Plenty of football fans didn’t feel this Derby della Madonnina had the same importance or fire in the buildup as it was in the Coppa Italia.
The game had a slow start for both sides as there wasn’t a flurry of chances or great attacking maneuvers. Then a clearance was intercepted and Ibrahimovic repeated his feat of beating Kolarov and Handanovic from earlier in the season to put Milan ahead from the only real chance he got.
A few minutes later a heated exchange between Romagnoli, Ibrahimovic and Lukaku ignited the fire. Inter came out looking for blood but it took an Kolarov run through the center to get Ibrahimovic sent off to tilt the balance in the favor of Conte’s men.
The pressure piled on and Leao brought Barella down in the box to give Lukaku the chance to score from the spot. Romelu did that and the one way traffic continued.
The referee had to be substituted as Valeri pulled a muscle and that resulted in 10 mins added on. Lautaro was through and it needed another fantastic save by Tatarusanu to keep it level before he won a dangerous free kick in the 97th minute. Eriksen line up and scored a world class goal to eliminate Milan and turn Milano blue again:
Samir Handanovic – 5.5: Had one save to make in the first half and did that. Looked slow with the ball as usual, very unlucky that Ibra’s shot bounced back into the goal.
Milan Skriniar – 6.5: Kept Milan’s forwards at bay for long periods of the match. All they could do was run into him and try and get free kicks off Valeri. Mountain man.
Stefan De Vrij – 6.5: Apart from one shot at the start by Leao, De Vrij’s area was well covered and guarded. Still not at his stellar best but slowly and surely getting there
Aleksandar Kolarov – 6: Should be doing more to stop Ibrahimovic and maybe expecting the worst. Still has some quality on the ball and that made an impact on the game
Matteo Darmian – 5.5: A few bad touches in attack, very secure in defence. Him and Skriniar actually seemed to be on the same wavelength almost all the time. Decent.
Nicolo Barella – 7: Typical Barella, ran a lot and always looked to be in space whenever Theo advanced. Moves the ball almost perfectly and won a crucial penalty. Class.
Marcelo Brozovic – 6: Very frustrating game for Marcelo as Valeri was pretty unforgiving with his fouls. That volley at the end of the first half almost flew in. Perfect regista.
Arturo Vidal – 6: Quiet first half as Arturo concentrated on keeping Kessi out of the game. Once Inter were a man up he made a lot of forays forward without luck.
Ivan Perisic – 6: The first half was almost a perfect Conte wing back performance, things just went right for him. The next 22 minutes quickly extinguished that hope.
Romelu Lukaku – 6.5: Romelu could have scored early but Tatarusanu was brilliant. Then Ibra riled him up and that angered the Belgian Hulk. Could easily have had more.
Alexis Sanchez – 6.5: Seemed much more switched on from the first minute. Caused a lot of trouble to the Milan defence and the midfield as he linked up very well.
Achraf Hakimi – 6: Good impact after coming on for Darmian. Used the flank very well and got into decent positions.The booking he took was unnecessary. Too young.
Lautaro Martinez – 6: Came on just before Lukaku scored and his impact was positive. Set up a couple of decent chances that weren’t converted. Should have scored too.
Christian Eriksen – N/A: Eriksen came to Inter last season and his first real dangerous free kick on his debut hit the bar. This is where Eriksen restarts his love story in Milan?
Ashley Young – N/A: Brought on for a tiring Kolarov who had given a lot first as a central defender and then as a wing-back. One run forward with a poor cross at the end.
Antonio Conte – 7: Not an easy night for Conte as Inter looked like they will fire blanks. Then he calmed Lukaku down at half time and then made some positive subs.
Paolo Valeri – 4: Gave a lot of soft free kicks. Maybe should have sent Ibra off earlier. Poor use of VAR as well and should have spotted that Leao foul. Poor game.
Inter – 7.5: The way this game was won says a lot about the group. Every player stood up and showed up in the second half and went about it in a assured way.