Derby Della Madonnina – AC Milan 0-1 Inter, ‘il Principe’ gives hope for the Scudetto
What a weekend for us Interisti and what a game! This season’s first league Derby Della Madonnina was hugely hyped up around the world, more so than usual it seemed, and with both teams being in the best form of the season it was looking to be an epic game. Unfortunately to be honest it wasn’t quite the classic match I had expected and my predicted score of 2-3 to Inter was a fair few goals off the reality but what is important is the fact that Inter won and closed the gap on the top of the table by another 2 points. (Juventus of course gaining only one point this week from being held to a draw at home by Cagliari, *Childish chuckle* 😉 )
This fixture of course was the Rossoneri home fixture and they were looking to hold on to their record of not losing at home since 18th December 2010 when Roma defeated them, led by none other than our very own Claudio Ranieri, so it was quite fitting that this record was broken by the same man in his very first Milan Derby. Before the match both the Curva Sud and Curva Nord Ultras gave their usual stunning displays, shown above and below, and the scene was set for the greatest city derby in the world to begin for the 190th time since the 1929/30 season.
FIRST HALF –
For his first Milan Derby Claudio Ranieri decided to start the match with his prefered 4-4-2 formation, with Julio Cesar in goal after receiving a pain killing injection for a bad back a few hours earlier, There were no changes from the squad that thrashed Parma last week and as I had hoped the Inter coach opted for Ricky Alvarez to start instead of Wesley Sneijder who hasn’t played since November and is in my opinion lacking match fitness. Up front despite rumours of Diego Forlan starting we saw Giampaolo Pazzini line up next to Diego Milito once again. (‘il Principe’ making his 200th appearance in Serie A)
Allegri’s Milan change things around a little for this match with Pato pairing up with Zlatan Ibrahimovic up front after sensationally turning down a move to PSG and scuppering their Carlos Tevez plans earlier in the week, while Kevin-Prince Boateng took a deeper role allowing Urby Emanuelson to act as playmaker for the Rossoneri. Anyway that’s enough about their line up for now, if for some reason you are interested see the squad lineups further down the page.
As the teams lined up in front of a sold out Guiseppe Meazza stadium there was a minute’s silence in memory of those who lost their lives in the shipwreck tragedy off the coast of Isola del Giglio and also for Nicholas Savarino, the local police officer that was hit and killed by a SUV in Milan.
Finally the match began and it took just three minutes for Inter to show their first spark of attack as Lucio stole the ball from Gianluca Zambrotta and quickly initiated a counter attack that saw Maicon send a low cross into the box only for the Rossoneri to intercept and clear the danger.
A few minutes later Mark Van Bommel’s foul on Pazzini gave Inter a freekick from outside the area that Maicon swung in perfectly for Thiago Motta to move forward from the edge of the box and head home, I like every other Interisti in the world went crazy only to find out a couple of minutes later as I calmed down that it had been disallowed because Samuel and Milito were offside, despite them having no influence over the play! For me this goal should have stood as it complied with the modern offside rule but as the decision didn’t really affect the result it’s best just forgotten about.
This lucky break spurred Milan to attack and Julio Cesar was forced in to a low save from Ibrahimovic’s effort from the edge of the box and then a dangerous play involving Boateng, Emanuelson and Pato ended with a high volley from the Brazilian. On the 20th minute Cambiasso conceded a corner by blocking Pato’s shot and when it was taken Boateng caught the ball on the turn sending his right footed shot just over the bar.
It then became end to end stuff as first Maicon and Milito played a one – two which ended up in front of the Milan goal only to be closed down by derby veteran Alessandro Nesta, then down the other end Samuel did the same as Ibrahimovic sent in an inviting low cross to Pato. The Swede had a chance to put Milan ahead as he sent his back-heeled effort over the bar from Boateng’s cross.
Five minutes before the end of the half Yuto Nagatomo found Alvarez in front of goal with a great cross, but instead of volleying it the Argentine controlled the ball with his weaker right foot giving Christian Abbiati the chance to block the resulting left footed shot with his feet. With seconds left in the first half Van Bommel sent a wonderful long-range shot towards goal which luckily for Inter rebounded off the bar, but only as far as Emanuelson whose left footed volley was saved well by the alert Julio Cesar. And so the first half ended goal less despite Milan controlling the play and Inter having the better chances.
SECOND HALF –
The second half started with the same 22 players on the pitch and it wasn’t long before the true prince of Milano sent the Nerazzurri fans in to a frenzy after Ignazio Abate failed to clear a cross from Zanetti which Milito jumped on the opportunity and fired home an unstoppable left footed shot past Abbiati in to the corner at the far post.
