Inter Milan coach Simone Inzaghi was vindicated in starting Henrikh Mkhitaryan against AC Milan.
This is the view across Italian media, as highlighted by L’Interista – the decision to start Mkhitaryan was key to the coach proving his doubters wrong.
In the buildup to yesterday’s derby, there were some calls for Davide Frattesi to start.
The young Italian had put in an outstanding performance for his national team against Ukraine during the international break.
Frattesi scored two goals to help the Azzurri to a 2-1 victory in that match.
But Inzaghi stuck to his guns in the derby. As predicted, the coach started former Roma and Arsenal midfielder Mkhitaryan.
And the 34-year-old veteran rewarded his coach’s trust by equalling Frattesi’s feat from over the international break – he notched a brace to help Inter to an emphatic 5-1 win over their city rivals.
Not Just Starting Mkhitaryan – Inzaghi Got It All Right Vs AC Milan
Mkhitaryan was clearly vital to Inter’s midfield balance against Milan.
The Armenian provided the right positioning, touches, and passes in possession, and kept the team compact to deny the Rossoneri space in midfield.
But it was not just Mkhitaryan who shone in the derby.
Inzaghi had nearly every player in the starting eleven playing at their best or close to it. It was a demonstration of how much the coach has shaped this Nerazzurri into his tactical image – direct, vertical, and incisive.
And then, Inzaghi also got his substitutions right.
The coach threw on the trio of Frattesi, Marko Arnautovic, and Carlos Augusto around the hour-mark. This gave Inter the lift in energy that they needed.
Inzaghi may not have started Frattesi, but got the best out of the Italian’s form anyway.
The 23-year-old scored late to seal the 5-1 win.
All of the Gazzetta dello Sport, the Corriere dello Sport, Tuttosport, TuttoMercatoWeb, and L’Interista graded Inzaghi’s handling of the match at 8/10.