Posts Tagged ‘Derby della Madonnina’

Serie A Matchday 36 – Week-end Review + GOALS of the Week (2007-08)

Monday, May 5th, 2008

Week-End Reviews

Here are the results and summaries for matchday 36. Full Video Highlights here. week 36 review

Italian Calcio Blog week 36 review

Italian Calcio Blog

Gazzetta in English week 36 review

Gazzetta dello Sport

MILAN, 4 May 2008 – Roma’s gap with Inter was reduced today, thanks in part to Inter‘s defeat to AC Milan (2-1) and Roma‘s win against Sampdoria (3-0, from Panucci, Pizarro and Cicinho). By the same token, the Blucerchiati’s dream of a place in the Champions League went down the drain as well.

AC Milan moves to 4th place ahead of Fiorentina: La Viola players were obviously distraught by their elimination in the UEFA Cup, because they were defeated by relegation-strugglers Cagliari (2-1, goals from Jeda and Daniele Conti). Fiorentina striker Adrian Mutu was sent off during the match.

Meanwhile, Udinese aren’t giving up hope of a place in European competitions next season, beating Empoli 1-0 thanks to a goal from Fabio Quagliarella. The Bianconeri move ahead of Samp in the standings (6th place with 57 points). The race to remain in Serie A is still very close.

Down at the bottom, Livorno are just one step away from moving down to Serie B, and this despite the recent return of their old coach Fernando Orsi. The Amaranto returned empty-handed from Bergamo, despite overcoming an early double disavantage (Cristiano Doni and Ferreira Pinto) with comeback goals by Fausto Rossini and Simone Pavan. Simone Padoin sealed the fate of the game for the Nerazzurri, seeing Atalanta victorious 3-2.

Livorno’s loss keeps them at the bottom of the standings, 5 points away from Catania who lost today against Reggina. The Calabrian team got 3 very valuable points today thanks to two goals by Nicola Amoruso, which allows them to move ahead of Catania. Catania’s goal came in the stoppage time from Jorge Andrés Martínez, but it was too little too late.

A breath of fresh air for Parma and Torino. Parma beat Genoa with a goal from Cristiano Lucarelli and Torino beat Napoli thanks to a penalty kick by Alessandro Rosina and a goal by David Di Michele, who put his team ahead despite the temporary draw by Matteo Contini. This was Gianni De Biasi’s first win after his return to Toro’s bench.

Finally, Siena‘s goal by Houssine Kharja (during the first minutes of play) put an end to Juve‘s dream of a second place in the standings, while Lazio suffered yet another defeat, this time against Palermo. Despite being ahead after Goran Pandev’s penalty kick, the Biancocelesti couldn’t stop Palermo’s comeback with 2 goals by Amauri.



Wow… we had 7 great goals last week, but this time not even enough to make a ‘Top 5′, can you believe it? Here’s our Top 3 then:

This week, the goal-of-the-week award goes to Simone Padoin. Great stuff by the Atalanta midfielder, who gave the Nerazzurri an 89th-minute 3-2 win over Livorno with a delightful chipped shot over Marco Amelia. Scroll to minute 02:10:


Results Summary


Serie A – day 36
Atalanta – Livorno 3 - 2
Cagliari – Fiorentina 2 - 1
Catania – Reggina 1 - 2
Empoli – Udinese 0 - 1
Lazio – Palermo 1 – 2
Milan – Inter 2 - 1
Parma – Genoa 1 - 0
Sampdoria – Roma 0 - 3
Siena – Juventus 1 - 0
Torino – Napoli 2 – 1


AC Milan 2-1 Inter Milan: Northern Italy Gets Painted in Rossonero, Champions League Gets Closer (Serie A Matchday 36)

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

Inter Milan vs. AC Milan 2007-08 - The ‘Derby della Madonnina’ is Upon Us

Three weeks ago, at the end of the 3-2 match lost to Juventus (Matchday 33) Milan manager Carlo Ancelotti had declared: “Our objective for the rest of the season, in order to qualify for Champions League, will be to win all of our next 5 matches“. With the important fixture vs. Inter in the Rossoneri’s calendar, this was much easier said than done… but what do you know? AC Milan might just have achieved their objective.

