Inter 1-0 AC Milan: Reports, Ratings & Reactions as Icardi Scores Last Gasp Winner

Inter stole the Milan derby from city rivals AC Milan as Mauro Icardi’s 91st minute header sealed all three points for I Nerazzurri in a dramatic ending at the San Siro.

??Inter had the first big chance of the match when captain Mauro Icardi bundled the ball into the net from close range, but it was correctly ruled offside by the officials after it took a touch off Matias Vecino on the way through to Icardi.

The game was heating up as both sides looked to claim a derby day victory. The first half was a physical battle that Inter were just about edging as both teams launched themselves into every 50-50, Lucas Biglia and Radja Nainggollan’s early collision showing this was not to be a game for the faint hearted.

SPAL v FC Internazionale - Serie A

It was AC Milan who next had a goal disallowed. Mateo Mussachio turned in Suso’s wonderful free kick from the right hand-side, but again it was correctly disallowed by the officials who were keeping a tight lid on the game.

The game began to pass by the two Milan giants, with Matteo Politano’s half volley the only real chance of the half. Suso had a tame shot easily saved by Samir Handanovic late in the game as the even contest fizzled out towards the end, with both teams looking set to walk away from the San Siro with a point.

That was until Icardi got onto the end of a wonderful Matias Vecino cross to send the San Siro into chaos as Inter nicked an unlikely winner in a game void of much quality.

Key Talking Point

Inter looked the better side for the majority of this game, but again showed weaknesses. Icardi was left isolated for much of the match, and with Nainggolan injured there was an opportunity for a Inter star to become a hero. Yet nobody seemed to want the glory that comes with a derby day victory as Inter looked flat for large periods of the game, despite being the better side – until Icardi stepped up to the plate. Inter are roaring in Serie A, having won five games on the spin as they continue to climb up the table.

Player Ratings
Starting XI: Handanovic (6), Vrsjalko (7), Skriniar (7), Asamoah (5), Vecino (6), Brozovic (8), Politano (6), Nainggolan (6), Perisic (7), Icardi (6)
Substitutes: Valero (4), Keita Balde (6)
Star Man: In a game where Radja Nainggollan was injured, Inter had a huge void in the middle of the park. Marcelo Brozovic did superbly to deputise for his injury stricken teammate, motoring up and down the park all game. He tired the Milan midfield quickly with his lung bursting runs and despite struggling with injury in the latter stages of the game, he still was able to put in a great performance.
Worst Player: Kwadwo Asamoah did not cover himself in glory in this Milan derby. He was often caught sleeping in possession and did very little to support the estranged Milan attack. A poor performance from a usually reliable player.

Key Talking Point

AC Milan weren’t pretty to watch, but they were effective in stopping Inter’s main threat. The game plan was clear – sit back, limit Icardi, and hit on the counter. It nearly worked to perfection, but they couldn’t quite hold out. 

Milan will no doubt be tired after such an energetic performance and this will surely leave a huge dent in their confidence. The result leaves Gennaro Gattuso’s men stuck in mid table, as a Champions League spot already looks unlikely.

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Donnarumma (6), Calabria (7), Musacchio (6), Romagnoli (8), Rodriguez (7), Kessie (7), Biglia (7), Bonaventura (5), Suso (6), Higuain (4), Calhanoglu (7)
Substitutes: Cutrone (7), Bakayoko (6),  Abate(N/A)
Star Man: Milan needed a hero at the back and Alessio Romagnoli was a rock at centre half. He denied Icardi several chances on goal, including one world class block in the first half as Icardi broke through on goal, and silenced him for most of the match. He captained the Milan side well and showed he is a true leader for his side. 
Worst Player: Milan were in dire need of a marksman upfront, and ?Gonzalo Higuaín failed to deliver anything in his first Milan derby. Starved of any real service, you could be forgiven for thinking Higuaín wasn’t there as he struggled to offer anything to the game.

Looking Ahead
Up next for Inter is a Champions League fixture at the Nou Camp as they take on ?Barcelona. Inter may fancy their chances with the news that Lionel Messi will miss the fixture with a broken arm. A win for Inter at Camp Nou would all but seal progress to the last 16 for  Luciano Spalletti’s men.
AC Milan also have a European clash in their next outing, hosting Real Betis at the San Siro in the Europa League. Milan are top of their group, and just like Inter, a victory over second placed rivals Betis would all but put them in the round of 32 stage of the Europa League, having won their opening two fixtures.


