Monday October 22 2018
Another Icardi derby

The Derby della Madonnina showed Inter and Milan’s best and worst, writes Richard Hall, and there was no surprise in who decided it.

The Derby della Madonnina showed the world it had lost none of its glamour and none of its appeal. The choreography from Milan's Curva Sud was exemplary, matched only by the majesty of the huge banner unveiled over three parts of Inter's Curva Nord, telling the world that 'The Serpent' was the symbol of Milan. The game itself entertained and frustrated both sets of supporters in equal measure and whilst it showcased how far both Milan clubs have come, it was also an advert for their deficiencies.

Few Milan derbies have managed to represent what the fixture means in recent years, but it did this Sunday. Sandro Mazzola had spoken earlier in the week to the Corriere Dello Sport, explaining that games like this were the one of the few things that still connected the passion of the old game with modern football. The first half was in some ways a throwback to Milan derbies of old. It started at a frenetic pace and saw the Nerazzurri press high up the pitch whilst the 'away team' quickly accepted their role and tried to absorb the pressure. Inter hit the post and both teams had goals disallowed, correctly being ruled out for offside.

The second continued as the first half had ended. Inter certainly will be pleased with their initial approach as it was obvious from the start that Milan could be exposed defensively. Despite this however and the good build up play the Nerazzurri produced, they lacked in the final third and failed to impose themselves on the game. Radja Nainggolan's injury in the first half had been a blow and it was from this point that Inter failed to impose themselves on Milan. Borja Valero offers much in technical quality but neither had the engine nor the ability to control the game from this area and Inter suffered as a result. Milan on the other hand struggled to get the dangerous partnership of Suso and Gonzalo Higuaín into the game and because of this, they looked very much like the away team, as Milan Skriniar and Stefan de Vrij could claim to have done their job well.

The disturbing element of the game for Inter, is that they ran out of ideas when in control of the game. They defended well, there is no doubt about that, Brozovic and Vecino were more dominant in midfield and their wide men caused Milan problems. The Rossoneri recognised this early and settled into a defensive strategy early on but the home side had few answers, with games against Barcelona and Lazio coming up, they will hope to have more creativity. Yes, they are pragmatic, yes, they are physical but there is still no evidence that Spalletti is any closer to getting his team to play the free flowing and cavalier football that he managed to get his Roma team to play. They still need a plan to allow Icardi multiple routes to goal.

Milan themselves may look back at the game and be somewhat disappointed that they did not play with more adventure. Against Sassuolo, Olympiakos and Chievo they had scored ten goals in three games and played some superb free flowing football in the process. Maybe it was the occasion, maybe it was the fact that they simply gave their hosts too much respect, or possibly Inter simply stifled them but they arguably played within themselves. Higuain was isolated as the Rossoneri lost most of the midfield battles and as the game neared the end they looked happy for the point.

It wouldn’t be the Derby Della Madonnina without a huge dose of drama and the champagne finish that Inter offered up, was worthy of the history and tradition of the fixture. With many accepting that the 0-0 draw was perhaps going to be a good result for both teams Matias Vecino, the man who loves a late finish more than Nicola Berti, delivered a cross that found Icardi, he didn’t need asking twice. He never does.

Inter had won the Derby in the dying embers and again showed that ever since the Lazio game at the end of last season they have a new character and never say die attitude. Hey still have a plethora of issues, especially creatively but that can wait. They had won the Derby against a Milan team who will be disappointed in themselves that they didn’t offer more. Whilst there is plenty to be frustrated about on both sides, there are many positives and none more so, than tonight was another example of how important the Derby della Madonnina is in the world football calendar.

