Derby Della Madoninna: A Bittersweet Victory As Inter Hammer Milan 4-2
All I can say is wow what a fantastic game! The Derby Della Madoninna is always an exciting and tense game between two of world football’s superpowers in the city that is known around the world as the capital of football but this one carried importance on so many levels. For Inter it was must win to stay in the chase for an European place, for Milan it was must win to take the title race with Juventus to the last day and for both clubs, as always, it was to determine who would have the bragging rights across the city of Milano and also the world.
The game didn’t disappoint either with six goals, three penalties, tension, passion and most importantly a derby double for the mighty Nerazzurri! This game will go down in football history as one of, if not THE greatest derby ever!
The game not only marked Julio Cesar’s 300th match for Inter but it also marked the last ever appearance at the San Siro for a true Inter Legend Ivan Cordoba after 13 season’s with the club making 454 appearances and scoring 18 goals. Before the match all the players took to the pitch wearing Cordoba’s number 2 shirt and the Colombian was presented with a commemorative plaque by Massimo Moratti before being congratulated by both his teammates and the Milan players alike.
In an interview with the Inter channel after the game Cordoba gave a heartfelt thanks to his teammates, President Moratti and all us fans.
“First of all, thanks. Thanks to the team that gave me the opportunity to end this way, with my people, with my family and with this wonderful victory. It wasn’t easy to make this decision but I’m happy to have concluded in this way. And thanks to president Moratti for having given me the possibility to play with this team.”
Cordoba recalled: “I’ve received so many surprises today, one after the other. I’m happy. I didn’t want to take up so much time with such an important match, but I’m truly happy. The embraces of my team-mates, the president, the warmth of the fans. I couldn’t have asked for more.”
A sold-out Meazza and the choreography prepared by the Nerazzurri faithful provided a marvellous backdrop for the occasion. The game started with Andrea Stramaccioni fielding what is becoming his favoured 4-3-2-1 formation the returning Captain Javier Zanetti replacing Dejan Stankovic in the center of the three-man midfield and once again Wesley Sneijder and Ricky Alvarez in support of Diego Milito in attack.
Inter started positively but Ex- Inter player Sulley Muntari slowed down the attack with a nasty two footed tackle on Sneijder in the fourth minute, the referee Nicola Rizzoli not wanting to set the tensions too high so early in the game just gave Muntari a telling off for the rash challenge but really in my opinion it should’ve been a yellow card.
After 11 minutes Alvarez sent a lovely pass out to the left to be collected by Yuto Nagatomo who let off a shot but it failed to trouble Abbiati in the Milan goal. A minute later Milan were on the offensive and Ibrahimovic missed a great chance to put the visitors in front after messing up his shot from a Robinho cross to just send it hopelessly over the bar from close range.
Not long after that it was the Nerazzurri that broke the deadlock, Sneijder taking a freekick after being fouled once again, sent the ball in to the far post where Walter Samuel was waiting, the Argentinian knocking it back across the goal mouth into the path of the incoming Diego Milito who calmly slotted it past Abbiati to open the scoring to a roar of approval from the Nerazzurri faithful in the stands and around the world. 1-0!
Moments after Milan restarted the Nerazzurri were once again on the attack as Guarin came close with a powerful long-range effort. Then on 19 minutes I thought we had doubled our lead as Sneijder’s shot was saved by Abbiati and Lucio smashed home the rebound only for it to be called offside by the linesman (Unfortunately he was right!)
By this point Inter were looking by far the more dangerous side and on the 32nd minute Sneijder’s corner met Cambiasso’s head that forced Abbiati to flap the ball out from what he and the officials claimed was on the line but in the replays I’ve seen it did look as though the ball went over. Yet more evidence that the game needs to implement goal line technology.
Moments later Abbiati’s game came to an end as he injured himself saving a tight angled shot from Sneijder, meaning Allegri had to make his second forced change of the game bringing on his backup keeper Amelia after earlier Bonera was forced to withdraw in the 21st minute and youngster De Sciglio came on to replace him.
Shortly afterwards Milan had a chance to attack and Julio Cesar made a wonderful save to deny Ibrahimovic from close range. Then came the controversy as Boateng sprinted in to the box with the ball Cesar rushed out to take the ball from his feet, and despite clearly getting to the ball first the referee Rizzoli called for a penalty and gave Julio a yellow card. Cesar then proceeded to take his time being ready for Ibrahimovic to take the spotkick and then tried to psyche him out by getting right in his former teammate’s face and even stuck his tongue out at him. This for me was one of my favourite moments of the match and even though Ibra still managed to put away the spotkick that gesture by Julione earns him my man of the match.
So the first half ended 1-1, though in reality the score should’ve been 2-0 to Inter and as quoted from inter.it – “That scoreline remained – with Inter being a goal short and Milan gifted a freebie – as the first period ended after three minutes of stoppage time.”