Inter Tweet to Lionel Messi After Injury Rules Him Out of Wednesday’s Champions League Tie

?Inter have sent a classy message to Barcelona star Lionel Messi, after the Argentinian suffered a fractured arm which will rule him out of the Champions League clash between the two clubs on Wednesday.

In the 26th minute of Barcelona’s last match against Sevilla, Messi landed awkwardly on the ground and fractured the radial bone in his right arm, which will rule him out of action for around four weeks. As a result, he will likely miss both his side’s matches with Inter, whilst he will also miss Real Madrid’s visit to the Camp Nou on Sunday.

After ?Barcelona broke the news of ?Messi’s injury, ?Inter posted a reply to Barcelona on ?Twitter, expressing their disappointment at not being able to face Messi. 

The tweet read: “We are sorry for your injury and not being able to face you in the coming days. It is always an honour to play against the best.”

Wednesday’s match is an incredibly important one, with the two sides tied for first place in Group B. Both sides are currently undefeated in the Champions League, with victories coming at the expense of ?Tottenham Hotspur and PSV Eindhoven.

As a result, the two matches between Inter and Barcelona have the potential to be decisive in the final standings of the group, and Barcelona will have to cope without their star player.

Messi has been in electric form in this season’s Champions League. He has five goals from his opening two matches, and will surely be devastated to be forced into a period on the sidelines.

Tottenham Hotspur v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Group B

In his absence, Barcelona will rely on the likes of ?Luis Suarez, ?Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho to step up and guide their team to victory during this crucial month without their captain.


6 Classic Derby della Madonnina Clashes Between Inter and AC Milan Ahead of This Weekend’s Meeting

Inter vs Milan is one of the most iconic derbies in world football. The intense cross-city rivalry, passion, history and spectacular San Siro setting sets the encounter up to be an unmissable showdown year after year.

The two sides’ desire to dominate the Lombardy region means nothing short of blood, sweat and tears are left on the pitch, as the 22 give it their utmost to battle it out to claim the victory and, of course, the local bragging rights.

Saturday night’s fixture promises to be a tense, engaging and dramatic affair, in the meantime here are six classic clashes between the old rivals.

6. Inter 0-3 AC Milan (2005)

The two sides had met only twice previously in the UEFA Champions League before their quarter-final second-leg of 2005. 

Milan had led 2-0 from the first-leg and Andriy Shevchenko’s 30th minute strike on the night had given them a 3-0 aggregate lead, to all but send them into the last-four.

However in the 72nd minute, the match was abandoned after keeper Dida was struck by a flare from the stand – demonstrating just how intense and passionate the supporters can get in these fixtures.

As a result, Milan were awarded a 3-0 win via a forfeit and as a result won the tie 5-0 on aggregate. They went onto reach the final, where they were beaten by Liverpool on penalties.

5. AC Milan 3-4 Inter (2006)

Milan had won four of the previous five derbies in all competitions going into the match, but it was Inter who would final come out on top in this classic encounter.

Hernán Crespo headed home from a set piece to open the scoring, before Dejan Stankovi? drilled the ball into top corner from outside the area to double the lead.

Zlatan Ibrahimovi? then squeezed the ball home past Dida, shortly after the interval, for Inter’s third, but Clarence Seedorf pulled a goal back for the Rossoneri to give Milan hope. 

Marco Materazzi added a fourth for Inter before further goals from Alberto Gilardino and Kaka reduced the deficit for Il Diavolo, however I Nerazzurri were able to hold for the win.

4. Inter 4-2 AC Milan (2012)

Diego Milito opened the scoring of the six-goal thriller for Inter in the 14th minute, but two strikes in quick succession either side of the break from Zlatan Ibrahimovi?, against his former side, ensured Milan had the lead.

Milito then netted twice from the penalty-spot to complete his hat-trick, turning the game on its head and putting the Nerazzurri in front, before Maicon added a fourth late on to seal the victory.

3. AC Milan 2-2 Inter (2016)

This encounter was then-head coach Stefano Pioli’s first Milan derby in charge of Inter. His side were dominant early on and created several good opportunities, but fell behind three minutes before the interval, when Suso cut inside to curl home into the bottom corner – against the run of play.

Seven minutes after restart, Il Biscione levelled the scores through Antonio Candreva, who rifled the ball past Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Pioli’s side were barely level for six minutes, however, as Suso added his second of the match to regain Milan’s lead, but in the 92nd minute, Ivan Periši? tapped in from close range, to salvage a well earned point.

