Notes On A 0-3 Derby Loss When The White Flag Was Unfurled
A predicted starting 11 made a cautious start turned offside down. As feared and even predicted Romelu Lukaku’s picked up the ball high up and with pace out ran Romagnoli. eventually crossing to an unmarked Lautaro Martinez for a free header. Within five minutes Milan were trailing.
The subsequent minutes were poor at best and at times it looked like Milan were playing with less men and less space.
A half chance led to some disarray in Inter’s box. The evidence that Inter could have defensive problems was provided but Milan weren’t able to get many balls into the Inter box to test it.
Inter controilled the game and threatened more, Milan’s players were mostly aimless and not good enough.
Milan’s first real chance came in the 34th minute when Theo almost put the ball in low with Samir Handanovic beaten. Another half chance arrived as well but in between Inter were closer and more threatening.
The half ended with only a one goal deficit and that in itself was a good result despite Milan growing into the match, barely.
The second started with three quick fire chances to equalize. First Handanovic made a diving stop from a header then another close range header was pushed out. Ibra came close twice in succession. Then Tonali forced another great save with hard shot at the box of the box.
Milan looked better and more in control to start the second but Inter doubled their lead. A good counter and passing movement led to Milan players wondering. Failure to close channels more aggressively and missing marking assignments gifted a second goal to Martinez.
Milan still retained more of the ball but not the only team getting the chances but it was Inter that scored again. A pseudo counter had Lukaku running at Romagnoli and beating Donnarumma at the near post. A poor goal all around.
Belatedly the subs started to arrive. Leao and Meite came on for Saelemaekers and Tonali and minutes later Castillejo for Ibra signalled a white flag surrender. Tame efforts aside the game fizzled out in moments of half chances.
Many of the 11 were missing and it started at the back with the defense pairing partially at fault and certainly to blame but the problems extended up the pitch to include anonymous performances by the likes of Calhanoglu and Rebic. The coach should and would not escape criticism either.
Handanovic certainly starred for Inter but the loss and humiliation is very much a ‘look in the mirror’ case.