Tuesday September 15 2015
Milan dispel doubts in Derby

Milan may have lost the Derby della Madonnina, but Sam Lewis sees reasons to be cheerful for the Rossoneri.

Milan’s derby day didn’t provide the positive result that Milanisti were hoping for after the international break, but there were enough positives in the Rossoneri’s performance to ignore the result look at the bigger picture.

A packed San Siro witnessed a bright and dominant Milan for the majority of the fixture, Coach Sinisa Mihajlovic’s brave call to play a very offensive line-up in one of the more important fixtures of the season against a dangerous Nerazzurri actually paid off for large periods. Juraj Kucka was a pressing force in the middle while Riccardo Montolivo played like a man who was fighting for his place. Mattia De Sciglio was a consistent threat on the right while also displaying a defensive composure not often seen from the youngster.

Defensively, Milan were solid – to keep what could be one of the deadliest strike partnerships in Serie A quiet for 90 minutes was an impressive feat from the still developing Diavolo defence. Roberto Mancini’s side relying on the counter may have unlocked Milan with regularity in previous seasons. It appears this time, it’ll take something a touch more complicated to consistently cause Mihajlovic’s Milan problems.

The goal itself wasn’t a representation of Inter’s offensive talent, nor a reward for Milan’s efforts. Fredy Guarin’s shot may have flown waywardly on another night – this time the mercurial Colombian wrapped his left foot around the ball just right. It was an unfortunate blow for Milan, who themselves could’ve been two or three up within the first 20 minutes had Luiz Adriano maintained his cool in the pressure cooker atmosphere of the derby.

On the subject of striking, it was the delayed debut of Mario Balotelli that caught headlines. However, wonderfully, it was the positive performance of the 25-year-old that captured calcio as Balotelli made an immediate impact upon replacing Carlos Bacca. A lashing effort that struck the post was an immediate introduction and a reminder of his threat to the Inter defence. If Felipe Melo’s attempt to rile up the oft-temperamental forward was unsurprising, the maturity with which Mario dealt with it perhaps was.

A string of performances like the one Balotelli gave could allow the forward to reinsert himself in the Milan line-up and make the contributions his talent deserves. If Adriano’s profligacy from the derby is repeated next week, it may be sooner than expected.

“It is a shame we lost the match, but I cannot complain about the performance. Tonight I found my team again,” a pleased Sinisia Mihajlovic told press after the match. He’s right. For the first time this season, Milan looked a team in the organised mould associated with the former Sampdoria tactician’s teams – one in direct contrast to how the Rossoneri have looked in recent years.

Before the international break, Milan got the result but not the performance against Empoli. This week, the Diavolo provided the performance, but didn’t get the result. Next week against Palermo, Milan have the opportunity to provide both.

Have your say...
Inter can win the next 3 matches: at home Verona and Fiorentina, away trip to Sampdoria... Very realistical target.. Come on Inter!
on the 22nd September, 2015 at 1:32pm
Inter will make top 3 this season... Too early for scudetto talk..
on the 16th September, 2015 at 10:17am
at least the quality of the derby as improved it has been pretty woeful over the last couple of seasons. As for milan it is for me a incomplete team obvious need for box to box midfield player. The lack of versatility is also a issue milan should just be limited to 1 tactical setup.

btw you do know Anonymous has been trolling this site for months usually posting some pro juve diatribe.
on the 16th September, 2015 at 9:04am
@ Darren. Very well said, a derby game tells very little....and it is against the weaker sides that the championship will be decided. Both sides will be better than last year - that is the only sure thing, because they couldn't be any worse.
on the 16th September, 2015 at 7:22am
Could have been 2-3 up inside first 20 mins? Sure but what about if Icardi scored what was the easiest chance of the game? Or his low header he should have smashed in? Or guarin's simple header that he mishit downwards from point blank range? Inter had the best chances when both teams were going for it. Nobody is talking about winning the title. We are just happy to pick up points in games last season we played like this and drew/lost. Our team is still getting to know each other!
on the 16th September, 2015 at 1:48am
The game was 50/50, Milan fans are deluding themselves if they think they dominated - Inter had slightly more possession and more corners.Milan only really got on top for last 15 minutes when obviously the team behind is going to attack more
on the 15th September, 2015 at 6:30pm
@the one who refers to my comment, who are you and why should i trust you? I didn't write anything about the standings and fixtures, yet you call me bigheaded because of it?
on the 15th September, 2015 at 6:14pm
As an Inter fan I think both this blog post and the one before are jumping the gun slightly

Derby matches are completely different from 'normal' games and it's easier to get pumped up and use the extra adrenaline and aggression to play better

The key for both teams going forward is whether they can replicate that intensity against the likes of Udinese, Chievo, Torino etc

Only then will you get a better indication of how the teams have improved
on the 15th September, 2015 at 5:24pm
@ mac, talking a lot because inter are top after 3 rounds. trust me, the top 3 will be roma juve and one of inter/milan/napoli.

this coming from a milan fan. dont get bigheaded cause your team is top now, look at your fixtures, after round 7 inter will drop faster than an anchor
on the 15th September, 2015 at 4:29pm
@John Belushi, right, a blog is about opionion but i can still criticize it if it's wrong. And this one is wrong. Milan's line-up wasn't offensive enough to call Mihajlovic "brave". Praising the Milan defense because they "kept" Jovetic and Icardi "quiet for 90 minutes"? Lie. Calling it "one of the deadliest strike partnerships in Serie A". Newsflash, this was the _first_ time they played together in Serie A... Just like Milan we're in a rebuilding phase, the difference is that we win the games.
on the 15th September, 2015 at 3:29pm
Another person deluded. The goal was not a counter attack, Kondo & Handa were foolishly playing with the ball for 15 seconds in their own penalty area before the move. Surely a counter attack is when the attacking side loses the ball and the other side breaks rapidly? Milan hadnt touched the ball for 60 seconds before it went in the net. Milan good defensively - Icardi fooled the centre backs constantly with his attempts to make space for others, it worked for the go- this will work very shortly
on the 15th September, 2015 at 2:46pm
I don't think Inter fans understand the concept of a blog. It's opinion.

There was a blog yesterday saying how Inter were good (

Presumably that was written by an Inter fan, and this from a Milan fan...

So yes, it's biased, but that's the point! It's a blog, it's not news! This blog is from a Milan fan's perspective!
on the 15th September, 2015 at 2:16pm
Always the same, if Inter played like Milan and lost, you guys would tell them to burn down their training ground because the road to hell leads straight through it. But Milan are always the good guys despite losing, what did they do different to Inter apart from conceding? :)


You wannabe experts make it sound like Milan dominated the game, so Mihajlovic's line up was brave? How would you call Bacca for Balotelli despite Honda's poor performance? cowardly?
on the 15th September, 2015 at 2:01pm
"The goal itself wasn’t a representation of Inter’s offensive talent, nor a reward for Milan’s efforts. " Okay I am no Inter fan but this is totally bias. Milan;s defending was awful for it and his strike was magnificent. Balo was indeed very good and if he maintains this form then the haters should hang their heads in shame. No doubt they will not be posting anonymously until he has a bad game then they will here in their droves spilling trash. Not sure why Bacca was taken off as he looked good
on the 15th September, 2015 at 1:33pm

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