Sunday February 21 2021
Derby spotlight confirms Inter and Milan status

Inter ruled the roost in the Derby della Madonnina, but Susy Campanale feels the season had already turned for both Milan clubs before this.

This was the biggest Milan Derby in a decade, the first time since 2011 that both local rivals were in the top two when they faced off at San Siro. After years of Nerazzurri fans mocking Yonghong Li and the tiny transfer budget, they find themselves with Suning ready to pack up their bags and the future uncertain. They won’t like to admit it, but the clubs and their fans are more similar than different. What we saw – and above all heard – this afternoon only confirms that.

They’ve all got very short memories and love to pile in insulting the very players and coaches who should be praised. Milan go unbeaten in a year with a squad that has nowhere near as much strength in depth or even quality in the starting XI as their rivals, yet suddenly people are turning on Stefano Pioli and calling for big changes. No, Pioli has not ‘bottled it.’ He never had a bottle to begin with, more like a magic lantern to get the results he has done out of this team in the last 12 months.

Inter fans have spent all season trying to find Samir Handanovic replacements, criticising his distribution, saying he is slow to get down and make saves. For all the 3-0 result, it was only 1-0 when Handanovic performed three world-class saves in the space of three minutes on Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Sandro Tonali. After all the years this goalkeeper stayed at Inter when he deserved a far better team and this is the thanks he gets?

Some called those saves the ‘Sliding Doors’ moment, when a game was transformed, maybe even a season. He lets one of those in, Milan are level, their tails are up, the momentum changes. Instead, Inter hold on, can play on the counter and win 3-0.

The Milan Derby could also be seen as the moment when the season changed, but the truth is this has been coming for quite a while now. The Rossoneri have already lost more games in 2021 than throughout all of 2020, Inter had all week to prepare for this fixture and Milan were in Belgrade on Thursday night battling to a 2-2 draw with Crvena Zvezda. The 2-0 defeat to Spezia is the Sliding Doors moment, allowing Inter to leapfrog them at the top with a victory over on-form Lazio.

After years of scraping around the edges of the top seven, you’d think Milan fans would be grateful to at least be challenging for the leadership more than midway through the campaign, having been crowned Winter Champions. Instead, they are already espousing apocalyptic visions of failing to qualify for Europe this season and finding their next coach after Pioli. Do they not remember where they were a year ago?

Everything is going Inter’s way this season, that is undeniable. They spent more money in recent years to bolster the squad, and bring in Antonio Conte, while crashing out of the Champions League in the opening round ended up boosting their Scudetto prospects, especially in such a cramped campaign.

Do Inter play the prettiest football in the world? Of course not, that has never been Conte’s style, nor has he ever wanted to be a Pep Guardiola or Gian Piero Gasperini. His approach is brute force, which is why Romelu Lukaku is the perfect centre-forward for the coach. When he activates Beast Mode, there is simply no stopping the Belgium international. He’s more than just power, though, as despite the ‘donkey’ mockery from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Lukaku does have plenty of skill and is more likely to assist a teammate than Ibra. He talks constantly to his teammates and the coach, switching languages even when expressing irritation or joy. After the goal, he shouted: “I told you, dammit! Pass it to me. I told you!”

The 3-0 result in the derby won’t change the season, because it just confirms the trends that we’d been seeing since the start of 2021. We learned nothing we didn’t already know. Inter have a stronger squad and as the season wore on, the pressure grew for them to win the Scudetto or flop completely. Milan are not in that position, nor should they be. The aim is top four for Pioli and if he achieves that, it’ll be frankly a fantastic outcome. If Conte doesn’t win the title from here, well, that’s a very different scenario.

It's Inter’s title to lose, but we didn’t discover that this afternoon. It was always on the cards. Now let’s see how they do with the pressure of being favourites.

Have your say...
Susy you cannot blame the fans for calling put a non-performanin goalie. All you mentioned about Handa were true. We are happy is back to the form of his life making saves and winning us the Scudetto.
on the 12th March, 2021 at 7:03pm
Always a pleasure to read Suzy's butthurt posts about inter. Don't worry, your milan will win when you get 4 penalties next time :) ;)
on the 26th February, 2021 at 1:08pm
Down from 111 million in 2007 to 0 in 2008, 09, 10 and 11? So why do Inter fans blame FFP for their troubles ? according to you Inter fans have no reason at all to call it "Farcical Fair Play" well i will tell you why they do - fancy accounting is what caused inter to have 3 owners (soon to be 4) in the last decade !! Face it, Inter is like a trophy wife, good looking, high maintenance, good for nothing....who them drives you nuts, and forces you to run for the hills !
on the 25th February, 2021 at 6:38pm

LOL. Look at this. Maybe next time try to understand what youre reading before you show your ignorance.

Accelerated Player Amortisation is what you wanna look at.
Learn what it is and then you understand why paying out your contracts in advance is not losing more money.

