Notes On An Eventful Coppa Exit
The game required more players given a rest. The inclusion of Kessie, Kjaer and to a lesser extent Theo, Romagnoli and Ibra was arguably unnecessary but facing Inter the temptation was strong to field a strong team. In the end the Coppa is not something this team can afford to concentrate on. Matches have been coming almost every midweek and continuing in the Coppa Italia would have meant more of the same. Concentration on the league – and not even Europa League – is perhaps best.
The game didn’t start poorly but before long Inter started to dominate. Tatarusanu playing only because Donnarumma was suspended following an on bench red card versus Torino was solid and saved well stretching his leg in one early Inter shot. As it turned out Kjaer needed to be replaced inside the first half and Tomori came on for a sort of baptism by fire type introduction. Musacchio, the nominal alternative, is on his way to Lazio and was not to be available.
Late in the first Ibra and Romelu Lukaku got into a tussle that had them exchanging words and almost coming to a headbutt. They both got a yellow when perhaps more was needed. A wholly unnecessary fight which meant Ibra would later be thrown out for a separate, soft yet also unnecessary yellow in the second.
VAR decided to get involved to disappoint yet again when Leao brought down Nicolo Barella in the box. For a referee to check the side pitch monitor and decide to see contact was an astounding sight and yet more evidence for the case against VAR.
Inter scored deep into added time that had stretched into 10 minutes because the referee had to pull himself out of the game in favor of the fourth official. A soft but again poor and unnecessary Meite foul led to a freekick just outside the box. It was directly converted by Christian Eriksen and it had Tatarusanu rooted to his spot.
A poor and dominated Milan lost 2-1 and exited the 2020-2021 Coppa Italia. It just may turn out to be blessing in disguise.