GdS: Milan let down by their supposed leaders during derby humiliation

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan were let down by three players who were supposed to be leaders during the Derby della Madonnina defeat against Inter, a report has claimed.

This morning’s edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport (seen below) reports that Stefano Pioli and his squad met at Milanello yesterday, where the coach and the players reviewed the goals conceded and clips of the derby.

While the new signings didn’t show much and clearly need time to integrate despite the signs from the first three games, the leaders of this team have disappointed more than them, in terms of attitude rather than on a technical level.

One man above all stands out: Theo Hernandez. Everyone will recall the penalty conceded for a kick on Lautaro, but at 3-1 the left-back got beaten by Calhanoglu and came back slowly, without the slightest fire, while at 5-1 he is guilty of leaving Frattesi to run. That cannot happen.

In the attacking phase, the ball circulated slowly. Rafael Leao never got going aside from the run for his goal, the three attackers who came on didn’t give anything, and the Rossoneri really struggled to break the Nerazzurri down again.

The doubts about Olivier Giroud’s indispensability return. On Saturday the Frenchman was paradoxically the one who created the only goal, but his left ankle sent a very clear message: Giroud will not be able to play 35 games, he needs help.

You don’t lose a derby because you don’t have a reserve number striker but the issue remains topical, especially given how static and easy to control he was.

Finally, we come to the defence. Milan recovered the ball on average 43.5 metres from their goal, Inter 30 metres. Inter defended themselves in front of Sommer and did so very well, with ferocity and organisation.

Milan tried to stay high but were soft, as the first goal shows. The strikers applied little pressure and their opponents always played freely. On the eve of the match, to a question about a possible change in defensive approach with Kjaer on the pitch, Pioli replied no: “Why should he?”

However, Simon struggles to defend so far from goal, he doesn’t have the pace to stay with Thuram (or even with Lautaro) and he gives his best when he can defend in the area, leading the defensive line with his attention.

In the derby he suffered, but Malick Thiaw did much more. In the open field, with Thuram, it was a nightmare, so now there are many doubts about Milan’s defensive stability.

Loftus-Cheek and Reijnders are box-to-box players who look forward, who love to play vertically and do their best when they have the ball. They are less useful when it comes to chasing and protecting the defensive line.

The considerations on the back four remain like this, also because Krunic certainly cannot solve all the problems. If Thiaw and Kjaer failed in the derby, Tomori made a lot of mistakes both this summer and last season and Kalulu is no longer the Scudetto version.

Milan chose to trust the defence and not intervene, but perhaps in January they will make other evaluations. January, however, is far away, while the Newcastle duo Isak and Wilson are already knocking on the door.

Tags AC Milan


  1. So with hindsight, we bought midfielders that can’t defend, we haven’t bought a back up for Giroud ( there is jovic but I’m not holding my breath he finds his old form) and we haven’t reinforced the cbs.. at least we have depth on the wings now!

    1. Some fans used foresight for this

      These are summaries of comments I’ll repost.

      7/10 players signed were wingers/mezzali with no defensive characteristics whatsoever. This proves there was no eye test and is one dimensional scouting at best. Nobody has Serie A “experience” other than Sportiello and Romero.

      The other problems from last year weren’t addressed at all. Instead, the best player- maybe other than Leao- was sold to “fund” this window.
      There were matches last year where Sandro was the only player tracking back, even beyond the defensive line. Selling him continues to make no sense. We dont/didn’t actually need the money. And we really need a player with the intangibles and grinta.

      Anything positive Pulisic does on the pitch with be unmarked and is a bonus. He’s good for midtable serie a matches and not much else. Hes not a star. Hes a baby. As he said himself he cant perform unless he feels loved. Aka he can’t handle adversity.


      Just to be clear this loss isnt down to Pulisic. It’s down to F&M v2 and Pioli. They built this team.

      1. And Im sure that comment got bashed in. And the usual “oh you’re a hater”/”Maldini lover” people came in and preempted any failure with the I told you so routine when really ppl been trying to temper expectations. I also remember the depth argument and said depth is only as good as playing them but I’m a hater apparently for saying that 😂 lol
        It was hilarious seeing people comment about Yan Sommer and don’t know who he is and talking about Inter having a bad transfer campaign. They didn’t. They bought smartly once more. Added a few pieces rather than dismantled. They’re thinking Inter downgraded in the keeper when in fact all they did was replace a very good keeper with certain attributes with another with other good attributes. Inter doesn’t need a ball playing keeper, that was an easy decision to sell Onana. They got Fratessi for Broz and Thuram/Arnautovic for Luk and Dzeko. Smh that ain’t no failure

  2. What an improvement since Maldini and Massara were fired. Maybe having people in the front staff that know how football is played could be useful. Our brand new “physical” midfield was outmuscled by “overrated because Italian” Frattesi and players that already knew Serie A football. Inter’s mercato was less shiny than ours but once again they did better at recruiting key players. But we can rejoice because we are sustainable and we won the derby in accountability!

    1. Lol 😂 we became more European, whatever that means. We’re more physical this year…that is of course until we meet an actual physical team. Besides, Barcelona had a physically weak team for years mashing up Europe smh 🤦‍♂️

  3. The key difference in this game was the midfield, both offensively and defensively. Milan have 2 new midfielders and Krunic in a position and formation he havent played in before. While Inzaghi also brought in new midfielders this summer he chose to start the three he had last year, and that know the team, the tactics and what was needed to be done. Inter is matured as a team, Milan feels brand new.

    This was cucial together with the fact that Pioli chose to stand high with the defensive line despite missing his two defenders with pace and playing two of the slowest ones. Madness. Inzaghi probably couldnt believe his eyes when he realized Thuram and Lautaro would ge to run deep vs Thiaw/Kjaer the whole game.

    I also agree with the article that Thiaw and Hernandez played a huge part in that loss with their actions in key moments.

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