There’s little to write about regarding the scudetto race of the Serie A now. A commanding 3-0 win by AC Milan over Inter has seemingly decided that this season we will have a new champion. The scudetto is now for Milan to lose, and after the solid display the rossoneri put on for the San Siro, they won’t let this five point lead slip.
Going into the derby, not much was mentioned regarding AC Milan and the Brazilian duo which would play up front. Pato and Robinho were almost cast aside, with people doubting their ability to combine and create against this frail Inter defence. Instead, eyes were focussed on the lack of a big Swede, and people were fearlessly talking about how the Serie A would reopen if Inter won.
Before the derby Leonardo said:
“A derby goes beyond any tactical reasoning, there are many feelings especially because the two top teams of the table are facing each other, at a distance of just two points.”
This mentality was Inter’s undoing in the derby. While AC Milan were well organized, marking Sneijder and Eto’o tightly and very calculative in their movement, Inter was unprepared on a tactical level. Leonardo’s calm and romantic style of play wasn’t enough to break down this AC Milan side which defended rigidly and attacked quickly. And while Sneijder was silenced by van Bommel throughout the match, Pato and Robinho were given plenty of time and space to work their Brazilian magic.
From there, Pato scored two goals thanks to poor marking. While Ranocchia was doing his best to keep Inter in the game with some great interventions, when his central partner Chivu was sent off, there wasn’t much the young Italian defender could do. Pato was slipped through thanks to a wonderful pass by Robinho, and Chivu clipped Pato just enough to make him fall. As the last defender, Chivu had to go. The rest of the match was highlighted by brilliant saves by Julio Cesar, and a strange cameo by Cassano in which he scored a penalty, celebrated by taking his shirt off, and then got a second yellow and was sent off.
Ignoring Cassano’s strange ten minutes of play, AC Milan were unparalleled on the field. Mark van Bommel was brilliant in shutting down the Inter midfield, and Robinho and Pato were always dangerous with their quick movement. Massmiliano Allegri must be praised for setting up a well-oiled machine which had little difficulty in defeating the current champions.
The 3-0 derby victory puts AC Milan three points clear of second placed Napoli, and five points ahead of third placed Inter Milan. The possibility that AC Milan drops enough points for Inter to claw their way back to first seems slim, and as long as AC Milan keep focus, the scudetto will be theirs.