The long-awaited derby ended in misery for AC Milan and all of its fans, as Inter edged the designated home side in front of a big crowd at San Siro. This is the Rossoneri’s first loss in the league since December.
Given both sides’ recent form, not many would’ve expected Inter to get away with a 3-2 win, and especially not how they managed to do so. Despite their poor spell, Spalletti’s men completely dominated the game for the first 55 minutes, which turned out to be costly for Milan.
In that period, Inter could’ve scored 3-4 goals, both ‘only’ managed to put two past Donnarumma in goal. The first one came after just three minutes, as Perisic picked out Martinez at the back post. The Argentinian did brilliantly to find Vecino, who slotted it home.
Gattuso’s men managed to ride the storm until the half-time break, but they were reminded of Inter’s brilliance straight away in the second half, as de Vrij headed in the second just five minutes into the last 45. Milan got a lifeline as Calhanoglu picked up Bakayoko with a brilliant free-kick, and the Frenchman scored his first goal for Milan with a fantastic header. 1-2, and game on.
Just before the second half started, Castillejo was brought on to replace Paqueta, and more changes took place after their first goal. In fact, Cutrone replaced Rodriguez, which saw they Rossoneri switch to a 4-4-2 formation with the youngster and Piatek forming a duo up front. Calabria was moved to the left side while Kessie slotted in at right back.
The pressure started to mount on Inter but perhaps Gattuso changes were a bit naive. Politano was clipped by Castillejo just inside the penalty box, resulting in the referee blowing his whistle. Martinez stepped up and scored the third, but the game wasn’t over just there.
Gattuso decided to send on Conti instead of Kessie to get some structure to the play, and straight away the response came. Suso, for once, was responsible for a fantastic cross into the box, which eventually fell to Musacchio. The Argentinian made no mistakes to bring Milan back into the game once again, with just under 20 minutes remaining.
However, even though Gattuso’s men racked up a few dangerous chances, nothing more came of it. The loss means that Inter are now ahead of Milan in the standings, although only one point separates the two sides.
So, were there any positives to take out of the game? Despite the lacklustre performance, a few players stood out. Starting at the back, Musacchio looked very secure even though the team conceded three goals. Many would’ve seen him as the weak link ahead of the game, but surprisingly Romagnoli performed worse than his colleague, by quite some margin.
Bakayoko also put in a good display, for the most part, and his first goal for the club is something he will remember, although the result didn’t go his team’s way. During a spell of the game, he played as a deep-lying midfielder along with Calhanoglu, who was brilliant this evening. The Turk International was forced to move around a lot due to Gattuso’s changes, but did brilliantly in adjusting to the circumstances, running the show for Milan. For me, he certainly was the man of the match, which hopefully can inspire him to continue like this.
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