After an unpleasant result against Atalanta, Milan wanted to bounce back in the right manner in the Coppa Italia against Inter.
Despite a lot of missing pieces, the game started rather well for the Rossoneri who managed to open the scoresheet through Zlatan Ibrahimovic. It was the Swede that was involved in a brawl with Lukaku towards the end of the first half which resulted in both of them receiving a yellow.
Unfortunately for Milan, the Swede threw the game away as he earned himself a second yellow and was send off around the hour mark.
The game changed drastically after that as Inter increased their pressure and ultimately equalised through a penalty converted by Lukaku himself. It was then in the dying minutes of the game that Eriksen scored from a free kick just outside the box, eliminating Milan from the Cup.
Here are five things we learned…
1. Impressive by Romagnoli
Despite losing the game Milan, were holding on pretty well defensively before the red card and kept Inter relatively quiet in term of clear chances. Despite his penalty, Lukaku had a bad outing and it was in large part down to Alessio Romagnoli.
The captain has been criticised a lot recently and some questioned if he can actually make the leap to a higher level and lead Milan going forward. His duel against Lukaku certainly gives him confidence as he completely neutralised the Belgian who was lucky to score through a penalty and salvage the night.
2. Brick wall
With Donnarumma suspended for the game, Tătăruşanu got to start the game and it would have truly been a game to remember for the Romanian had Milan won it.
The goalkeeper was simply outstanding throughout the game, making multiple saves to deny Inter’s forwards Lukaku and Lautaro plus Kolarov and Hakimi too, keeping his team in the game. Pioli has a good back-up for Donnarumma as he further proves the error against Roma early on in the season was nothing to judge him by.
3. Missing pieces
Despite having a lot of absentees Milan looked solid at the back and took advantage of the chance they have to open the score. Although Inter was the team to press, the Rossoneri didn’t seem to bothered staying back and defending as it was Zlatan who threw the game away for them.
That being said, it’s good to see Milan’s depth can keep Inter’s attack fairly quiet and the team is set to be fully recovered in a couple of weeks with Bennacer and Calhanoglu coming back into the squad.
Saelemaekers is another player that need to find rhythm after his absence, but the team looks sharp and with the cup out of the way it is time to focus on Serie A and Europa League with full strength.
4. Debut done right
Simon Kjaer suffered a minor injury around the twenty minute mark and was replaced by new signing Fikayo Tomori who made his debut for the Rossoneri.
The Englishman was thrown into a big game, but handled it pretty well. His aggressive nature was shown straight away as he was tracking Sanchez deep into his half not allowing him to turn. Tomori also showcased brilliant pace and ability to read the play as he blocked a lot of goal scoring chances for Inter.
The centre-back seems to be ready for business and if this was just the start and he improves further Milan will surely be activating the buy-out option.
⚡ So it seems @fikayotomori_ is absolutely rapid.
— SempreMilan (@SempreMilanCom) January 26, 2021
5. Good outing by Dalot
The Manchester United loanee had a really good game managing to deal with what Inter had to offer on their left side. It is also the first game in a while that we actually see him play in his more natural position on the right and he did not disappoint. He wasn’t really able to go forward and needed to defend for the majority of the game, but he did it well.
At this point of the season we can say that he hasn’t been spectacular, but has done the job when given the opportunity. The Portuguese did come back after injury as well and is probably still not at a 100%.
If he continues like that it will be the matter of Maldini deciding if his price tag is worth the investment for a player who will most likely be a back-up taking in mind how good Calabria and Theo have been, but certainly he has been helpful for his team.