AC Milan’s top four hopes were given another big blow on Sunday night at San Siro as they lost the Derby della Madonnina 1-0 against Inter.
Lautaro Martinez got the only goal of the game in the first half for Simone Inzaghi’s men as his header from a shockingly defended corner made it seven goals for the Argentine against Milan.
The Rossoneri were poor for the vast majority of the game but did fashion a couple of chances to steal a point, in particular the derby hero from exactly a year Olivier Giroud being let down by his first touch when in on goal.
The result moves Inter five points ahead in the standings and keeps Milan in sixth place, with a Champions League spot now looking more and more in danger.
Stefano Pioli raised some eyebrows with his team selection as he reverted to a 3-5-2 formation with Rafael Leao dropped to the bench, Divock Origi and Olivier Giroud up front together plus Junior Messias as a box-to-box midfielder.
The first chance of the game went to Inter who had the better of the opening exchanges, with Calhanoglu reversing a nice ball into the ball of Lautaro Martinez who let fly first time from just inside the box, but Ciprian Tatarusanu made a great reaction save to one hand it over the bar.
The ‘home’ side then came within inches of taking another lead inside 10 minutes just as they did in the Supercoppa, with a near post header from Lautaro Martinez meeting a Skriniar cross though he glanced it just wide.
Dzeko went down inside the box having received a bit of a shove from Matteo Gabbia as he attempted to free space for a shot, though referee Davide Massa waved away the appeals and there was rightly no VAR review.
Inter continued to dominate the chances in the opening half hour, and the Milan back line had to be alert to block a shot from Barella on the edge of the box that was sailing towards goal, then from the resulting corner Tatarusanu had to punch clear from his line.
They had been knocking on the door, and Inter deservedly took the lead in the 34th minute. It was no more complex than an in-swinging corner whipped towards the near post that Lautaro Martinez steered goalwards having got himself free, and it nestled in via Simon Kjaer’s head.
Pioli made yet another interesting decision at half-time when he decided to withdraw Messias after an unsuccessful 45 minutes as a mezzala, with Brahim Diaz coming on in his place.
It took less then nine minutes of the second half for a double change to follow as Rafael Leao and Alexis Saelemaekers came on for Origi and Calabria.
Moments after the changes Tatarusanu was forced into another save as Lautaro ghosted in at the near post and fired first time after beating Kalulu to a low cross, but the Romanian saved well.
Milan’s first shot of the game came two minutes before the hour mark with Theo Hernandez whipped a cross in towards Giroud who was just past the penalty spot though he could not keep his leaning header down.
With 20 minutes left to go and with Theo having whacked a free-kick well over the bar, Pioli made another change as Malick Thiaw came on for Gabbia. Inter, meanwhile, brought on Brozovic, Lukaku and Gosens.
Milan spurned a huge opportunity to get level as they broke down the middle with Leao who made a surging run into the box and squared to Giroud, whose first touch let him down and the chance went begging when trapping it cleanly would have probably resulted in an easy finish.
Moments later Giroud had another opportunity to test the goalkeeper, this time from a free-kick around 23 yards out, however the Frenchman whipped an effort a couple of yards wide of the near post.
The final sub from Pioli came with five minutes left on the clock as Kjaer was replaced by Ante Rebic.
Inter thought they had put the game to bed in the final minute of normal time as Lautaro finished from close range after a header in behind, but he had strayed just slightly offside and the decision was upheld after VAR review.
Much better from them
leao’s face bro
Another goal from another corner. Good thing we only conceded 1. Thiaw never disappoints when he’s on the field. Time to play him more.
This may be the future formation. I can`t believe I am saying this but Saelemakers should get Calabrias spot and Tata actually had a good game. Leao should always start. Even if he has a bad game he will always be better then the rest of the attack
Saelemakers was always a right back.Pioli just chooses to not play him there.
Yes, this! Calabria needs to get better. He shouldn’t play right now. Giroud should also get benched.
Change the coach.
I’d rather they show up and try to win but lose 4-0 than going into a game scared and defensive and still lose
Well at least it’s not the usual 3 nil lol.
First shot after 57 minutes.
I don’t know, you guys will tell me but our ‘game plan’ seems to be kick to the CF and play on the 2nd ball and hope it drops to our player.
Not even u9’s play like that anymore.
The difference was between us and Inter was perfectly captured today.
