AC Milan “hosted” Inter Milan at the San Siro, with third place and city pride on the line. Milan came into the match the hottest team in Italy, having not lost in Serie A since December, while Inter had just crashed out of the Europa League and their top scorer, and arguably best player, Mauro Icardi ruled out through “injury” and in the middle of a contract dispute with the club.
However, the Derby della Madonnina is the biggest match of the season for both clubs, and the records and position in the table don’t exactly matter once both teams take the pitch. Milan ended up giving up three goals after only surrendering four goals since the turn of the year as Inter kept Krzysztof Piatek, Milan’s exciting January addition, quiet. And while Milan pulled two goals back from set pieces, after looking unable to score from set pieces all season, in the end the city bragging rights once again fall to Inter.
Milan suffered a nightmare beginning to the Derby della Madonnina, giving up a goal to Inter within the opening three minutes. Inter players made mincemeat of the Milan defense down the left hand side, and after a cross was headed back across the face of goal, an unmarked Vecino simply had to put the ball deflect the ball into the back of the net.
Milan looked out of sorts the rest of the first half, and Inter should have made the Rossoneri pay a couple of different occasions. Vecino put an open shot flying over the goal and there was even a free header that went flying off target when even the slightest bit of proper direction would have put the ball past a flat-footed Gigio Donnarumma.
Milan came close on a shot from Hakan Calhanoglu, but it was from distance and easily collected by Samir Handanovič and wasn’t very threatening. Milan had a couple chances in stoppage time after Calhanoglu had a free kick and a corner kick that came close, but no real chances to speak of came from either.
Milan went into halftime down a goal, and Gennaro Gattuso made a change, pulling off Lucas Paquetà and putting Samu Castillejo on the left, with Calhanoglu moving back into the midfield spot where Paquetà had been playing.
Once again, the beginning of the half started with a goal from Inter. Milan failed to properly deal with a corner kick and Stefan de Vrij headed the ball home, putting Inter up two goals. Given the defensive nature of both teams, it would have been reasonable to assume that the scoring might have been over at that point, but you would be mistaken as the match was just getting started.
BAKAYOKO SCORES HIS FIRST MILAN GOAL IN THE DERBY!!pic.twitter.com/AdxIqdyBux— TheMilanBible (@TheMilanBible) March 17, 2019
Tiémoué Bakayoko scored his first goal for Milan in the 57th minute putting a brilliant header on goal from a free kick. The big France international rose above the crowd to put a fine header into the back of the net, and it seemed like the Milan comeback was fully on. Patrick Cutrone came on for Ricardo Rodriguez as Gattuso looked to put some more offensive minded players on the pitch.
Matteo Politano won a penalty after tripping himself over the leg of Castillejo in the Milan box, dribbling away from goal. Lautaro Martínez made no mistake from the penalty spot, and all seemed lost for Milan as Inter restored their two-goal lead in the 66th minute.
The scoring, however, would not be over as Milan pulled yet another goal back in the 70th minute as Mateo Musacchio scored a goal from a corner kick after Franck Kessie was taken off for Andrea Conti in Milan’s final change of the evening.
Conti would later almost see red in the 88th minute as Milan searched for another goal, but the referee changed the card to yellow after consulting VAR in what was an obvious decision when looking at the replay.
Milan desperately searched for an equalizer, but even with six minutes of stoppage time the Rossoneri were unable to score another goal and Inter ended up doing the double over Milan for the first time in seven years and leapfrogged Milan into third place.