Down from 111 million in 2007 to 0 in 2008, 09, 10 and 11.

Go sit in a corner.
on the 25th February, 2021 at 1:52am
@ JUVE PAYED 40 MILLION FOR BERNARDESCHI: let me be more specific, in the 2006-2007 loss inter lost 208 million Euros:

so let me ask again: - so what came first...A-Incompetent Ownership at Inter or B - FFP ? the answer is A ...inter lost 208 mill in 06/07 well before FFP. Don't you know that FFP forces incompetent management to smarten up about running the business aspect of a team ? well not in Inter's case !!!!
on the 24th February, 2021 at 6:29pm

Heres my proof.

Let me quote from the article.

" Over the past 10 days, Juventus's share price has halved and the club is now worth about 145 million euros ($185 million)." May 2006.

So, not only are you lying about Inter, youre projecting what happened to Juve at the same time, on to Inter.

Al that because youre frustrated Inter is top of Serie A. Thats the saddest thing ever haha.
on the 23rd February, 2021 at 11:18pm

You really are not too bright lol.Everyone know youre lying and you know yourself youre lying lol.

Otherwise care too share a link to back up your claims?

Yeah I thought so haha.

Whats funny tho, you tool, is that 2006 is the year Juve got relegated to Serie B and lost hundreds of millions as the club claimed itself when it sued everyone for years but lost everytime.
on the 23rd February, 2021 at 11:08pm
@ JUVE PAYED 40 MILLION FOR BERNARDESCHI : Inter lost 200 million in 2006 IS A FACT ! You can look online and prove me right! All I do is tell the truth - especially about Inter because the truth tends to hurt when I do so !!
on the 23rd February, 2021 at 7:40pm

To be fair, I do that as well. The way I see it, if Milan win I'm happy but if they lose I make money. Last year it seemed to be a good luck charm, now it seems to be a curse!
on the 23rd February, 2021 at 2:32pm
@Milan is Black and Blue

Lol... Why would I lie about me putting money against the team I root for? Thats hilarious.
on the 23rd February, 2021 at 11:14am
Very obvious you're a Juve or Milan fan. Is it too much if we ask for unbiased journalism? All I see is criticism of Inter and its fans.

Both teams have been playing in all competitions so far, with Inter having a more difficult fixture list this month, including a 2 legged derby Italia where Milan rested. But you only remember to mention a lousy EL tie where Milan heavily rotated the squad.
on the 23rd February, 2021 at 10:11am
The author tried to write in a polite way but any inter fan would feel a vague tone of bitterness from her praise. Not pretty? Take the 2nd goal from the derby, was it not a good goal that reflect quality team play? Inter’s conte is inviting teams that are slow in the back to attack and kill their high line defense with pace from Lukaku-Hakimi-Barella, plus high pressing to force error, depends on the opponents.
The one that makes football exciting is creating chances not boring ball possession.
on the 23rd February, 2021 at 9:15am
Even after Milan was clearly trashed by Inter, sorry Suzy here still have the audacity to paint a bad painting of Inter? Is Inter the only club in financial trouble? Even Barca and Real Madrid are making huge loses. Milan is still practically under debt which is owned by hedgefund by pete' sake! Wake up Suzy because your post never makes sense
on the 23rd February, 2021 at 5:00am
@viktor said I did not write anything about Bennacer. I placed some money on Inter yesterday as I was pretty certain they would win. I say "shut your mouth liar!". Milan is black and blue!!!!
on the 23rd February, 2021 at 4:38am
I agree with MH. I think we're a bit overconfident after 2020 and we're now need to rediscover that extra bit of determination and hunger as the bunch who got things to prove instead of one who thought of Scudetto way too early. Need to make baby steps, after all, we've been mediocre for a decade now. Focus on ourselves, qualify for CL and evaluate in the end of the season. Then build for a serious challenge for next season. I love Ibra but he ain't setting good example by Sanremo distractions.
on the 23rd February, 2021 at 3:47am

"Cracks" don't happen in one game, they appear over time. Milan have been outplayed and lost 4 league games this year. Not a pretty sight in any of them.

"Counter" goals aren't of less value than whatever you class as a normal goal. When Inter broke, they tore through Milan easily every time. If Milan are thick enough to let them do it constantly, then they aren't unlucky, they're just not very good.

Milan's midfield was non-existent and they couldn't get a hold of the ball at all
on the 23rd February, 2021 at 2:59am
The Curse of Ibra was on full display: he requires the entire team's attack to center around him only; when he doesn't score, the team loses.
on the 23rd February, 2021 at 2:57am

Anyone with just a hint of sense of football economics will laugh at your statements.

Real question is why are your spending your time just telling random lies?

Well my guess is becaue Inter is on top of Serie A, and this is a way for you to cope with that.