To quote Gazzetta, some people had already nicknamed this title ‘The Scudetto of Hardships’ (more or less a translation of Lo Scudetto della fatica), and that may be why Inter continue to make things harder for them. 2 years and 18 days since their last derby victory, AC Milan have reclaimed the “Derby della Madonnina” and made a key step towards Champions League qualification. Indeed with the concurrent loss of Fiorentina at Cagliari, the Rossoneri now find themselves in 4th spot with a 1-point advantage over La Viola. In other words: their destiny is entirely in their own hands.

As for Inter well… it will take nothing short of a Roman miracle for the Nerazzurri to lose their grip on the Scudetto (on account of their head-to-head record with AS Roma, a win to Siena next week will effectively seal the deal for Roberto Mancini’s team), but today’s loss is certainly very sour. Is it a coincidence that when Filippo Inzaghi scores on Inter (today was the 4th time it happened), Il Diavolo always ends up victorious?

(From Gazzetta): MILAN, 4 May 2008 - The first exchange of opinions came from the fans. On one side, Interisti mocking the unavoidability of the AC Milan situation: seeing Inter triumph in Serie A again and perhaps miss out on the Champions League (“Oggi puoi dire quello che ti pare ma il tuo incubo si sta per realizzare” or translated: “Today say whatever you want, your worst nightmare is about to come true”). On the other, a real spoilsport motto exposed by AC Milan’s ’Curva Sud’: a big banner with the message “Even in the year of the centennial celebration… always the same scenario” (“Anche nell’anno del centenario… sempre il solito scenario“) and the Champions League final date (May 21), alongside an obviously drunk Homer Simpson character, watching TV. Hanging on the wall: a badly shaped and damaged Scudetto. Any reference to Inter’s Champions League elimination this year is entirely and purely… intentional.

Oh and by the way, I know: it sounds a lot better in Italian, and whoever translated the banners on the Gazzetta in English site needs to be flogged. Repeatedly. But I digress.

These fan banners, on top of outlining the creativity and rhyming ability of ultrà fans, were a good representative of the great tension running at San Siro before today’s match. In a derby, show & technique comes second to winning at all costs, and this kind of approach was probably the reason why Roberto Mancini opted to leave out Mario Balotelli, in favor of pure strikers Julio Cruz and Hernan Crespo. Interestingly enough, on such an important day the Nerazzurri manager gave a chance to the “bench warmers” (the aformentioned Crespo, plus Maniche for the injured Stankovic), an approach quite different from that of Carlo Ancelotti. Indeed, the AC Milan manager didn’t make a single change in regards to the expected line-up, relying instead on experience and technique of his (aging) veterans.

DOUBLE PIPPO CHANCES - It was a sea of red and black on the San Siro stands today, with Rossoneri fans clearly dominating their Nerazzurri counterpartts and celebrating every good play created by their team, be it a corner-kick or a goal. It was also a game of fair play, as evidenced by Crespo’s admission to referee Roberto Rosetti that he didn’t deserve a corner-kick. Nice to see stuff like this, especially in a derby. 

Now, there weren’t many scoring opportunities in the first 45 minutes, but if there was any team that was dominating the play it was AC Milan. Determined to win the game, the Rossoneri were attacking convicingly out of their own half, and even Daniele Bonera (usually occupying more of a defensive role) was openly challenging Cristian Chivu and creating good chances through the opponent’s defence. Fortunately for Inter, Julio Cesar kept a close guard, especially when the Brazilian goalkeeper made a great save by stopping a short-range Inzaghi finish, three meters away from goal. Super Pippo obtained yet another chance before the half ended, hitting the post on a Seedorf-inspired and Kaká-assisted play from the right wing. 

