Milan - Inter: Match Report
The first Derby of the season was billed as a goal scoring feast in the past week leading up to the match. With Adriano on one side and Shevchenko on the other, goals were sure to be scored and anticipation was high. The game did not disappoint in terms of goal scoring chances but the final result did not live up to expectations with a 0-0 scoreline.
The draw marks the first time Mancini has registered a clean sheet, too bad it had to occur when the attack did not produce at least a goal. Adriano was to be the main threat but was brought back to earth by Nesta. Ancelotti loses Stam and Maldini moves back to the center. Crespo plays along side Sheva while Mancini confirms Fontana. Cambiasso and the "Rombo" midfield start the match with Vieri along side Adriano. In other words equalibrium on the pitch and result.
The match does not disappoint despite the lack of goals. Both teams show some great play as top quality players on both sides show there skills. Kaka and Emre play high in the Rombo midfield for each team. Kaka does not do much in defending but creates many chances gooing forward in speed. Emre on the other side never stops running and suffocates Pirlo in the midfield, but does little to feed Adriano and Vieri.
Emre does feed Vieri on one occasion just minutes into the game as he sends a great through ball into the area for Vieri to run on to. Having scored 2 goals in the last 2 games, Inter needed Vieri to score again but he hits his shot straight at Dida for the save instead of going for the corner.
Both Vieri and Crespo for each team played in similar roles staying high and in between the defensive line. The stars Adriano and Shevchenko stay wide and constantly switch sides to find space. Sheva seemed to work better and often played off of Crespo and Kaka, while Adriano stayed pretty much out of the play for most of the first half . Adriano finally showed why he is a star at the end of the half as he beat Nesta in the box but shot wide of Dida's goal when it counted.
In the first half Milan did have a slight edge overall in terms of play as they seemed quicker to the ball and inserted well into space. Cafu provided width as Stankovic left alot of room for him to run into as he often cut into the middle. Favalli however did well to cover the left side and apart from a few good crosses held Cafu in check.
Inter on the other side played very tight and moved the ball better than Milan when in possesion. Cambiasso gave order playing low in the "Rombo" midfield just above the defence. Having said that, Inter did lose the midfield battle however as Veron and Stankovic seemed to be on an off night playing wide. Stankovic did not seem to have his first touch while Veron was guilty of slowing down the play too much and often giving the ball away.
The first half ends scoreless and despite Milan having more possesion it was Inter who created more chances. Vieri really should have scored early in the match as he had at least two clear cut attempts at goal but failed to score each time. Adriano at the end of the half did another amazing move to flick the ball past Nesta but completely missed the net on his shot.
No changes were made in the second half but Kaka did do his best to spark Milan. With a few quick runs straight up the field he caused 4 Inter players to get yellow cards as the only way to stop his runs were with fouls. The game was exciting to watch as niether team held back but played for the win. It was a shame that the attackers for both sides were held in check by excellent defence. Crespo still does not look fit enough to compete with the speed of Cordoba while Adriano seemed to suffer a little tonight especially due to the shadow marking of Nesta.
Ancellotti is the first to react and brings on Ambrosini for Seedorf and Tommason for Crespo. Moments earlier Sheva almost scored but his glancing header from a Cafu cross went wide. Mancini responds by brining on Van Der Meyde for Emre going back to the standard 4-4-2 formation with Veron moving back into the middle and all midfielders playing in line rather than the Diamond that is created for the "Rombo"
The changes did not do much to give either side the edge and Mancini decides to finally take out Vieri who disapppeared after his early spell at the start of the match. Martins comes on for Vieri but with the youngster just coming off an injury it could be seen that he was not match fit. The final quarter of the game saw Milan come close to scoring both via headers from Kaka and Ambrosini. Fontana however had a splendid game and did not make Toldo's abscence felt as he did well and stopped everything that came hs way.
In the end the 0-0 draw does little for either team. Juventus is really the only winner of this match as the draw extends Juve's lead up top to 5 points over Milan and 8 points over Inter. In the end a draw against Milan was a fair result as both teams went for the win. Maybe on another night with Veron and Stankovic in better form it could have been different, but for now Inter will have to take the point and wait for the return leg to win another Derby.
Originally Posted by Fitzy