan on Monday the 17th.