After struggling to get past Sassuolo’s defence, Milan had the more difficult task of facing Inter at the San Siro. Fortunately, the Rossoneri looked energetic and ended up winning the game 3-2.
The game started well for Milan as they had some chances to score, but ultimately Inter found the back of the net first as Marcelo Brozovic converted a quick counter-attacking move. However, Stefano Pioli’s men didn’t give up after that.
Rafael Leao scored the equaliser less than ten minutes after the opener and Milan then had many chances to take the lead. They had to wait until the second half, though, when Leao found Olivier Giroud in the box. The Portuguese winger then added another goal to his name after a lovely solo move.
Inter, to add some drama to the game, managed to pull one back which made the final 15 minutes very interesting and intense, forcing Mike Maignan into action a lot. Down below are five things we learned from the win…
1. Stellar game by Rafael Leao
After a rather quiet game against Sassuolo, Leao was back at his usual best against Inter. This time around, his opponents were playing an attacking type of football and left him a little bit more space and the youngster made the most of it, scoring two goals assisting Giroud in the process.
The Portuguese winger keeps on proving his worth and it’s telling when a couple of goal involvements are the norm for him and anything else is rather disappointing. That being said with the club finally sold, it may be well time to sort out the contract renewal.
2. Another derby goal for Giroud
Giroud single-handedly beat Inter last season, which shifted the momentum in the title race and it seems that he’s determined to make the Nerrazurri suffer. Last night’s goal was another example of that and he also provided the assist for Rafael Leao.
The Frenchman looked focused and despite not playing with the ball too much, he was at the right place at the right time when needed. He also seems to communicate well with De Ketelaere which hopefully means that we can see the striker racking up even more goals going forward.
3. Man of the moment
Maignan had a fantastic game against Inter, especially considering that the two goals conceded were the result of defensive errors. Few expected Milan to keep a clean sheet but it’s something the goalkeeper always strives for, and despite the goals conceded he ended up being a hero.
Indeed, he made some brilliant saves to keep his team ahead which proved crucial in the end as the odd goal prevailed. His importance was undeniable in the Scudetto-winning season and continues to be a pillar in this Milan squad, as we also saw against Sassuolo with the penalty save.
4. Midfield duo kept Milan ticking
Ismael Bennacer was at his usual best against Inter as he managed the pace of the game excellently. But this time around his partner in crime also had a great game. Sandro Tonali has struggled a bit since the start of the season, but he was all fired up against Inter.
The Italian took advantage of a misplaced pass and assisted Leao for the first goal and then followed up with several good plays where he could’ve helped his team grab the lead. Sandro showed great pace and wasn’t afraid to take on his man and with both him and Bennacer fully fit, it seems that the midfield won’t be a problem for Pioli.
5. A derby taste for De Ketelaere
The Belgian didn’t produce anything special against Inter, but his performance must still be highlighted. A complete opposite to Brahim, De Ketelaere has a physical presence on the pitch and was able to hold off his man and link with his teammates.
It was clear that Inter were paying attention to him and that helped Milan as the youngster dropped deeper and took a defender with him. He also has the vision and isn’t afraid of playing that through ball, which compared to Brahim and his decision-making is just on another level.
The only minus in his game, despite not picking up a goal or assist, was the fact that the Belgian lost his man on Inter’s first goal, but other than that he was an important piece on the pitch.