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Have your say...
One of the most irritating things I hear from opposing fans is that "Inter is so lucky to have Icardi". Does everyone forget that we signed him from Samp for around 10Million Euros when he was still a boy? He played as one of our bench players for a season or so before we introduced him as a starter. We have brought him up slowly and placed our trust in him when we were rebuilding. Yes he is a phenomenal striker responsible for a majority of our goals.Is it a crime to have world class players?
on the 24th October, 2018 at 5:31pm
That Icardi goal deep in injury time Wasn’t so much of Donnarumma ball watching,turned off,misjudged it like a noob.... but also defender was just horrible. And it was an amazing ball in.
Inter are so lucky to have Icardi. I’m sure Wanda gave him a nice reward later that night. She was looking good in stands.
Gattuso gotta go,BUT still Milan will come in 7th at best.
on the 23rd October, 2018 at 1:55am
When you add the lack of physicality upfront you just get a sterile formation. At least if we moved to a 4231 then Jack or Hakan could play in the hole and mix things up. But 433 with no pace up front is never going to threaten anyone.
on the 23rd October, 2018 at 1:45am
genuine dynamism. It was nominally a diamond but all of the players could inter-change and the formation itself could change from a diamond to a flat midfield or even a Christmas tree formation with the introduction of Ambrosini. Milan's midfield is incredibly rigid.Biglia sits in the middle and Kessie sticks to the right and Jack to the left.That run that Keesie makes passed Suso down the right hand side is so predictable.That inter-change that Jack does with Hakan on the left is so predictable
on the 23rd October, 2018 at 1:43am
on the counter-attack? Cut inside, hit a cross field pass to Suso who is not exactly lightening quick either. Gattuso acknowledged before the game that Inter were more physical and claimed that Milan were more "technical" (but cannot string more than two passes together). He's deliberately set his side up like this. It's a bit like a rubbish version of the midfield he played in with Pirlo, Seedorf and Kaka. Apart from having less ability the big difference is that that midfield had
on the 23rd October, 2018 at 1:39am
@ Rosario I completely agree. The biggest disappointment was that Milan didn't close down any of the Inter players who walked the ball into Milan's half before crossing it unopposed. Meanwhile, Inter, like most teams against Milan this season, prevented Milan from even being able to take short goal kicks and pressed Milan in their own half. I keep making this point, but the reason teams are able to do that against Milan is because they're not worried about Milan's pace. What's Hakan going to do
on the 23rd October, 2018 at 1:36am
Asamoah managed to limit the space for suso to cut inside. Valero offered less punch in attack but his passing and ball controlled were great. He bossed the midfield along with brozovic, helped with inexplicably bad milan’s midfielders who couldn’t string decent passes.
Imo inter didn’t even play that at their best, their width plays were below standard though the goal did come from a cross. Maybe if radja & perisic are 100% fit, we’d have more clear cut chances. Lethal Icardi is the hero again.
on the 23rd October, 2018 at 12:01am
Milan never looked like they wanted to score, let alone win. This is not an attitude characteristic to Rino, I expect much more from his team. I think INTER ran the game and were unlucky not to score earlier. Spalletti 1-0 Gattuso. But the real tests are in the Champions Leaugue.
on the 22nd October, 2018 at 10:53pm
Icardi may have scored but Donnarumma got out of the way. Inter must have bought this one.
on the 22nd October, 2018 at 10:15pm
Brilliant stuff from Icardi, he tricked them all pretending to go to near post and then changed direction in a second,, that's the difference between having real champions like Maldini and Nesta, and having promising youngsters like Romangoli, Mussachio and Donaruma!
on the 22nd October, 2018 at 6:23pm
We had Calabria, Kessie, Rodriguez Hakan, Bonaventura and Suso called up all of whom played in the derby.
on the 22nd October, 2018 at 5:55pm
But it's what you get for a young coach and beginning a cycle of continuity/longevity. There will be some pains and this is one of them. We are still in a shout of fourth. I wanted to see if Milan had it in them to seek out fourth spot as a win here and the game in hand would have put us in 3rd or 4th.

That being said i dont think the players were up to the task of a derby match. They looked tired - hopefully it was due to intl break....which makes me also wonder why Samu didnt get more time
on the 22nd October, 2018 at 5:52pm
"...the next Gigi Buffon..."
on the 22nd October, 2018 at 5:51pm
Too many rash ppl in here. Gattuso go his subs right in other matches, but this one he didnt. He could have been more daring and bring on Laxalt and Samu like he would normally do. But he will learn from that experience. As i said before, we are a 5-7 team with a look-in on fourth. I dont know why Cacayoko was used as, again, he looked completely clueless and our midfield got totally overrun when he came on rather than just plain overrun. But it's what you get for a young coach
on the 22nd October, 2018 at 5:49pm
Milan played not to lose instead of playing to win Gattuso don’t know when to use is sub. Hakan was awful needed to be subbed out by the 60 minutes mark. Laxalt need to start and Castillejo need to come on at the 60 minutes mark. Donnarumma need to be dropped that goal is on him
on the 22nd October, 2018 at 4:58pm
I'd have to criticize Gattuso for subs on this one.

