Inter - Milan (16 Sep 23) [5-1]

YoramG

Allenatore
Allenatore
Joined
May 19, 2013
Messages
7,206
Likes
6,980
Favorite Player
Zanetti
10 years of FIF

Inzaghi’s Inter Milan lost some stars and just got better​

By James Horncastle

Roll up! Roll up for the circus! The choreography prepared by Milan’s ultras before Saturday’s Derby della Madonnina depicted a big top with a sad clown and a couple of giraffes in Inter’s colours inside.

A fortune teller, front and centre, let the fans sat at the opposite end of San Siro know it wasn’t their destiny to be the King of Cups. The palms of Inter coach Simone Inzaghi offer a different reading. After all, he has won four in two years but in the lore of this rivalry, Milan’s hardcore wished to overlook them and remind their ‘cousins’ of the seven Champions League trophies back at the club’s office in the Portello neighbourhood of the city and, more pointedly, the one Inter didn’t bring back from Istanbul at the end of last season.

They were taking the Mickey and, not for the first time, a certain Henrikh Mkhitaryan soon made Milan look silly. A 5-1 defeat was the heaviest Milan have suffered in the derby in nearly half a century (1974). A chorus of “Milanista chiacchierone, quanta fantasia hai” reverberated under the red girders of this hallowed ground, a lyric about the loudmouth Milan fan and his wild imagination who, all of sudden, was being brought back down to reality by an unprecedented fifth straight defeat in this fixture. “It was the show of force I wanted,” Inzaghi said. “Only the other day I was told it had never happened before. I’m happy for the Inter family. It’s a big deal.”

The 47-year-old, who is up for UEFA’s Coach of the Year award along with Pep Guardiola and Luciano Spalletti, continues to impress. Managing Inter is not easy. The club’s financial situation means Inzaghi can expect to lose players every summer. Replacing them takes time. He departed for the club’s pre-season tour of Japan without a first and second-choice goalkeeper. The departures of Andre Onana, Milan Skriniar, Marcelo Brozovic, Edin Dzeko and Romelu Lukaku were the sort of thing his predecessor Antonio Conte would have quit over. But Inzaghi gets on with it and his team, perplexingly, looks better than ever.

“Up until three games ago, you were saying Inter were worse off because of the players that had been lost,” he said. “Now you make out Inter have to win.” With every passing game, defeat in Istanbul appears in retrospect to have had a transformative effect. Inzaghi and his players returned home from Turkey with palpable regrets. They were disappointed not because they lost but because they played well enough to beat a team as good as treble-winning Man City. It has given Inter a confidence that sets them on another level to anybody else in Italy at the moment. They have blown teams away. Inter went into the international break with a perfect record. For the first time since 1966, they won their opening three games without conceding, and a 4-0 trouncing of last year’s Conference League finalists Fiorentina preceded Saturday’s 5-1 humbling of Milan.

It is an excellent team. Inter provide the core of Luciano Spalletti’s Italy at a time when no Milan or Juventus players figured in his first game in charge. As a result, some thought Inter would be tired for the derby, particularly with Lautaro Martinez flying back from Bolivia. Instead, they picked up where they left off this season and in this rivalry. New faces delivered old results. Marcus Thuram was close to joining Milan on a free transfer in the summer only to suddenly pivot to Inter who, in fairness, held an historic interest having twice already tried to sign him. In the end, they offered more money, maybe already aware Lukaku wasn’t serious about making his move from Chelsea permanent.

The 26-year-old Thuram had already made a statement against Fiorentina, showing fine aerial prowess to score his first goal in Serie A and great awareness too in setting up another for Martinez. Then on international duty, as a substitute for the injured Olivier Giroud, he scored his first goal for France against Ireland.

“(Didier) Deschamps was very complimentary about him,” said Inzaghi, who played against Marcus’ father, Lilian, the World Cup-winning centre-back.

But this performance was something else.

Inter took full advantage of Fikayo Tomori’s suspension. They let Milan have the ball and then looked to hit them by releasing Thuram in the channel. He ran Malick Thiaw ragged and, after playing a role in Inter’s opener, Thuram chased down a lost cause and curled in an early contender for goal of the season in Serie A. “I should have come here two years ago,” Thuram said, referencing the knee injury he suffered at Borussia Monchengladbach that thwarted an earlier switch to Inter. “(Their interest) always stayed with me.”

While Milan coach Stefano Pioli felt his team were in the game until Mkhitaryan got his second goal and made it 3-1, it did feel like deja vu. In the Super Cup in Riyadh in January, Inter were 2-0 up early on, as they were in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final, and as they were, again, on Saturday. It didn’t matter that Dzeko, their tormentor, had left for Fenerbahce. It didn’t matter that Lautaro failed to score. The Argentine was devastating all the same. He set Denzel Dumfries and Thuram through for a two-v-two that led to the second goal — “Lautaro’s very easy to play with,” Thuram said — and then won a penalty at 2-1 just as Pioli made a triple change hoping to find an equaliser.