2. Inter 2-2 AC Milan (April 2017)

The encounter for Milan, was their first since the unveiling of their new Chinese chairman Yonghong Li, who was appointed as Silvio Berlusconi’s successor.

His new side didn’t get off to the best of starts however, as the Rossoneri conceded twice in an eight minute spell, following strikes from Antonio Candreva and Inter skipper Mauro Icardi, who tapped in just before half time to give Il Biscione a two goal cushion.

In the 83rd minute, Il Diavolo pulled a goal back when Alessio Romagnoli poked home via deflection, following a corner.

The goal looked to have given the side hope and deep into injury time, they drew level when another set piece proved to be the undoing of the Inter defence. The delivery was flicked on by Carlos Bacca and into the path of Cristián Zapata, who fired home the loose ball off the underside of the bar.

1. Inter 3-2 AC Milan (October 2017)

Inter required a victory to close the gap on then-leaders Napoli, and they got off to the perfect start when skipper Mauro Icardi latched onto Antonio Candreva’s cross to guide the ball home for La Beneamata.

Milan improved considerably during the second half and drew level through a trademark Suso goal in the 56th minute, cutting inside to curl home past Samir Handanovi?.

However the Rossoneri were level for barely seven minutes, as Icardi met Ivan Periši?’s cross to volley home and regain the lead for the Nerazzurri.

The match took another twist when Giacomo Bonaventura’s strike from a Fabio Borini cross ricocheted in off Handanovi?, via the post.

The game was heading towards a stalemate until Il Biscione were awarded a controversial penalty in the 90th minute, when Ricardo Rodríguez was penalised for a foul on Danilo D’Ambrosio, following a corner.

Icardi stepped up to send Gianluigi Donnarumma the wrong way and find the net, completing his hat-trick and sealing a 3-2 victory.


4 Key Battles That Could Decide Inter’s Serie A Clash with AC Milan on Sunday

Inter face AC Milan at the San Siro on Sunday in a Milan derby which is set to deliver an intriguing gauge of where each club stands in their respective developments and attempts to return to the top of Italian football.

As has become the case in recent years, both Milan giants trail Juventus and Napoli in the Serie A table as the San Siro pair seek to reclaim their dominance in Italy with some degree of struggle.

Inter continue to go the closer out of the two, with Luciano Spalletti’s side third in the current standings and eight points adrift of champions Juve, whilst AC Milan are some way adrift in 10th. With local supremacy just one of the subplots involved in Sunday’s derby, here is a look at four key clashes which could decide this colossal encounter…

1. Radja Nainggolan vs. Franck Kessie

With a derby of such stature always likely to be contested with high intensity, the ability of each side to assert their power and authority in the middle of the park will be key.

Radja Nainggolan is the powerhouse of Inter’s midfield and the Belgian will look to carry the fight to Milan with his trademark combative style.

Key to matching the advances of Nainggolan on Milan’s side will be midfielder Franck Kessie. The Ivory Coast international is just 21 years old, but his dynamism and energy is key to Milan’s high intensity approach in any match.

The battle for power in the middle of the park will be contested primarily between these two and will arguably be the most intriguing battle of Sunday’s derby.

2. Mauro Icardi vs. Alessio Romagnoli

With Mauro Icardi beginning the season in typically red-hot form, the Argentine striker is undoubtedly the main danger man to watch out for at the San Siro, with three goals already to his name.

The Inter captain has also carried his electric form over to the Champions League for his side with two goals in two games, and AC Milan must seek to shackle the Argentine talisman if they are to shut out Inter’s main goal scoring threat.

As club captain and leader of Milan’s defence, Alessio Romagnoli must assume primary responsibility from central defence in keeping Icardi quiet and limiting the kind of space which the Inter forward can run into and exploit to devastating effect.

3. Milan Skriniar vs. Gonzalo Higuain

Whilst Icardi is the biggest attacking threat set to be posed by Inter, his compatriot Gonzalo Higuain is equally capable of doing similar levels of damage for Milan.

Gattuso’s Argentine hitman is in comparatively hot form this season to that of Icardi, with Higuain having bagged four goals in his first five Serie A appearances for his new side.

The 30-year-old, on loan from Juventus, has also found the net twice in Milan’s first two Europa League games this term, and as Inter’s most consistent presence in central defence, Milan Skriniar must step up on Sunday to halt the in-form Higuain.