DOUBLE STRIKE – 4 minutes from the end of the half, Giuseppe Favalli picked up a knockand was forced off in favor of Marek Jankulovski. On his part, Roberto Mancini decided not to make any substitutions, confident that Maicon would quickly recover from his limping injury and that his defence would keep a tight lock on the fort. Oh, silly Mancini…

In the 47th minute, Patrick Vieira almost scored on his own goal to deflect Gattuso’s shot, while 2 minutes later Massimo Ambrosini‘s header barely missed the target. A prelude for things to come, because in minute 51 came the goal putting a damper on Inter’s hopes: Kaká broke through along the goal line, finding enough space to avoid Materazzi and center towards Filippo Inzaghi‘s head. The noggin of Super Pippo connected with the ball from short range, and put the Rossoneri in the lead. 1-0 AC Milan.

Inter went haywire, and not even 5 minutes later two consecutive passing errors cost them the second goal: Patrick Vieira lost the ball to Kaká on the right wing, enabling Kaká to get within shooting range and place an accurate instep past fellow Auriverde Julio Cesar. 2-0 AC Milan, and big joy in the San Siro stands.

Two goals down, Inter decided it was time to stick the head out of the hole. It went something like this: Maniche kicks the ball, his shot is deflected by Kalac; Crespo is in the right place, his shot deflected by Kalac; Maicon picks up rebound, his shot is deflected by Kalac. No doubt about it: Milan and their Australian goalkeeper seemed to be in control, and it took all of 20 minutes in the second half before Mancini finally realized it was time for Turbo Mario. Indeed, with Balotelli on the field Inter seemed somewhat to regain their fighting spirit, and they were also aided by good fortune (and Kalac’s poor placement) on Julio Cruz‘s 25-yard free-kick delivery. 2-1.

After a few plays worth of inclusion into the highlights reel (a Bonera-Suazo clash where Rosetti gave the advantage to Milan; followed by a Marco Materazzi fall in the penalty area, not called by the referee), Andrea Pirlo came very close to tasting the 3-1 goal. Alas his kick from a great position was stopped by Julio Cesar, as the Brazilian goalkeeper kept Inter alive yet again. Tensions increased almost to breaking point, and Adriano Galliani’s hair (the few he has left on the head) must have turned white when Alexandre Pato (on for Inzaghi) lost possession with 20 seconds to go, and enabled Inter to get a free-kick right on the edge of the Milan box. Cristian Chivu‘s set-piece delivery went sky high however, much like Inter’s dreams of celebrating a Scudetto against their cousin arch-rivals.

The lead over Roma is now reduced by 50% with two more rounds to go: nothing is lost really, but a Serie A epilogue as close as this one was unthinkable just a few weeks ago. Inter will have some more sweating to do for this Scudetto…


[Match Highlights]
F.C. Internazionale Milano
GOALSCORERS: 51’ F.Inzaghi (M), 56’ Kaká (M), 75’ Cruz (I)
MILAN (4-3-2-1): Kalac – Bonera, Nesta, Favalli (41’ Jankulovski) – Gattuso (66’ Brocchi), Pirlo, Ambrosini – Kaká, Seedorf – F.Inzaghi (76’ Pato). (bench: Fiori, Oddo, Serginho, Gilardino). Coach: Ancelotti.
INTER (4-3-1-2): Julio Cesar – Maicon, Rivas (80’ Maxwell), Materazzi, Chivu – Vieira, Cambiasso, J.Zanetti – Maniche (65’ Balotelli) – Cruz, Crespo (72’ Suazo). (bench: Toldo, Burdisso, Pelé, Jiménez). Coach: R.Mancini


AC Milan vs. Inter Milan Preview – The Scudetto/Champions League Decider

Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

Inter Milan vs. AC Milan 2007-08 - The ‘Derby della Madonnina’ is Upon Us

Boy, could a “Derby della Madonnina” could get any better than this? Picture the situation: with 3 matches to go in the Serie A, Inter Milan are leading the standings with a +6 lead on Roma, all the while their cousin arch-rivals AC Milan stand in 5th spot, 2 points ahead of Sampdoria (in 6th) and 2 behind Fiorentina (in 4th, i.e. the last Champions League qualifying spot).

In other words, for both Nerazzurri and Rossoneri a win on Sunday would have a two-fold effect. For Inter, it would effectively seal the deal for the Scudetto run and crush AC Milan’s CL hopes for good, which if you ask any Interista fan, would be awfully awfully sweet.  On the other hand, a win for AC Milan would keep their CL hopes alive (especially if Fiorentina stumble against Cagliari) and re-launch the hopes of AS Roma for the final Scudetto rush (provided the Giallorossi don’t fu** it up against Sampdoria, of course). Now how awesome would that be for all the Milanisti, given their very average 2007-08 season (Club World Cup excluded).