Now thats sad.
on the 23rd February, 2021 at 1:58am
@Fantafrank... Inter fans don't have loud mouths like Milan fans do, pretty simple. So compare your big mouths yes we are hissy! We don't need spread our hatred against our rivals in every article Liveblog and even Inter forums outside FI ...rooting for Juve against us? what else? ...oh maybe this FINE piece of article!
on the 22nd February, 2021 at 10:13pm
My plan for getting Milan back on track would be as follows:
a) focus on grinding out the next few results to steady the ship, try not to concede and nip a goal;
b) good starts are essential over the next few games, we need to treat each match as a cup final;
c) focus on the players who got us here including the squad players who played more before the January signings - this team was forged during the lockdown in March that is where it draws its strength;
d) hope for luck.
on the 22nd February, 2021 at 9:35pm
Can’t say enough about the terrific defensive performance by Inter especially Skriniar & Handanovic. That said Ibra seems a bit tired and needs more help offensively, missing Bennacer doesn’t help and The entire team seemed fatigued having played so many games.
That said it is wonderful to see the tough competition throughout Serie A., And winning the title will not be easy for any team “ it ain’t over till it’s over” is the phrase this year but kudos to all the players giving all this year..
on the 22nd February, 2021 at 9:17pm
@viktor - lol at you referring to missed chances - after the 1st game you said it’s normal to take the lead and sit back when inter missed a ton of chances lol and to be fair other than a couple of good headers, that was about it. Inter came out to score and really should have been 2-3 up at half time. We sat back too much after half time and tried to play out. More a fault of the team than Milan doing well, we really should have won by a lot more.
on the 22nd February, 2021 at 8:36pm
Such a sad to be this writer now. She just can't accept that INTER dominated Milan once again and EgoZlatan had to go home and shut his mouth.

Start praying because your Bilan is nothing without the penalty whistles.....atalanta, napoli, lazio and juventus are all hungry to leave you out of Europe.
on the 22nd February, 2021 at 8:21pm
@ I miss Luciano Moggi @ Juventus - so what came first...A-Incompetent Ownership at Inter or B - FFP ? the answer is A ...inter lost 200 mill in 2006 well before FFP. Don't you know that FFP forces incompetent management to smarten up about running the business aspect of a team ? well not in Inter's case because the last 8 years Inter has had 3 owners and they all made the same dumb mistake - they spent more than they could afford. When you buy JM/KoonDog/Gabi-one-Gol this is what happens !
on the 22nd February, 2021 at 6:27pm
The problems started for Milan a long time ago. For me, Bennacer's absence has cost us the most. Then there is also the fact that our wingers haven't been playing well for a long time. The only proven one is Rebic but he's had injuries and covid and still doesn't seem to have shaken off the rust. We still have time though. Top 4 is the goal and we can still challenge for the league.
on the 22nd February, 2021 at 3:16pm
Pioli doesn't have a plan B, it's as simple as that. He's done well for us and I'm really grateful but Spezia broke us and Red Star and Inter would've looked at that game as a blueprint on how to hurt us. We really need to show up on Thursday otherwise we'll have no justification to be second place. We have a full squad, no excuses. If we don't make at least the quarter finals of UEL then all of the accolades and progress made last year will be for nothing.
on the 22nd February, 2021 at 2:44pm
A quick analysis of the Genoa, Sassuolo, Benevento, Spezia games and one begin to wonder if the small teams have figured Milan out. We battle to settle against high pressing teams. And if so we need to wonder if top 4 is a realistic prospect, given that these games are the ones to collect the points that will keep us in the race. Hope Pioli comes up with a plan B or we find our team spirit before it is too late. I am beginning to doubt if Mandzukic was a good acquisition, he has no impact.
on the 22nd February, 2021 at 1:42pm
Think Suzy was quoting me from yesterdays feed when she stated about 'Bottling it'. But I didn't say Pioli, I was meaning the Milan players. Happens a lot in sport. When opportunity appears for success, some think they've already won it + relax too early, or panic and play badly. I think the defeat to Atalanta was the turning point. They've never recovered

2 months ago they were creative and goals were easy. Now they lost the plot. 6th Place finish. Donna + Ibra will leave. But I hope not.
on the 22nd February, 2021 at 1:09pm
Stupidity at it's best. How can Football Italia allow someone write this nonsense and publish it on the website. I thought this page was more serious, but reading this junk i see how deluded you are.
on the 22nd February, 2021 at 12:17pm
I broadly agree with the article although I'm a little inclined the other way. I think we need to stop being so patronising to the Milan players. Milan showed last YEAR that they're capable of winning the title just the way they are. The length of the run was the equivalent of a season. And you don't achieve a run like that with a team of misfits. There's real quality there and the players, the club and fans just need to remember that. If they can put together the run once they can do it again
on the 22nd February, 2021 at 12:07pm

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