The second half started with Inter asleep and within 30 seconds of the restart Ibrahimovic had slipped past his markers and slotted home his second goal past Julio Cesar who was still fuming about the first half penalty decision. Inter weren’t prepared to let the game slip away from them though and immediately went looking for an equalizer. Sneijder hit a phenomenal volley from just inside the half and it took some luck and scrambling back from Amelia to stop it flying in to the goal. What a shot that was by Wesley! If it had gone in that would’ve been a real contender for the best goal scored ever in the world.
Despite them being in the lead there was a hint of frustration creeping in to Milan’s game as in the 50th minute Nesta and Muntari were lucky not to give away a penalty when they ganged up on Samuel in the box but two minutes later Abate wasn’t when he brought down Milito in the box, leaving ‘El Principe’ to slot home the spotkick evening up the score once again. 2-2 and the game was still far from over!
Three minutes after Milito’s second goal Ibrahimovic nodded the ball goalwards in to the path of Muntari who somehow managed to send the ball wide of the net from less than three yards out! 🙂 It’s always the small things that give you the greatest pleasure! 🙂 Just after the hour mark Guarin went down injured but Milan continued playing, which was really unsporting, luckily Julio Cesar managed to stop Robinho’s near post chance before Inter could replace him with Joel Obi.
Around the 70th minute both sides had chances with Abate’s close range shot being tipped over the bar by Cesar shortly followed by Sneijder testing Amelia down the other end. Then came the third penalty of this thrilling match when Nesta stuck out his arm to stop Pazzini’s cross. Up stepped the true prince of Milano and duly put away his second penalty of the day and secured his hattrick in this derby. This was a historical feat for our in form striker as he is the first Inter player to score one in the derby since István Nyers in 1953.
Not long after Milan tried for their own handball claim ( it wasn’t given as Cambiasso clearly had his arm behind his back) Javier Zanetti had the whole stadium on their feet with a barnstorming run from the edge of his own area all the way to the opposite box where his cross was eventually closed down by Nesta. This would have been an awesome feet for a youngster to make but for our 38-year-old captain to do it was just phenomenal!
With six minutes left on the clock Stramaccioni brought on Cordoba in place of Sneijder to give our veteran defender the best last appearance he could ever have wished for, the game looked in the bag and bringing on another defender could only make our backline more secure for the final few minutes. But Inter were enjoying their dominance too much to sit back and take a 3-2 win and so in the 87th minute with Inter surging forward Maicon let off a screamer of a piledriver shot from 25 yards out on the right which flew past Amelia in to the opposite top corner, what a goal! This has to be a real contender for goal of the season.
The game ended 4-2 with Inter securing their second derby of the season and amazingly it was Stramaccioni’s third success of the Rossoneri this season having two wins with the primavera and this one with the first team. This game will undoubtably be remembered fondly by Interisti around the world but I believe it will become the benchmark for all the great city derbies in every country too, it really was that good a match! It definitely is up there with the greatest Inter matches I’ve ever watched. If for some reason you missed this colossal game watch the highlights below and see for yourselves that the Italians still can play the best football in the world!
There were a couple of downsides to this victory though, the first and most painful was the fact that by winning this game we handed the Scudetto to our despised rivals Juventus, it would have been a lot better a result if that hadn’t happened but we had to win to keep ourselves in the fight for a European place so we have to live with the RuBentini talking BS about 3 stars. (27 + 1 =28 NOT 30!) The second downside was that Inter got fined 20,000 Euros due to the Interisti in the stands shouting abuse at Muntari, this is to be expected really when you switch to our cross town rivals but there are also reports that some of the abuse was rascist, this is inexcusable, I’m all for a bit of giving him abuse as banter but those who brought the colour of his skin in to it should be ashamed of themselves and as far as I’m concerned they are not welcome in the Inter Family.
Anyway that’s enough doom and gloom this is a celebration after all we defeated our cross town rivals and destroyed their title hopes and to top all that off President Massimo Moratti confirmed that Andrea Stramaccioni will be kept on as the permanent Inter coach next season and there are even rumours that a deal is being done to sign Lavezzi from Napoli! Have Moratti and Stramaccioni been reading my vision of the 2012/13 Inter squad article?
Now on to the last game of the season against Lazio and hopefully we secure at least a Europa League place for next season though if we win and Udinese and Napoli drop points there is still that slim chance of us getting third and the Champions league place.
Follow me on Twitter: @Don_Nerazzurri
Posted on May 8, 2012, in Serie A and tagged AC Milan, Alvarez, Cambiasso, Cesar, Cordoba, Derby Della Madonnina, Football, Guarin, Inter, Lucio, Maicon, Milito, Moratti, Nagatomo, Nerazzurri, Obi, Pazzini, Samuel, Serie A, Sneijder, Stramaccioni, Zanetti. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.