After a 0-0 draw in the reverse fixture, AC Milan faced Inter for a fourth time this season in an attempt to secure an appearance in the Coppa Italia final. Unfortunately for the Rossoneri, the game didn’t go their way as their defence collapsed resulting in a 3-0 win for Inter who head to the final.
The game started off in the best possible way for Inter with Lautaro Martinez scoring just three minutes into the game after he was given all the space he needs in Milan’s penalty box. From then onwards Milan were the team trying to attack more with the Nerazzurri comfortable in waiting for their chance on the counter, and in the 40th minute they struck again as Lautaro got his second.
In the second half Milan did look a bit more dangerous, but their struggles to be clinical continued. When they did find the net through a lovely strike by Bennacer, the goal was controversially disallowed shifting the momentum of the game and allowing Inter to eventually pick up a third goal after another counter. Here are five things we learned…
1. Defensive collapse
After a run of seven clean sheets across all competitions, few would have expected Milan’s defence to concede three goals in a single game. Unfortunately, after the early goal scored by Lautaro, the Rossoneri did not manage to regain confidence and were all over the place throughout the game.
Despite Inter waiting for chances to break, they had very little problems when going forward and had plenty of real estate to attack. This was probably the worst game we’ve seen in a while in terms of a defensive performance and Kalulu and Tomori were just not on the needed level on the night.
Lautaro and Correa are two tricky customers because of their movement, but the defenders will need to shake off the bad display and continue to be exceptional in the league if Milan were to have any hopes of winning the Scudetto.
2. Same old story
In recent weeks Millan have struggled to create chances in front of goal and it was no different against Inter. Despite failing to score, Pioli’s men did manage to create chances this time around which in itself is better than what we’ve seen in the past few games, but ultimately the decision making was lacking in the final third and against a side like Inter you don’t get too much time to think.
Alexis Saelemaekers and Junior Messias both struggled on the right hand side was again and the decision Pioli took to play Kessie behind Giroud did not pay off. Speaking of the Frenchman, he was successfully isolated from the game and had little to no impact.
The only spark up front was Rafael Leao who managed to beat his man on several occasions, but failed to provide that final pass or finish the attack off by himself. The second goal also came after his poor decision making resulted in an Inter counter attack and the Nerazzurri made no mistake.
3. A bright spot
Ismael Bennacer was one of the few bright spots in red and black on the night as he worked very hard and handled Inter’s press well. There were a few misplaced passes by the Algerian, but he grew into the game and was really involved in his team’s attacks.
The midfielder also scored a wrongly disallowed goal for his side after a lovely strike outside of the box, but his positive performance didn’t help Milan get anything out of the game unfortunately.
4. Impact man again
Just like the league derby win in February, Brahim Diaz came onto the pitch in the second half and he really did make a bit of a difference, despite not helping his team find the back of the net this time.
The Spaniard was trying to get himself on the ball and he did so successfully. His quick feet and dribbling allowed him to carry the ball forward and force the Inter players to commit fouls against him. He probably could’ve been a bit more clinical in the final third, but overall his performance was one of the best for Milan on the night.
Diaz will probably get to start in Serie A again soon since Kessie didn’t really contribute a lot going forward and he will need to carry this positive performance into the last couple games of the season.
5. Positive mental attitude
A big positive has to be the attitude that Milan had throughout the game. They tried to get themselves back level after Lautaro’s early goal and weren’t really knocked out after his second goal. The spirit and morale were high despite the bad display.
👏 Still going ❤️️🖤pic.twitter.com/1ZMtlxWglO
— SempreMilan (@SempreMilanCom) April 19, 2022
The Rossoneri pushed hard and got a goal back in the end, but unfortunately that was ruled out due to offside. But even after conceding a third goal, Pioli’s men were determined to get at least a goal back until the very end of the game which is admirable and it’s a pity that the score line suggests that Inter were the dominant side since the game was really balanced, but the home side just managed to take their chances.
With that positive attitude in mind, Milan seem eager to fight with Inter for the Scudetto till the very end and the desire they showed last night after being down 3 goals to nil would hopefully suggest that the morale of the team won’t drop drastically.