AC Milan 3-2 Inter: Five things we learned – Individual brilliance and a derby taste

By Ivan Stoev -

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.

Tags AC Milan Inter Serie A


    1. It was Kalulu and CDK’s mistake. Kalulu should’ve made a simple tactical foul on Lautaro, and CDK failed to track his player.

      They’re very young though and will learn from this. Kalulu had a great game once again other than that.

      More worryingly, Tomori was at fault on the second goal as he completely lost his player (Dzeko). Calabria was beaten by Darmian on a 1-2 but it was more to do with Inter’s excellent move (timing, run and pass) than his mistake, but Tomori should never have let Dzeko get in front of him like that. He’s been below his usual standard for quite some time now and is not our best center-back anymore. Kalulu is!

      1. Tonali was free but he did not cover the big gap that Brozovic pass, he late to notice Brozovic’s run for the first goal.

      2. Also it wasn’t Kalulu’s mistake, it was Tomori. Kalulu held Lautaro, the latter cannot move freely. Tomori should have use this situation to took the ball away from Lautaro yet somehow he just walk pass right beside the latter.

      3. You are ok. That Tomori should never go for the ball but for the space cause the space was created for that reason..but Kalulu mistake was that high, should have moved away after he saw the space. Youngest mistake but Calabria look to slow.
        Every goal is a mistake by some & a virtual others.

  1. Inter were playing an attacking type of football?! They were sitting deep for an hour trying to break on the counter hahahaha they only started attacking when they went behind and Milan sat back.

    They played more or less the same way as Sassuolo did, but Milan played on another level compared to that game.

    After Atalanta and Sassuolo uncharacteristically and very surprisingly defended with 11 men behind the ball against us at their home grounds, I knew all the teams in the league will play that way, but thought maybe Inter and Napoli will be the exceptions and attack us this season, but I was wrong, even Inter sat back.

    We’ll see about Napoli soon enough. If they do too, then we’ve become like City in PL. No team can bring their game to Milan, they can only try to tame us.

  2. Leao’s best game I’ve seen him play. He was great. Pay the man
    Giroud loves playing and especially scoring vs Inter. Extend the man’s contract
    Magic Mike, unbelievable. I know Courtois is out there too but Maignan is the best.
    Bennacer and Tonali absolutely destroyed Hakan & Barella. Thank you Hakan for the hockey assist on the 1st goal, and I didn’t even know Barella was playing until he was getting subbed off.
    I like how CDK played. He battled , pressed and moved the ball. Yeah he lost Brozovic, but that goal was on multiple players not reading the action properly, it wasn’t only on CDK.
    Great performance by the team.
    Great response after conceding the goal. Last year we won the derby but I felt we stole 3 points and we caught Inter sleeping. This year Milan dominated the game. Outside of the 5 minutes after Inter’s 2nd goal, Milan had the game under control
    On to the Champions league now

  3. I can’t believe more isn’t being said about Tonali’s performance. This was the first time that Milan’s midfield felt safe and locked down since Kessie left.

    1. Seriously speaking… I saw a beast in him in that match. Was so happy that he played at that level. I pray and hope neither him nor bennacer gets injured with the absence of krunic. Those 2 are very important to us

  4. I think we also learned that whenever Milan concedes first they will surely equalize and try to win the game.It’s not a good thing though but if we are always going to concede first and win then we shouldn’t be that worried.

  5. Nobody wants to talk about how are defense is giving up way too many chances this season. Tomori and Kalulu have gotten too agressive, taking too many risks and have gotten exposed too often. I think Kjaer would balnce the defense out better.

    1. Agreed; Kjaer is very smart. I very much liked to see Pioli take out Calabria (his lack of speed was exposed in the match a few times — he is just too slow) and Pioli moved Kalulu out to RB where he started with us in the beginning. I think CB-pairing of Tomori/Kjaer is best for us with Kalulu RB and Theo LB — that’s our best back 4. We will get clean sheets with that back four.

  6. Also, that first half by Tonali — wow, that is the best and hungriest I’ve ever seen him. He was fierce and focused and playing like a man possessed.

    Leao was up for this game too and of course Giroud always huge in the biggest matches!

    CDK I thought was super impressive too. He’s strong, fast and skilled. He has a HUGE upside — now we can see why M&M went so hard after this signing!! Good times ahead!! (as long we Dest starts at RW so neither one of the terrible Saele or Messias start any big matches ever again!).

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