A little bit of History

To present you all the little interesting facts about the Derby della Madonnina, allow me to borrow, once again, the skilled words of Subhankar Mondal, the man behind the first Inter Milan vs. AC Milan Preview back in December:

On Sunday, a seismic force that owes its origin to the history shall rock the city of Milan and tradition shoved deep down in the ground; for on Sunday a chasm shall be constructed distinctly in Milan and volcanic eruptions are guaranteed.

If you think that this is a meteorological forecast ridiculously being rippled across on a football blog site, then you are utterly, utterly wrong. Instead, this is a lookahead to the Derby della Madonnina, the AC Milan vs. Inter Milan derby, that is set to storm to the center-stage in the Italian Serie A on Sunday.

This is a derby that is almost a hundred years old, a derby that would’ve never opened its eyes upon the light of the world if there had been no wrangling over the signing of foreign players; a derby that over the rapidly flowing years has come to be relegated to second (maybe even third) place in Italian football (the Derby d’Italia i.e. Juventus vs. Inter, is now firmly established as the most important match in Italian football calendar). But when Internazionale (or more affectionately, Inter Milan) and AC Milan lock horns at San Siro on Sunday there will no dearth of passion, spark, fire and rivalry at all.

Massimo MorattiThe history of the two clubs is paradoxically intertwined into one. Milan were established way back in 1899 and were absorbed in nationalistic ideals so much so that they wouldn’t allow any foreign player to don on their colors. This kindled a rift inside the club and those in favor of the induction of foreign players into the side broke away and formed Internzionale in 1908 and the city of Milan has been torn apart into two fragments since.

Silvio BerlusconiMilan traditionally are the people’s club, a club that has supported by the working class people in southern Italy. On the other hand, Inter are the bourgeois club, an aristocracy that has been blessed by the rich hands. But over the successive decades, such a distinction in terms of economic class has broken down. Indeed, Italian President Massimo Moratti is a oil tycoon while Milan is owned by the billionaire and former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Yet a cluster of Milan supporters still come from the working class background while Inter fans still do perceive their Milan counterparts as basically inferior to them in almost all sectors. The ultras (or, “ultrà” as they are called in Italy) are there from both clubs but their actions and recognition are much allayed by the reputation of the clubs. Even so, violence and trouble at the Milan derby have been frequent.

The ugliest incident of violence cropped up in the 2nd leg of the 2004-2005 UEFA Champions League Semi-Final match at San Siro. Milan were leading the match 1-0 (and 3-0 aggregate) when Inter supporters decided to get themselves thick into the action. Bottles and coins started being rocketed onto the pitch, flares started flying onto the field and Milan custodian Dida was hit with a flare on the back of his shoulder, and the often crippled and almost always paralyzed UEFA at last convened to investigate into the violence in Italy.

Dida's incident in the 2004-05 Champions League match vs. InterThus security has been tightened at the San Siro for the clash and these are one or two signs that trouble might be hatched during the course of 90 minutes. The main perpetrators could be Inter Milan players in not so much as instigating the crowds to go wild as in pissing on even more frustration on the Milan unit.

Of course contrary to the first leg, the San Siro crowd for Sunday’s match will be in large part black&red-coloured, as indeed AC Milan will be playing the “hosting” side. Will 80,000+ Rossoneri fanatics be sufficient to push Paolo Maldini & friends toward yet another major accomplishment?

For the record Inter have won the last 3 derbies in Serie A, and this year’s encounter (back in December) ended 2-1 in favor of the Nerazzurri. To prepare you for the match, here’s some additional AC Milan vs. Inter Milan statistics, courtesy of

Head to Head Record, 1992-2007:

AC Milan vs. Inter Milan - Head to Head Record, 1992-2007

2007-08 Serie A Match Record so far:

AC Milan vs. Inter Milan- 2007-08 Serie A Match Record so far