Hakan Calhanoglu, the former Milan No 10 reinvented as a deep-lying playmaker at Inter, buried it and, in some respects, stole Thuram’s thunder as the Turk’s goal, those of Mkhitaryan and the substitute Davide Frattesi — whom Mkhitaryan set up — offered a reminder that this midfield is currently Italy’s best and probably has been since April this year. The addition of Frattesi, who scored a brace in Italy’s win over Ukraine on Tuesday, hints that there is more to come from Inter as do the signings of Benjamin Pavard, Davy Klaassen and the return of super sub Alexis Sanchez, a player Inter paid to leave after a successful spell only a year ago.

Milan, meanwhile, need not overreact. Up until Saturday, the signs have been very encouraging and it was hoped the overhaul of the team’s midfield and attack would make these derbies closer contests. Still, the scale of this defeat will sting. You can lose but not like that regardless of the stylistic mismatch posed by Inter, who succeeded in making Christian Pulisic peripheral and were able to stop Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tijjani Reijnders doing what they’ve done so well this season, which is bouncing off Giroud and making dangerous runs into the box.

Top of Serie A as his team returns to the Champions League, Inzaghi deserves wider acclaim. The first Inter coach to have a third season since Roberto Mancini, it is, in hindsight, remarkable to reflect on how close he was to the sack at various stages of the last campaign only to ascend to a new, higher status. Inter may still resemble a financial highwire act but, on the pitch, they’re not a clown show. Even Cirque du Soleil doesn’t describe the spectacle they put on against Milan as San Siro once again turned into the city’s opera house, La Scala, and witnessed a truly virtuoso performance.
Thanks for this posting this, I really enjoy reading James Horncastle.
 

Joker

Capitano
Capitano
Joined
Jul 4, 2015
Messages
1,173
Likes
201
Favorite Player
The Phenomenon
Fuck, thought it was tonight, fuck BBilan.
 

Kramerica Industries

Capitano
Capitano
Joined
Apr 5, 2018
Messages
2,328
Likes
821
Rewatched The highlights and goal number 3 was poetry.
We can talk about our transfers and how successful they are at the end of the season. Thuram looks like a certainty at this point but he also came in on high wages.

The third goal is such a good example of one touch and spread them out. Long switch of play from Hakan to Lautaro and then get a mostly-horizontal run from Henrikh coming in behind that. The switch gets the flow moving towards Lautaro on the left, and then Henrikh has room to run into cutting against that flow. Notice how much time and space he had with the ball before he was ready to pull the trigger.

I think every open-play goal came from quick transitions and most of those were coupled with switches of some form. And quite often Mkhitaryan was the most advanced player in the box, especially earlier in the game both for his first goal and the header opportunity a few minutes later.
 

CafeCordoba

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Mar 7, 2004
Messages
34,662
Likes
13,079
Favorite Player
Toro, Barella
10 years of FIF
The third goal is such a good example of one touch and spread them out. Long switch of play from Hakan to Lautaro and then get a mostly-horizontal run from Henrikh coming in behind that. The switch gets the flow moving towards Lautaro on the left, and then Henrikh has room to run into cutting against that flow. Notice how much time and space he had with the ball before he was ready to pull the trigger.

I think every open-play goal came from quick transitions and most of those were coupled with switches of some form. And quite often Mkhitaryan was the most advanced player in the box, especially earlier in the game both for his first goal and the header opportunity a few minutes later.
There are so many things happening in that 3rd goal. Watch the brilliant runs by Arnautovic and Frattesi to create space for Mhkitaryan to enter the box with the ball. From start to finish, that goal was indeed poetry, art and magic.
 

Anne Marie

Capitano
Capitano
Joined
Jul 16, 2008
Messages
1,093
Likes
304
Favorite Player
Matrix, Pupi, C
Pioli said in post match comments that he does not need to apology to the fan because he did not lose 1-5 on purpose. And his Milan was on par with us for like 70mins (1-3). He only needs to think hard about last 20 mins.

He was not like this when he was coaching us. I recall him as a more humble person.
 

Fitzy

La Grande Inter
La Grande Inter
Joined
Aug 21, 2009
Messages
12,156
Likes
3,229
Favorite Player
Zanetti
Forum Supporter
Most Humorous Member
10 years of FIF
Pioli said in post match comments that he does not need to apology to the fan because he did not lose 1-5 on purpose. And his Milan was on par with us for like 70mins (1-3). He only needs to think hard about last 20 mins.

