Milan failed to capitalise on their many chances and were punished twice by Inter in the first half, but with a big of magic, Milan robbed a point from an Inter team that tried so hard to put the boot to the neck of the rossoneri.
It was all on the line for both Milan teams today. Inter had a chance to get back on track, and Milan need a win to establish their league position. A win for Milan would see them gain a five point gap over Inter.
It was Milan who came closest first as Deulofeu found himself in on goal, but the ball escaped him and Milan, through Bacca, couldn’t follow through. Inter responded shortly after, but Joao Mario’s cross evaded everyone, including the Milan defenders. In the nature of the match, Milan cut back on the counter, but Suso’s diagonal pass just eluded the surging Deulofeu.
Milan threatened again soon after as Suso forced an excellent save from Inter’s Samir Handanović with a thirty yard shot. Deulofeu then hit the post from the resulting corner before Joao Mario threatened to punish the Rossoneri on the counter. Gigo Donnarumma almost gifted a chance to Inter after failing to control a passback, but righted the wrongs of the Pescara match by blasting the wayward ball outwide.
It was very much a case of Milan aggressing while attempting to resist surgical counters from Inter in the first half. Especially during the first fifteen minutes.
Despite the frenetic opening stages, both teams fell asleep as the half-hour mark approached. Milan became very sloppy at the back and Inter would have scored had they been concentrating - it was clear that the Milan sun had sapped energy levels though. Inter’s press limited Milan’s play - but Jose Sosa managed to make a great chance. The Argentine ruined it by pulling his run back early and trying to chip Handanović with the ball, which simply sailed over.
It was Deulofeu who was the next Milan man to wake up. He turned on the jets out on the left and skinned Inter, and their keeper, but ran out of steam on the shot. The shout hit the arm of the keeper and fell to Juraj Kucka, who fell in the box. Kucka was booked for simulation as he screamed for a penalty.
It would be Inter Milan who opened the scoring - Milan’s line was caught out through a long ball which bounced simply over Romagnoli and De Sciglio to Antonio Candreva, who applied a simple finish to damn the Rossoneri to a goal. Against the run of play? Yes - unexpected? No.
GOAL Candreva!! Inter 1-0 Milan pic.twitter.com/V7DpBzPREU— Serie A English (@SerieA_English) April 15, 2017
It fell apart for Inter shortly after. Peresic found Icardi who applied the footwork in the box to punish AC Milan. Two mistakes from the Milan widebacks and two goals for Inter. It was that easy. After 45 minutes and two goals against the run of play, Inter went in with a big lead.
The player who arguably had the best first forty-five minutes in a red & black shirt was Matías Fernández. The Viola loanee made a rare start for Milan in the absence of the suspended Mario Pašalić. The Chilean midfielder swept in and out of tackles and looked a threat on occasion. Don’t discount Suso because of that - the former Liverpool man whipped in a number of good crosses, but Inter dealt with them throughout the first half. This all quickly fell apart soon after - Candreva’s goal saw Milan fade and wilt.
Vincenzo Montella elected to keep things the same going into the second half - that meant that the same things occurred. Peresic blitzed his man and whipped a ball in, only for Inter to finally forget how to finish. So did Milan, as Kucka tried a bicycle kick early on in the second half, but sent the ball straight at the keeper.
Inter should have had their third goal of the game as the rampant Peresic found himself free in the box, but he shot a weak shot right at Donnarumma. Milan’s defense appeared as though it had been sliced open with a machete. Gaps were everywhere.
This signalled the first change for Milan as Kucka came off for Locatelli. Not much changed as Deulofeu worked his magic on the wing and played a ball in - but Milan forgot to shoot. This was the same when Bacca was played in by Locatelli. The Colombian was weak for Milan today as most of the threat from Milan came from Deulofeu, who saw his curling effort well saved.
Handanovic save on Deulofeu pic.twitter.com/Oe4F5j4Rug— Serie A English (@SerieA_English) April 15, 2017
As the game fizzled out, Montella swapped out Jose Sosa for Gianluca Lapadula to increase Milan’s strikeforce. This allowed Carlos Bacca to wake up as he rounded Handanović only to put the ball over Lapadula.
Out of nowhere, Suso whipped a ball in on the 82nd minute that was deflected past Handanović by Romagnoli to deny Inter a clean sheet. It was game on, especially so when five minutes of added time were lumped on at the end.
In the 7th minute of added time, the ball slammed off of Inter’s bar and as Donnarumma raged into the Inter box for a last minute corner, Zapata scored and grabbed the draw for Milan. A 2-2 draw mirrors the last derby and Milan escape with the status quo.