AC Milan 0-4 Inter Milan: Yes Way José, the “Real” Serie A Can Begin

Inter Milan's Serbian midfielder Dejan Stankovic, second from left, reacts after scoring their fourth goal with from left to right, Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder, Argentine defender Walter Samuel, Brazilian defender Maicon, Romanian defender Cristian Chivu and Brazilian defender Lucio, during their Serie A soccer match against AC Milan at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2009. Inter won 4-0. (AP Photo)

In many ways a new year of Serie A doesn’t truly begin until it features one of thee Big Matches. It is often said that over the course of the season it’s the the “little games”, those against teams battling for relegation, that pave the road for a championship title. Often true, but the “little games” certainly are not those everyone is waiting to see. And thanks to Lega Calcio’s new fixture drawing system, this year we have the opportunity to see two ‘Big Games’ as early as Matchday 2, starting with Saturday’s Derby della Madonnina.

And what a derby it was. With 4 goals against their most bitter rival this match featured a true display of power by Inter Milan, highlighted by the shining performances of Thiago Motta, Eto’o, Diego Milito and with and a clear clear message to their harshest critics: Zlatan who?

As for Milan, to quote Gazzetta Inter were “giants without an adversary”. AC Milan cannot hide behind their good performance of today’s first 15 minutes. A team which completely disintegrates both tactically and psychologically (see Gattuso’s red card) at the first sign of trouble cannot, for lack of a better phrase, call themselves a “team”. At least for the moment. Until Leonardo figures out a solution out of this mess.

Serie A 2009-10 - AC Milan vs. Inter Milan

Serie A 2009-10 - Day 2 - Milan 0-4 Inter

Tactically, it was surprise-time on Inter’s side. No sign of Santon or Muntari (recuperated from his post-Ramadan health issues), instead José veered new signing Wesley Sneijder right from the start, placing the Dutch midfielder right behind his two strikers Eto’o and Milito, in a “trequartista” role. On the other hand, Leonardo fielded the same eleven from last week’s win against Siena (including Ronaldinho behind Pato-Borriello) without too many alternatives available really, save perhaps for Klaas-Jan Huntelaar on the bench.

Based on the first 15 minutes, the final result really does not do justice to Milan. Flamini and Pato seemed to be particularly inspired tonight, dribbling with ease on Inter’s right side in a night which, seemingly, did not feature the best Maicon of recent years (notice how I put “seem” in italics). Ronaldinho and Borriello had fairly good opportunities, without causing too many worries to Julio Cesar however. The point being: this was a real game, both teams responding “here” to the roll call (Inter with a nice one-time effort by Sneijder well saved by Storari).

Until the half-hour mark that is. The moment when Thiago Motta, Eto’o, and Milito combined with surgical precision and finalized a three-touch play with an on-the-run finish by the Brazilian midfielder, right where Storari could not reach. 1-0 Inter, and plenty more where that came from.

A.C. Milan's midfielder Gennaro Ivan Gattuso (L) fights for the ball with Inter Milan's Cameroonian forward Samuel Eto'o during the Italian Serie A football match between A.C. Milan and Inter Milan at San Siro Stadium in Milan, on August 29, 2009. (GETTY IMAGES)

Indeed, 7 minutes later a deflected free-kick by Pirlo launched a lightning-fast counter-attack by Eto’o who, through on goal on the right wing, ended up being fouled by Gattuso inside the Milan box. Penalty, and first yellow for “Ringhio”, who on the occasion could consider himself quite lucky (referee Rizzoli judging that Nesta’s presence close-by made this not a “clear goalscoring opportunity”). No matter for Inter, because Gattuso red card was only postponed by minutes. In the meantime, Milito made it 2-0 from the spot.

Before the half-time mark, Inter found the time to increase their goaltotal to three, thanks to a trademarked penetrating run by Maicon on the right wing (well set up by Milito). 3-0 Inter, but not before Gattuso earned his second yellow for an unnecessary midfield tackle on Sneijder. In his defence, he had picked up an ankle knock and had asked to be substituted just minutes earlier (Seedorf wasn’t ready to step in right away). Effectively, it was game over for Milan at that point, even though the embarassing ease with which they had allowed the Nerazzurri to move forward could only be *partly* attributed to Jankulovski’s “oh-why-did-I-get-up-from-bed-today” day.

The second half saw some Milan changes, predictably. Leonardo inserted Ambrosini and Seedorf for Flamini and Borriello. With little effect. Inter relaxed and stepped their foot off the gas pedal, proceeding at times with a classic pig-in-the-middle display, much to the dismay of Milan players but amply supported by the San Siro’s “OLE’s” (and to think that despite this being a derby, the home crowd was supposed to be primarily Rossoneri partizans). Huntelaar made his debut (substituting a non-factor Ronaldinho), although it’s likely he’d have preferred remaining on the bench. Especially when Dejan Stankovic 25-yard howitzer made it 4-0 for Inter. José can smile. Leonardo’s got a lot of work to do.

MILAN, ITALY - AUGUST 29: Result after the Serie A match between AC Milan and Inter Milan at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on August 29, 2009 in Milan, Italy. (GETTY IMAGES)


 AC Milan
[Match Highlights]
F.C. Internazionale Milano
GOALSCORERS: 29’ Thiago Motta (I), 36’ pen. D.Milito (I), 45’ Maicon (I), 67’ Stankovic (I)
MILAN (4-3-1-2): Storari – Zambrotta, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Jankulovski – Gattuso, Pirlo, Flamini (46’ Seedorf) – Ronaldinho (64’ Huntelaar) – Pato, Borriello (46’ Ambrosini) (bench: Roma, Onyewu , Abate, F.Inzaghi). Coach: Leonardo
INTER (4-3-3): Julio Cesar – Maicon, Lucio, Samuel, Chivu – J.Zanetti, Stankovic, Thiago Motta (60’ Muntari) – Sneijder (74’ Vieira) – D.Milito (79’ Balotelli), Eto’o (bench: Toldo, Cordoba, Santon, Suazo). Coach: Mourinho
INFRINGEMENTS: Bookings for Flamini, Samuel, Gattuso, Chivu; red card for Gattuso (min. 40, double yellow)


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Posted in Inter, Milan, Serie A |

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  • 7 Responses to “AC Milan 0-4 Inter Milan: Yes Way José, the “Real” Serie A Can Begin”

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