AC Milan’s season received yet another blow on Wednesday night in Saudi Arabia as they were comfortably beaten 3-0 by Inter in the Supercoppa Italiana.
Just like the Lecce game, Milan dug themselves a hole in the opening 30 minutes as they found themselves two goals down. The first came from Federico Dimarco who slotted home a square ball from Nicolo Barella, and then Edin Dzeko got the better of Sandro Tonali to double the advantage.
In the second half things did not get any better as the Rossoneri tried to get a goal to reopen the contest, but it was Lautaro Martinez who sealed things with a nice finish after beating Fikayo Tomori to a ball over the top.
It is yet another damaging result for Milan in 2023, taking the record so far this calendar year to one win in the first five games, and with the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa now crossed off as trophy chances.
Stefano Pioli made three changes to the starting line-up compared to the team that drew with Lecce at the weekend as Simon Kjaer came into the defence, Sandro Tonali returned to the midfield and Junior Messias was given the nod on the right wing.
The opening stages of the game were predictably cagey, with Milan having a brief spell of pressure that culminated with a free-kick that was eventually cleared after a bit of a scramble inside the box, and then at the other end Edin Dzeko shot well over from just over 20 yards.
In the 10th minute, it was Inter who took the lead through Dimarco. In truth they cut through the Milan defence in a couple of quick passes as one put Nicolo Barella in behind and the other was a square ball to the left wing-back who had the simple task of tucking home at the far post.
Milan’s response was immediate as they went in search of an equaliser. A ball from Brahim Diaz set Leao away in space down the left and the Portuguese winger called Onana into action with a shot that was bending towards the top corner but was tipped over.
Despite the pressure from the Rossoneri, it was Inter who made it 2-0 in the 21st minute. It was already clear that Simone Inzaghi’s side were happy to soak up pressure and commit to the counter, and they executed perfectly to find Dzeko in space down the left, with the Bosnian chopping inside past Tonali and finishing inside the far corner.
Inter were one step away from making it 3-0 not long after as a corner from the left met the head of Skriniar who produced an excellent reflex save from Tatarusanu.
The final flurry of the half came when a marauding run from Tonali saw him break into the Inter box, beat and man and see a shot blocked that then fell to Tomori, who scuffed a typical centre-back effort wide of the post.
Milan made the better start to the second half as they pursued a goal to half the deficit and reopen the contest, with Bennacer shooting over from 25 yards out and Leao fizzing an effort over the bar having been fed by Brahim Diaz on the break.
Bennacer had another shot from a similar range and this time sidefooted his effort into the hands of Onana as the Diavolo continued to try and turn the screw.
In the 64th minute Pioli opted to make a triple change with Kjaer, Brahim Diaz and Messias came on for Pierre Kalulu, Charles De Ketelaere and Divock Origi.
All hopes of a comeback were crushed in the 77th minute as Inter got their third goal through Lautaro Martinez. In all honestly it was just a long ball over the top that Tomori allowed to bounce and then the English defender was outmuscled by the Argentina, who finished with the outside of his boot.
A final two changes came after that with Ante Rebic and Sergino Dest coming on for Calabria and Giroud. Ultimately it would make little difference though, as the game filtered out to a comfortable defeat.