Milan have finally done it. After four years without a derby win in the league, they changed the trend this evening, beating Inter by two goals to one. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the big hero with a brace, but the entire team impressed with what was a stellar performance at the San Siro.
Stefano Pioli’s side extended their unbeaten run to 20 games and although the clean sheet wasn’t preserved, the display was certainly a sign of their improvement. As a Milan fan, you can’t really ask for much more than this, with the team currently sitting in first place with 12 points after four games.
Ibrahimovic opened the scoring in the 13th minute, pouncing on his own rebound after the referee awarded Milan a penalty. Three minutes later, he doubled the lead, perfectly timing a Rafael Leao cross at the back post. Romelu Lukaku did pull one back in the first half, but the Rossoneri managed to see out the game.
Down below are three things we learned from Milan’s performance.
1. Ibrahimovic is the king of Milan
The Swede, as mentioned, was the big hero for Milan this evening. After missing two weeks of action due to COVID-19, the 39-year-old was eager to bounce back with another good derby performance. These are the kind of games he lives for, and this very clear today.
Sure, his penalty perhaps wasn’t the best but luckily he pounced on the rebound. The second goal was a tap-in at the far post, but his movement certainly shouldn’t be underestimated. In addition, he was very dominant, often winning the duels against the Nerazzurri defence. He’s the king of Milan, in other words, not Lukaku.
2. Defence still working well despite the conceded goal
Prior to this game, the Rossoneri hadn’t conceded in the league. Matteo Gabbia was able to slot in well alongside Simon Kjaer, replacing Alessio Romagnoli, at the start of the season and today the captain made his return. This, of course, was very important as there were no other options.
The 25-year-old did relatively well under the circumstances, but it’s clear that he will need a few more games to catch up. Despite conceding the goal, Milan’s defence was still very impressive and considering how lethal Inter’s attack can be, defending the lead was indeed an achievement.
3. The Rossoneri have to be taken seriously
As said, Pioli’s men are now in first place with 12 points, three points ahead of Atalanta (who lost today) in second place. It’s the first time Milan will finish a match week in first place since March 31, 2012, which is a testament of how much they have improved over the last few months.
Tonight’s result proved that the Rossoneri’s run of form is far from a fluke, and that they have to be taken seriously this season. Yes, we are only four games in, but they haven’t looked this good in many years. We can only hope that they will continue on this path, as it surely will lead them to more success.
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