AC Milan took on city rivals Inter Milan in the Derby della Madonnina, perhaps the biggest match in all of Italy. The match was a closely fought affair, but in the end a minute of poor defensive discipline by Milan in stoppage time was enough for Inter captain Mauro Icardi to slip in and head home a winning goal that sent the assembled Nerazzurri into ecstasy and the Rossoneri into agony.
Milan dodged an early bullet as Icardi was correctly ruled offsides after the ball glanced off of Matias Vecino’s head which meant that Icardi’s effort at the back post was offsides. It was more than a bit worrying that the Inter captain was so easily able to get free, but all’s well that ends well, right?
Inter were the better side for much of the first twenty-five minutes or so, with a few chances coming through corner kicks and free kicks as Milan looked to try and break a bit on the counter. Lucas Biglia was yellow carded for a challenge on Radja Nainggolan. Biglia went in to try and win the ball with a sliding tackle, but he didn’t time it well and Nainggolan ended up stepping on Biglia’s foot, leaving both of them on the ground.
Tiemoue Bakayoko warmed up on the sideline, but Biglia carries on, while Nainggolan ended up injuring himself a little while later and was subbed off in the 30th minute for Borja Valero, giving a bit of an advantage to Milan in the midfield.
Inter came close again soon afterwords, but Valero went to ground far too easily from a good bit of defending from Kessie. Inter also hit the post in the 33rd minute, but Milan were able to defend well enough from the resulting chances and were able to keep Inter out.
World class defense by Romagnoli— AC Milan News Update (@MilanUpdate) October 21, 2018
Romagnoli made a brilliant tackle to deny Icardi a good chance on goal, and then Milan had a goal ruled off for offsides on the other end after a corner kick. Once again, a flick-on right inside the six-yard box made the goal-scorer offsides, although the ruling on the Milan goal was certainly clearer than the one from earlier in the match.
Halftime was all square between the two sides. Inter looked the better of the two sides, but Milan had also wasted a few chances to open up the scoring in what was really the tale of the half, as both teams looked unable to break through and get a good chance on goal.
Milan started the second half with a couple good chances in the first ten minutes or so, with Gonzalo Higuain getting a half-chance from a cross in from Ricardo Rodriguez, but his shot was partially blocked and the ball spun on the ground and was easily saved by Inter keeper Samir Handanovic.
Inter continued to dominate possession, but Milan still managed to limit chances on goal, even if they couldn’t do enough to put pressure on the Inter goal. The attacking Milan players looked tired as they constantly had to track back to help out defensively as Inter seemed to camp out in the Milan half of the pitch, even if they weren’t able to get a a good shot on goal
Both Inter and Milan traded chances around the 80th minute, as Vecino looked to pick out Icardi instead of going for a shot and on the other end, Suso couldn’t quite get his shot on frame.
Patrick Cutrone came on for Hakan Calhanoglu in the 72nd minute and Bakayoko made an appearance in the 83rd minute, coming on for a bewildered Franck Kessie, who had been having a pretty decent afternoon up until that point.
Milan switched to a 4-4-2 for the last few minutes of the match, as Cutrone started to go up the pitch and play alongside of Higuain instead of playing out on the left wing, but Milan still couldn’t break the deadlock. Ignazio Abate came on for Davide Calabria in stoppage time as Milan looked to seal the deal.
Icardi goal 92nd minute!!! Inter 1-0 pic.twitter.com/MNcO8UCFnl— Tommy Burlic (@Tommy_Burlic) October 21, 2018
And then, in stoppage time, Inter Milan’s captain, Mauro Icardi, struck at the death as a long cross found it’s way to the head of Icardi after he had slipped past his defender and the ball went right into the area where Donnarumma wasn’t willing to go and get the ball.
Milan had a few free kicks at the death, but none of them remotely challenged Handanovic and the match ended 1-0 Inter, as Milan were left ruing missed chances and a momentary lack of defensive discipline.