OK. AC Milan wins the derby 2-1 thanks to an Inzaghi header and a Vieira lethal mistake letting Kaka hit home with ease. This match was like no other derby in many ways.
First, this derby proved to be the 2nd one-sided derby we’ve seen after the 6-0 humiliation in 2000/01 serie A season, surely both matches was won by the red & black AC Milan. Second, this derby was so important for both Inter and AC Milan, as the two sides wanted to win this match for not making their Serie A campaign a huge disappointment (I will return to discuss this point later). Last but not least, Inter is dominating serie A for the 2nd season and destined to win their 3rd title in a row; moreover, an Inter win last sunday was going to break Berlusconi’s heart as Milan has not lost 3 consecutive derbies against Inter in Beslusconi’s era. And eventually, and unfortunately for many people, AC Milan just like Italy voters, didn’t want to disappoint Berlusconi. Forza Italia.
Destiny is Milanese. Milanese here refers to the whole city of Milano interests. How? An Inter win would have killed AC Milan hopes of a Champions League spot next season; however, if Inter lost this derby they will still retain the title as the Nerazzuri will still have their destiny in their own hands, and it only needs a miracle for this not to happen ( also AS Roma is not Juventus, so miracles are far from happening. Ask Moggi if you don’t believe). So, this derby win for Milan will give them the 4th place in the table, but will not affect Inter hopes of winning silverware this season too, as winning at home against Siena next round and in front of more than 80,000 Interiste in the Meazza, will not be a huge task. Also, Inter fans will like it more against a Black & White stripes (refering to Siena’s kits) for the 2nd consecutive season, as Juventues and Udinese (Black & White stripes also) are the only teams Inter couldn’t defeat this campaign. So God’s will didn’t want to make half of the Milano city miserable and the other half full of joy. This is fair. And DESTINY is MILANESE.
Digging deeply into the match now, lets discuss the lineups of the teams.
Ancelotti fielded the strongest team, as he made it clear he wants the 3 points at all costs. Although looking at Milan’s startup would make us think this is a defensive Milan, as Pirlo, Gattuso and Ambrosini are all defensive midfielders with a little of creativity in Pirlo legs. Also fielding Kaka as 2 nd striker alongside Pippo and not as a playmaker behind 2 strikers proves to be a defensive approach from Carletto. But hey, Kaka and Inzaghi scored 14 goals in the last 4 games for Milan. So, yes AC Milan wanted to win at all costs. What Mancini did?
Everyone who looked at Inter’s starting 11 for the derby, just looked and said Why? Yes, Mancini always surprises us with his formations, but this one was like Inter was telling Milan: “Come rape me please”. A defensive couple (Matrix and Rivas) who didn’t play together one whole match this season, with both having a poor campaign too was really a dangerous thing to do. In front of the this weak defensive wall, Mancini fielded 3 defensive midfielders alongside each other (Vieira, Cambiasso, Zanetti) with a defensive midfielder in front of them (Maniche). The 4 players are aggressive, strong and ill-talented. This was not enough for Mr. Mancio, as Crespo and Cruz were his strikers for the show. So this was the picture: A defensive wall of plastic, a midfield square that cant cant pass the ball beyond its vertices, and an offensive partnership that was meant to be isolated. So as a result, Inter lost the match before it starts.
To the match details: The 1st half was somehow even, as AC Milan was trying to impose their game, creating 2 or 3 opportunities in front of goal, thanks to Julio Cesar it ended 0-0. We all thought Mancini knew it, and he will try to alter this handicapped team with one substitution or two. No, Mancini wanted unusually to stick to his decision. In the 2nd half, Milan just did what they were supposed to do: 10 mins in the 2nd half, Milan 2 Inter 0. For sure, we also want to give credit to Milan, they really proved they wanted to win it. Here, Mancini ate his words again: 2 substitutions in 10 mins, Balotelli for Maniche, and Maxwell for Rivas. Mancini wanted to tell us, “this was supposed to be my starting lineup, but Grandma dreamt Maniche will score”. OK Mancini you broke our hearts. Inter then started to dominate, with Suazo taking the place of poor Crespo, Inter pushed on the Milan’s defensive wall, gaining couple of near free kicks, and scoring in one of them. But Milan stood and kept their lead.
This was the weirdest games of all. Inter, or Mancini’s Inter, didn’t want to win. This turned to be a fact after Mancini’s post conference: “Today we lost, but nothing has changed… I always thought it would be next Sunday against Siena.” I would fire him for just saying those last words. Please Mancini, on the scale of humans, be a good coach and then start building a Prophet career.
All things said now, this serie A season is almost over: Inter will win the title. Roma, Juve and Milan will play in the Champions League. Fiorentina will give it another shot in the UEFA Cup next season. And I believe only one coach of the above mentioned teams will go home: Roberto Mancini. It is clear like a summer’s sun now, and by looking at Moratti’s face after the loss, Mourinho is coming. This will be a happy ending for all people who wants a man of his word at Inter’s Bench.