- Hakan was left too much on the field. He was inefficient all game long.

- Why did Cutrone come in as a left winger. Formation should've changed to allow Cutrone to support Higuain. This was somewhat done in the offensive phase but not enough.

-Why did Bakayoko come in to replace Kessie who was one of the bright sides in the game.

- What the heck was Abate substituted in for? Castillejo coming in would've been more positive.
on the 22nd October, 2018 at 4:57pm
What a shame...Milan never looked like wanting to win the game...I said it before that we need creativity in the middle. You close Suso down and we have no plan B. Bonnaventura and Calhanoglu just cannot take defenders on, leaving us with very little punch in attack...poor Higuain literally fell asleep upfront with no supply...hope this new Brazilian will bring some other dimension to Milan's game.
on the 22nd October, 2018 at 4:55pm
The problem is with Gattuso I like his energy but I’m less convinced with his tactic. We were too predictable the Turkish guy need to create chance for Higuain instead of shooting the ball every moment he gets it . Milan played not to lose instead of playing to win it . Gatusso don’t know when to sub . Laxalt and Castillejo were much needed . Chalanaglu should have been off by the 65 minutes mark at the very latest
on the 22nd October, 2018 at 4:52pm
Lets just remind everyone that Donnarumma makes 6 million euros net per season.

Skriniar 1,7.

Enjoy another 7-8 place milanisti.

Inter rule Milano.
on the 22nd October, 2018 at 4:06pm
It was an intense derby but wasn't really that beautiful. It was one-sided.

Milan looked pathetic trying to go forward. Completely aimless. Inter should have scored 3 but Milan was lucky. Inter's midfield ruled the game.

Milan has a good squad but Gattuso needs to go sooner than later if Milan wants to be in the CL next season.
on the 22nd October, 2018 at 4:02pm
Gattuso messed up last night and he needs to make changes especially with regards to Hakan and RR who are not creating enough offensively.A switch to a two striker system should also happen.However,in his defense,there's a lack of quality in the squad.Looking at other teams(not the top teams)I see players like De Paul,Papu Gomez,Chiesa,Berardi that can walk into our team.Kessie is good but I maintain that he was a step backward from Kucka and I would give him up for Barella in a heartbeat.
on the 22nd October, 2018 at 1:59pm
More like an absolute atrocious gift of a goal in the 93rd derby. How on earth one person gets to the ball before three including the keeper is beyond me. What a gift! Regardless if Inter deserved to win. That was a complete collapse. Awful!
on the 22nd October, 2018 at 1:32pm
Milan need to switch to a 4-4-2.I don't care if Cutrone is the only other striker.Borini or someone from the youth team can be the subs. Having two strikers gives our wide players (who let's face it aren't that good) more space and more than one target to find in the box.Also,competition between Hakan,Jack,Suso,Samu will be healthy.Gattuso needs to change things up because we don't create clear chances upfront.January can't come fast enough.We need reinforcements.
on the 22nd October, 2018 at 1:13pm
Icardi proving again that he's lethal when it comes to big matches. I just hope he'll be as motivated as in this match against Barca considering that Inter won't have that much possession against them.
on the 22nd October, 2018 at 12:42pm
Inter had one tactic - crossing balls into the box and yet Milan still failed to A. ever close the wingers / full backs down and B. come into the game expecting it. Milan never managed to strin 3-4 meaningful passes together in midfield, leaving Higuain isolated. It was literally back to front with no man's land in midfield - Inter left to dominate. If Biglia hadn't been on the pitch, it could've ended up being an ugly scoreline. Donnarumma needs to be dropped NOW!
on the 22nd October, 2018 at 11:27am

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