AC Milan failed to capitalise on a great run of form to put away Inter Milan in the Derby della Madonnina. Inter won 3-2 in a stellar game where both clubs signaled their return to the top. Here’s my delayed review of the game:
This is because Bakayoko for months had been responding to every person at Milanello that he would score against Inter. On the bench they remembered this, he went under the Curva Sud and pounded his chest as if to say 'I did it for you'. [2/2]— TheMilanBible (@TheMilanBible) March 18, 2019
⚫️ ⚫️ ⚫️ pic.twitter.com/M2kdSX7LmG
Bakayoko Delivers Again
Tiémoué Bakayoko had an emotional derby as he netted his first ever goal for Milan as the story surfaced, where he promised the team that he would score against Inter. He scored just a week after Lucas Biglia scored a stunning free kick showing that both players are up to the task and will be putting in solid performances as they compete for the starting spot going forward. Bakayoko put in a good performance otherwise, he distributed the ball well and drove up the field exceptionally helping Milan transition for defence to attack. Gennaro Gattuso made a tactical error in the positioning of the midfielders as part of the reason we conceded three goals was the placement of Vecino between the lines that limited Bakayoko’s defensive bound.
#Vecino Goal— FC INTER MILANO 96★ (@FCinter1996) March 17, 2019
Nice assist from #Lautaro#intermilan pic.twitter.com/gTgxJ3Q0kA
Despite the incredible performances in recent weeks from the likes of Alessio Romagnoli and Mateo Musacchio, the defensive unit as a whole was in shambles in the derby. The CBs looked out of sorts and largely confused on their marking and positioning. Both CBs failed to pick up the runs of Inter’s attackers on numerous attackers and were slow to defend on the set pieces. Romagnoli and Musacchio were thoroughly outplayed for the first goal due to the chaos in the box, thereafter they seemed on edge and mistake prone. The game was ultimately lost due to the wingback situation, Rodriguez had an average game but taking him off was a mistake as it let to the scenario where Castillejo tracked back as conceded a penalty to Politano. That substitution weakened the defensive line.
Ivory Coast midfielder Frank Kessie has apologised for the ‘embarrassing scenes’ from the Milan Derby defeat on Sunday. pic.twitter.com/Rv2dT2juyU— Lorenz Köhler (@Lorenz07Kohler) March 18, 2019
Frail Mentality and Derby Pressure
As a huge Franck Kessie fan, I was devastated to see his poor display after being substituted. He is a professional and despite the circumstances and the emotions, he should not have caused a scene. Biglia on the other hand seemed calmer during the bust up, they both apologised post game but it was an ugly scene anyway. There needs to be a strong display of the team spirit in the games going forward to convince the fans that this episode has truly been swept aside. Milan’s major flaw in this game was the frail mentality as Inter came firing out the gate and were confident, where as Milan seemed meek and unsure for a large stretch of the game.
Piatek and Cutrone Anonymous
For the entirety of the game, Milan’s attackers were anonymous. Krzysztof Piatek for the majority of the game was dominated by Milan Skriniar and Stefan de Vrij and Patrick Cutrone did not offer any respite when he was introduced into the game. Perhaps the most disturbing parts of their game was the inability to hold up the ball nor to simply control the ball on numerous occasions. In as much as Milan as a whole did not offer much creatively, the strikers needed to step up and try to create for themselves but this was not the case. Piatek was expected to light up the derby was but silenced in the presence of quality marking. Hopefully, he can bounce back strong with a goal in the next game.
3': Milan 0-1 Inter— B/R Football (@brfootball) March 17, 2019
51': Milan 0-2 Inter
57': Milan 1-2 Inter
67': Milan 1-3 Inter
71': Milan 2-3 Inter
Living up to the hype pic.twitter.com/5CA1EwcSz3
A Classic Derby, at Last
The biggest takeaway from this game is that the Milan clubs are regaining their strength. We have had meek and defensive derbies with little class for over half a decade and the was a derby classic even though we did not win. The response from Milan was telling and the strong showing from Inter is key to ensure that both of the Milanese cousins return to dominate Italian football. The determination from both teams is clear, the management of both sides is finally sound, let’s hope for a Milanese return to the Champions League.
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