Both Inter and Milan went into the Derby Della Madonina on the back of very disappointing league campaigns thus far. The Rossoneri were a point ahead of the Nerazzurri going in the match. The form book always goes out of the window for these matches, which had all the ingredients to be a stellar affair. It was going to be the battle of the goalscorers: Mauro Icardi vs Jeremy Menez. Both of the star strikers scored 16 goals leading up to the Derby.
Roberto Mancini decided to play a 4-3-1-2 formation, with Juan Jesus at left back, and 18 year old Gnoukouri in midfield. Hernanes was deployed in the trequartitsta position, behind Rodrigo Palacio and Mauro Icardi. Filippo Inzaghi’s side came out in a 4-3-3 formation. Jeremy Menez, Milan’s main threat, was played as a the striker in the false nine formation. The most noticeable absence in the starting 11 for the Rossoneri was Mattia Destro. The former Inter Primavera striker started the match from the bench.
Inter started the match will the majority of possession, as Milan were pinned back for the first 15 minutes. On 10 minutes, Hernanes delivered a fantastic shot from 25 yards from goal. Diego Lopez came up big and denied the Brazilian. The first half was tense, and both sides did not take many risks. Teenager Gnoukouri moved the ball well and did not look fazed by the atmosphere. Spaniard Suso was Milan’s most dangerous player. The winger tested Handanovic twice with powerful efforts from the edge of the area. The first half ended scoreless, with Inter having 1 shot on target. Mateo Kovacic did not look like his usual self once again. The Croatian international played very conservatively and made very few dribbles. Hernanes looked like the Hernanes who performed wonders for Lazio. The Brazilian looked comfortable in possession and completed a few dribbles as well. The defense was sound, but the strikers did not do enough to score in the first half.
The second half started with off with a short spell of possession for Milan. From the 55th minute onwards, Inter would dominate the match. Palacio had a glorious chance on 57 minutes when he controlled Icardi’s pass. The Argentine ran around Diego Lopez, but his effort was blocked by Philippe Mexes. On 63 minutes, Inter should have been awarded a penalty. Hernanes took on Palacio’s cross first time, and the Brazilian’s effort clearly struck Marco Antonelli’s arm, which was sticking out. It was astonishing that the official did not spot the handball. Inter’s luck went from bad to worse, when Philippe Mexes’s own goal was disallowed. This was because Rodrigo Palacio appeared to push Antonelli in the build-up. Xherdan Shaqiri entered the match on 77 minutes, and a minute later, Juan Jesus tested Diego Lopez with a low effort. The best chance of the match came on 79 minutes, when Joel Obi’s powerful drive was flicked onto goal by Palacio. Diego Lopez was standing confidently in the center goal, and was able to beat the effort away. The match ended 0-0, a result that will not do much for either sides.
Inter did not put in a bad performance. There were chances , and the ref’s decisions seemed to be going against Inter on the night. Hernanes played well in the trequartista role, while Gnoukouri enjoyed a confident debut. Rodrigo Palacio did not bring his finishing boots today, but the Argentine’s effort was certainly not lacking. Mauro Icardi was quiet for the majority of the match and made some neat touches and crosses. Inter need to teach the fullbacks how to cross. D’Ambrosio’s crosses were better today, but the former Torino man must improve. Mancini got his tactics right, andOverall, it was not the best of performances, but Inter deserved to win this Derby.