They can bring on Lukaku, Brozo, Gosens.
While we bring on the likes of Saele, Thiaw.
Is it me or is it that it always seems Inter players are fitter, physically stronger than our players? Quicker on their feet and can actually string 6 passes together?
So much for a ‘change’ ey.
Can’t blame Tata on this one unfortunately… even Thiaw can have a go at him if you noticed. There’s problems in that dressing room guys I’m certain.
Torino and a confident Spurs and Harry Kane coming up.
But hey, in all this at least our accounts are balanced right? Usually I’d get angry but you need to have expectations to get angry.
Mister is out of ideas and it’s sad.
Take care Rossoneri- good luck at your workplaces and in the office for those that have to go in.
Actually Spurs, are far from being a consistent team.. If we play, our best then we can beat them! Sporting got the better of Spurs, in two legs.. They were knocked out of Europa League, by a side from Croatia! So Spurs, aren’t as big threat you think..
I hear you brother, but with them it just depends on the evening and the type of Spurs we get. It’s either we get the Spurs that loses to Sporting or the Croatian team, or the one that beats Man City🤷🏿♂️.
And honestly bro Sporting currently could actually even beat us if we were to face them in the Champions League. Don’t forget our Champions League ‘prowess’ isn’t exactly formidable. In the Champions League context, I would say currently we are exactly like the likes of Sporting, Porto, etc… that’s. Our current level.
And I’m also basing this opinion on previous Conte vs Pioli games. I think we know how those tend to end up right?
But in all of this I would actually like us to be eliminated soon so that we can put all our energy in top 4 because clearly this squad cannot juggle 2 competitions.
Top 4 and renewing Leao’s contract will be a success. With Leao, it’s not cause I’m a fairytale lover but I wish we renew so that when we sell we get proper money so we can at least have a rebuild using those funds.
Top 4 and the renewal, I guess I’d be happy
We all know, how Conte vs Pioli matches have ended in recent years.. But this is Champions League! And, Conte’s record in Champions League, sucks! 😀 I would like, us to go deep, or get past Round of 16, to say the least! Because of the, revenue that, it brings, and for sporting reasons.. It will help us, hopefully in Leao’s renewal! Who knows? Depending on the opponent, we can atleast, make it to Semi Finals..😀 Don’t forget that, we have Champions League pedigree!
And I do see what you’re seeing, cause if we can somehow get past Spurs then who knows what might happen.
I’m hoping Conte’s Champions league curse helps us then😂
Let’s see. At this stage I have given everything to the Lord lol. I come in with 0 expectations so I can at least protect what’s left of my heart.
Let’s speak again after the R of 16 lol and see how things will be then.
Why is Thiaw on the bench is mistery, Tonali disaster, Tata was good for his standard, Diaz only one with desire. Kalulu on the right, on this position is very bad. Kjaer on the bench when Tomori is back. (Thiaw as starting CB). Calabria and Gabbia should not be even close to the bench. All others very bad. No leader on the field.
Pioli conceded less goals, but he win the same amount of points.
Second half was good. Unfortunately of Giroud, he is too old and miss that.
This team must sacrifice in next 17 matches. Hopefully Magnan must be returned soon???
There is a lot of room for team upgrade, and each of player need to keep his spot for next season.
Pioli make mistakes with not enough rotation during the season and his squad stopped to fight in year 2023.
They all have time to keep their job in next 17 matches. If not …
Reconstruction is inevitable.
The only reason it was just 1:0 is because Inter stopped. They knew they didn’t need to push it to get all 3 points. Not counting Thiaw, Leao and surprisingly Dracula, we were garbage.
Pioli’s starting lineup was a joke, bot the formation and his tactics were a joke. Sadly none of it was funny. There is a silver lining there, it is painfully obvious how much Malik is better than that overrated giraffe, Messias is never gonna happen, not matter how much Pioli loves him and Giro is done, he needs to be benched till the day he retires. Pioli has gotten us as far as he is able to. Yes we are grateful for all that they’ve done thus far, but enough is enough.
Damn even the thumbnail is Inter players. Yes that’s how bad we are right now.
Milan play better than 4 games ago, but unfortunately separate from lautaro goals manage from calabria error again !!
Second half milan play more better like a team. I guess tonali like a ghost in the park, no impact. Pioli will use 3421 / 352 for next game…