Goals: 28. Rafael Leão, 54. Olivier Giroud, 60. Rafael Leão – 21. Marcelo Brozović, 67. Edin Džeko
Derby della Madonnina belongs to AC Milan. The battle between the two age-old rivals offered a total of five goals and plenty of other chances. The brightest star was the Portuguese winger Rafael Leão, who scored two goals and assisted on one. Inter entered the derby well, but after taking the lead, the initiative was handed to the Rossoneri, who then dominated the pitch. It was only the substitutions that revived Inter’s game and they still reached for an equaliser.
As always, the Milan derby brought an excellent atmosphere and both fan camps competed with each other in better choreography. They were then rewarded with an offensive-minded game, despite the fact that they were missing Zlatan Ibrahimović on one side and Romelu Lukaku on the other.
The first to strike at the San Siro were Inter’s players, who were led as the visiting team. Barello’s spot-kick curled wide of Handanovic’s shrine and Bastoni almost scored an own goal at the other end. Leão’s cross was headed so unhappily that the crossbar shook. And then it came. Inter broke AC’s defense with a combination in the middle of the field and Marcelo Brožović was able to clear the ball to the front post in a solitary advance on Maignan – 1:0. However, Inter’s lead faded and AC Milan subsequently took all the initiative.
In the 28th minute, Leão received the ball and surprised the visiting goalkeeper with his left foot – 1:1. The pitch was suddenly full of the red and blacks and Inter could not keep up at all. But AC’s chances ended wide, as did Giroud’s volley from a good position or shots from Tonali and Hernández. Not even the young Belgian De Ketelaere succeeded and Inter luckily held on to a draw.
That changed at halftime. Neither Stefano Pioli nor Simone Inzgahi were substituted and AC Milan successfully followed through in the first half. In the 54th minute, he finally took advantage of his great superiority and deservedly took the lead. Leão sent an inconspicuous cross into the box, which surprisingly went all the way to Giroud and the ball bounced into the net with a first-time shot.
Even then, Inter did not wake up and the Rossoneri struck for the third time in six minutes. The Portuguese Leão easily went through the defense like a knife through butter and cleared the ball unerringly to the post – 3:1. The Milan Tifosi cheered, those of Inter twisted in disbelief, what had happened to their team. Inzaghi already had to react to the unfavorable development and Dimarco, Džeko and Mkhitaryan came into play. And it was the Bosnian gunner who brought the subdued Nerazzurri back into the game when he crowded in for Darmian’s pass and with a hard shot against the post he didn’t give Maignann a chance – 3:2. The match has already turned into its final twenty minutes.
The contact goal gave Inter a lifeline and AC suddenly found themselves under enormous pressure. Maignan caught Džeko with his foot in another promising opportunity and made an even better save after Hakan Çalhanoğlu’s shot, whose every touch with the ball was accompanied by whistles from the home crowd.
In the end, Milan had a chance to secure the result, but Origi missed the goal from a distance and Mkhitaryan narrowly missed the set-piece. Not only the Rossoneri bench was relieved, but also the new owners from the Redbird company and actually the entire fan camp.
After a long time, AC Milan beat Inter as a home team and made up for a lackluster and lackluster performance against Sassuolo. For Inter, the defeat in the derby is the second stumble, and rival teams will understandably want to take advantage of that.