Seven minutes later and Inter were on the attack again as Nagatomo cut inside and hit a right footed shot that deflected off Nesta causing the Milan goalkeeper to dive and push out for a corner. Down the other end Julio Cesar punched away a teasing cross that could have set up either Ibrahimovic or Pato who were both waiting nearby.
The 67th minute had me swearing at my TV as Ranieri replaced Alvarez with Cristian Chivu to take up the left back position meaning that Nagatomo moved to the left midfield, at this point in the game I would have taken Nagatomo off instead putting Zanetti in the Left back position and brought on Faraoni for the right side of the midfield, but as it turned out Chivu played very well for a change and stopped more than a couple of Milan’s attacks so I have no complaints with the Romanian for now.
The next Inter substitution was the one everyone was waiting for as Wesley Sneijder came on for Milito who received a round of applause for his great performance.
The rest of the game saw Milan go on the offensive with the Nerazzurri happy to sit back and protect their lead with our Brazilian shotstopper thwarting several attempts on his goal from Pato and Ibrahimovic and in the 83rd minute he punched away a scorching shot from distance by ex Inter player Clarence Seedorf shortly after which he had to scramble to close down an advancing Ibrahimovic who was stopped in his tracks by the referee Orsato calling him offside. In the 90th minute Ranieri made the last of his changes by bringing on Forlan for Pazzini and so after three minutes of injury time the game was called to an end and the Black & Blue side of Milano can claim the bragging rights around the city until the return match in May.
Inter 0-1 AC Milan (HT: 0-0)
Scorer: Milito 54.
Referee: Daniel Orsato (Schio).
Booked: Nagatomo 64, Nesta 68, Thiago Motta 89, El Shaarawy 90+2.
Added time: 2+3 minutes.
Interisti reaction to the win
If you’ve ever wondered how important a derby win is for us Interisti just watch this video and let Inter Club Lebanon show you 🙂
32 Abbiati; 20 Abate, 13 Nesta, 33 Thiago Silva, 19 Zambrotta (Robinho 66); 27 Boateng, 4 Van Bommel, 22 Nocerino (Seedorf 90); 28 Emanuelson; 7 Pato (El Shaarawy 83), 11 Ibrahimovic.
Unused subs: 1 Amelia, 5 Mexes, 23 Ambrosini, 25 Bonera.
Coach: Massimiliano Allegri.
1 Julio Cesar; 13 Maicon, 6 Lucio, 25 Samuel, 55 Nagatomo; 4 Zanetti, 8 Thiago Motta, 19 Cambiasso, 11 Alvarez (Chivu 67); 22 Milito (Sneijder 76), 7 Pazzini (Forlan 90).
Unused subs: 12 Castellazzi, 20 Obi, 23 Ranocchia, 37 Faraoni.
Coach: Claudio Ranieri.
This was by no means an attractive match for Inter and the stats showed that Milan held 65% of the possession during the match compared to our 35% but on the positive side we were more dangerous in attack and had the better of the chances throughout the game. I do have a few criticisms though, I felt that Alvarez was a bit of a non entity in this game sat on the left wing and the few times he moved to the playmaker position he looked a lot more dangerous, Ranieri please take note he’s better behind the strikers not on the wing! Sneijder proved me right about him not being match fit after two and a half months out injured as for the quarter of an hour he was on the pitch he didn’t really make any difference what so ever, though it was still great to see him back on the pitch for us.
My last criticism is probably my biggest from this match and concerns Pazzini, we all know he works hard for the team and is always looking at getting in on goal but over the last few games it seems to me that he is getting himself frustrated with his lack of goals, meaning that he is arguing every offside decision which for the most part are correct, and especially in this match he seemed to be playing more to get a free kick awarded more than playing to go for goal, you may not agree with this but it’s how it seemed to me.
Anyway following this great win for the Nerazzurri we are right back in to this season’s Scudetto race and although we still sit in fifth place we are just five points behind AC Milan in second and just six points behind the league leaders Juventus, which goes to show all of those that were doubting Inter not so long ago, you should never write off the mighty Nerazzurri or ‘il Biscione’ will come and bite you on the ass. 🙂
We can now look ahead to the Lazio game that marks the half way point of the season in which a win will put us in to fourth place, and you never know by the next game Branca & co might have pulled their fingers out and managed to secure a new signing for us!
Follow me on Twitter: @Don_Nerazzurri
Posted on January 16, 2012, in Serie A and tagged AC Milan, Cambiasso, Cesar, Chivu, Derby Della Madonnina, Football, Forlan, Inter, Lucio, Maicon, Milito, Motta, Nerazzurri, Ranieri, Samuel, Serie A, Sneijder. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.