Sacchi heavily critical of ‘limited’ Milan and ‘tired’ Inter after derby stalemate

By Oliver Fisher -

Former AC Milan manager Arrigo Sacchi believes the Rossoneri were the better team in the derby against Inter but both teams were lacking in any conviction.

The result might have actually been rather predictable in truth, given that Milan are on a slide in the league having dropped points to two of the bottom four in their last two Serie A games, while Inter are winless in four.

Both sides were looking for a bit of a confidence boost that the derby can provide and while there was plenty of solid defending on show from both sets of centre-backs, the overriding theme was a lack of quality and composure in the final third.

Sacchi gave his thoughts on the game during his usual column for La Gazzetta dello Sport and began by expressing the notion that the teams let the fans down in what is a very uncertain and depressing time.

“It was foreseeable that it would end like this, but objectively the fans deserved a few more emotions. Also because it is a dark period for the world, with the war in Ukraine, and we need to have some fun. Well, Milan and Inter didn’t help us: at San Siro, we saw very few good things,” he said.

“Both Milan and Inter are two teams with some problems. The pitch always seemed too long or too wide, the players couldn’t cover it well. This means that there is probably an athletic decline. More on the part of Inter than Milan, to tell the truth.”

Did the Rossoneri seem more sharp to you?

“Yes, more sharp and more reactive. But also confusing, too confusing. But on the points I would have given Milan a few more votes.”

Confusing in what sense?

“Opportunities wasted by haste. I am referring in particular to those of Saelemaekers and Hernandez. One has to be colder and more precise in certain circumstances. These are mistakes that I attribute to youth.

“Young people are always in a hurry and haste is never good. In those moments you have to use technique, and instead the limited qualities of the Milan squad have emerged.

“Saelemaekers, for example, is very generous, but he is too frenetic. He goes here, he goes there, but then ends little. in a few years, in certain situations, it will be more decisive. Now he is still a bit immature.”

Inter created very little. Why?

“It seemed to me that Inter were on their legs. Tired players. I didn’t see any chances from the Nerazzurri, the forwards were always alone. There was a gap between the attacking department and the rest of the team. Dzeko and Lautaro have never been there. served and supported. And then zero pressing.”

What must be done now?

“Simone Inzaghi will have to work to recover certain players. The squad is large, there are substitutes. This is the period in which those who have played less have to lend a hand to the whole group.

“Instead I noticed that the changes did not bring benefits. Vidal, Sanchez and Correa seemed to be disoriented, not inserted in the context: they played on their own, they didn’t move according to their team-mates.”

Inter’s problem seems to be the midfield…

“It is the strongest department and now you can see that some elements are not at their best. Brozovic is subdued. Even Barella, who I like very much, is not performing as well as he could. Consequently the manoeuvre is slower than usual and the tips they are not sharp as they should. Even the defense seemed a bit static: in the one-on-one the Nerazzurri suffered.”

Milan’s limits were inexperience and youth, but what about their physical levels?

“To run, they run. Everyone worked hard, they fought. In midfield Kessie and Bennacer worked a lot. We said about Saelemaekers. The defenders, even if they were hardly pressed, were careful. In attack, Giroud did little and from Leao, to tell the truth, I expect more.

“If Pioli took him off, it is because he too expected greater continuity and greater participation in the game, I fully agree. Leao has incredible potential, but he must put himself in a position to exploit them.”

The subs did not give the desired boost for Milan like they did in the last derby…

“Actually the substitutions did not change the face of the team. Milan kept possession of the ball, tried to move the opposing defence, but it was always imprecise at the moment of the last pass. Too much haste, too many errors due to frenzy, perhaps even too much desire to do.”

Next will be the away match in Naples on Sunday evening…

“The Rossoneri are young, they have the opportunity to recover their energy more quickly. I expect a convincing performance and, above all, I hope to see a more orderly and less confusing team.”

Tags AC Milan Arrigo Sacchi Milan Inter
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