He was not like this when he was coaching us. I recall him as a more humble person.
On par, but losing 3-1 :lol:
 

Irequis

Capitano
Capitano
Joined
Nov 28, 2011
Messages
2,248
Likes
1,184
Favorite Player
Javier Zanetti
10 years of FIF
What is lacking from from milan team is the killer pass. They are quite a dangerous teams with so many potent dribblers. Leao, Theo, and RLC can glide, outpace, and beat their markers easily and that's what they did to us several times. However they lack invention to unlock a defence with a pass. What they did was hoping their players to beat their defenders or a long ball to Giroud to give space and time for other dribblers.
It is different with Inzaghi for he defines what a team has to do to maximise individual brilliance. For instance, Frattesi's goal was born because our team moved cohesively and created space for him so we can maximise his sharp knack to score from the second line.
 

thatdude

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
19,361
Likes
8,926
10 years of FIF
FIF Special Ones
What is lacking from from milan team is the killer pass. They are quite a dangerous teams with so many potent dribblers. Leao, Theo, and RLC can glide, outpace, and beat their markers easily and that's what they did to us several times. However they lack invention to unlock a defence with a pass. What they did was hoping their players to beat their defenders or a long ball to Giroud to give space and time for other dribblers.
It is different with Inzaghi for he defines what a team has to do to maximise individual brilliance. For instance, Frattesi's goal was born because our team moved cohesively and created space for him so we can maximise his sharp knack to score from the second line.
They thought they were getting that creative midfielder with De Ketelaere. Didn’t quite work out.
 

NimAraya

La Grande Inter
La Grande Inter
Joined
Apr 22, 2005
Messages
10,015
Likes
8,152
10 years of FIF

Prandelli: ‘Inter not dependant on anyone, unlike Milan’

Former Italy coach Cesare Prandelli analysed Inter’s Derby della Madonnina thrashing of Milan, highlighting the Nerazzurri’s ‘quality, quantity, physicality’.

Speaking on page 14 of today’s Gazzetta dello Sport, Prandelli first discussed the difference between the two teams in the Milan derby.

“Inter gave me a clear impression: a battleship. Starters and substitutes make the same contributions: quality, quantity, physicality.

“And whoever is on the pitch, the game doesn’t change. No dependence on anyone, unlike Milan.”

He touched on how the Rossoneri are entirely too dependant on certain players.

“For what we saw today, on Leao. In the first half Milan had almost 70% possession but finished little, they allowed Inter to be merciless in the face-offs and that being theoretically being in control of the game actually ended up penalising Leao.

“That in the only real action in depth, with two touches he went through on goal. When you have a lot of possession, the spaces close, you can be a champion all you want, but if there is no space…”

The former Fiorentina coach commented on how Christian Pulisic struggled to make a difference.

“Compared to the first games, a lot. And more generally all the options on the wings were missing, the full backs remained wide, but one-on-one they were always doubled up. And even trying to bring the full backs down in the middle of the pitch didn’t work very well.”

He spoke about Inter’s ability to find space in the derby.

“Pressing of the forwards, very coordinated, with perfect timing in the aggression. Great density in the middle.

“Recovering the ball and counter attacking straight for the goal, they played it like that and won it like that, vertically. That was the first key to the game.”

Prandelli highlighted the second key to the derby.

“Thuram. I don’t remember a debutant in such an impactful derby, maybe Sneijder in the 4-0 win in 2009, but he didn’t score. He was devastating, every time he started, he did it with two extra gears.

“But as well as his speed he also put in the focus of always finding the right spaces after so much running.”

The former coach explained how Marcus Thuram reminds him of.

“I don’t like to compare characteristics. But he is the prototype of a classic but complete, modern second striker.

“He varies, you can find him on the right, on the left, in the middle, with this physical condition throughout the season, he can become the surprise of the year.”

He spoke about the work of Lautaro Martinez.

“I found him very matured, but perhaps it is more correct to say mature. He played for the team from the first to the last minute, as captain, looking for the goal, but also creating chances for teammates.

“He never loses one characteristic, he wants to score, he plays to score, and in fact he wanted to take that penalty, it was very clear. But then he went to cheer with Calhanoglu, see?”

Prandelli discussed Pioli’s decision to change Milan’s formation in the second half.

“When you have to change the game to recover, you also play for everything. But if you put four forwards and Inter counter in that extraordinary way….

“Also because, it was clear, Inter are also very good physically.”

He touched on why Pioli’s changes didn’t work.

“For this and because Inzaghi’s changes worked, 100% productive: vigour, physicality, and the match ended there. Simone accepted Milan’s variation without feeling the need to change the set-up.

“He did not upset the midfield, in fact he even improved it. And then he put Arnautovic, someone who fights up front, holds the ball, and so he also gave more freedom to Lautaro.”

Finally, Prandelli was asked if Milan are suffering from a mental block, considering that they’ve lost the last five derbies.

“It can happen if the team is the same, but now Milan have many new players. No, the mind has nothing to do with it.”
 

delaurentis

Capitano
Capitano
Joined
Dec 5, 2009
Messages
1,273
Likes
405
Favorite Player
4,19,22,25
@CafeCordoba made a great point on the podcast - Inzaghi didn’t just demolish Milan, but he also handed out the blueprint to every other team on how to go about it.
But but....meelan had the ball for like the.....whole.....first 4 minutes of the game. Not sure how other teams in Serie A can cope with that. ;)
 
Top