4. Kwadwo Asamoah vs. Suso

With Asamoah still settling into Inter’s back line as a versatile left back option following his summer move from Juventus, Milan could look to exploit the defensive deficiencies of a player who is primarily a midfielder by trade.

Suso plays with creative purpose and trickery down Milan’s right flank which make him a handful for even the most accomplished full back.

The former Juve star must maintain his defensive discipline and ensure that he tracks the runs of Suso down Milan’s right-hand side when Asamoah marauds forward.


Picking a Combined XI of Inter & AC Milan Players Ahead of Sunday’s Serie A Meeting

Inter take on AC Milan on Sunday in a highly anticipated Milan derby between two fallen giants looking to rise to the summit of Serie A once more.

Both Inter and AC Milan have been in a period of continual transition over the past couple of years, with both sides experiencing a number of changes on and off the field.

Sunday’s encounter serves up an intriguing barometer of where both sides are in their respective developments this term, with the local rivals competing as much as ever in the race to catch the all-conquering Juventus.

Luciano Spalletti has brought relative consistency to Inter of late, whilst Gennaro Gattuso has finally begun to re-establish an identity at Milan as head coach of the club he knows so well. With a number of stars also set to take centre stage on the pitch, here is a combined XI of the best players from each side…

1. Samir Handanovic

Though Milan’s Gianluigi Donnarumma has rapidly established himself as the brightest young goalkeeper in Italian football, Inter’s Handanovic has established himself as one of the finest goalkeepers on the continent over a number of years.

Now 34, the veteran Slovenian has been one of the most consistently high performing shot stoppers in Serie A for both Udinese and Inter, having amassed 408 domestic appearances between his spells with both clubs, and has established an admirable level of consistency.

Whilst Donnarumma remains very much a raw and occasionally error-prone talent, Handanovic is very much the complete goalkeeper and finished article, and remains one of Inter’s most important players.

2. Sime Vrsaljko

Though Davide Calabria is one of the most promising young full backs in Europe, like Donnarumma, he is far from the finished article and requires more fine tuning under the guidance of Gattuso in order to become a truly top performer for Milan.

Meanwhile, Inter’s Sime Vrsaljko has come to define the role of the modern full back in recent times. Following a greatly successful spell with parent club Atletico Madrid, the right back went on to star for Croatia as his nation reached the World Cup final.

Now on loan at Inter, Spalletti’s side have gained the services of one of Europe’s finest modern right backs in the 26-year-old, who has really strengthened Inter’s back line following the expiry of Joao Cancelo’s loan move and eventual move to rivals Juventus.

3. Milan Skriniar

Slovakian central defender Skriniar has rapidly emerged as one of the most highly rated central defenders in Europe since his move from Sampdoria to Inter in 2017.

A highly impressive debut season for the San Siro side last term saw Skriniar linked with a host of European heavyweights including Manchester United during the summer, just one year on from signing for the Nerazzurri.

Still just 23, the imposing centre half matches his physical presence with strong technical ability and is one of Inter’s most valuable assets, not least in his importance to their defensive solidarity.

4. Alessio Romagnoli

Whilst Stefan de Vrij is still settling into life at Inter following his controversial move to the San Siro from Lazio, Alessio Romagnoli has become one of few pillars of stability for city rivals Milan.

The 23-year-old plays with a maturity and level of experience beyond his years which has enabled him to become the loyal servant and club captain that Gattuso’s side were in desperate need of following another summer overhaul which saw the exit of Leonardo Bonucci.

Defensively astute with a left foot to offer strong balance to the back line and the all-round authority of a natural leader, Romagnoli is an indispensable figure for his side.

5. Ricardo Rodriguez

While Kwadwo Asamoah is doing a decent job and continuing to use his versatility to good effect in bedding in as Inter’s first choice left back following his summer move from Juventus, there are few better in the position than Milan’s Ricardo Rodriguez.

The Swiss international has become renowned around Europe for his quality control and delivery of the ball when roaming forward, while maintaining a distinct defensive discipline.

Few are able to deliver a better ball from open play or from a set piece than Rodriguez, and his all-round ability as a complete modern full back make his inclusion a necessity.

6. Suso

Having failed to make a true mark on the Premier League for Liverpool, Suso has become one of Serie A’s standout players with Milan. His performances have led the tricky wide attacker to be the constant source of transfer speculation and interest around Europe.

A diminutive wide man, Suso has the ability to unlock any defence with his elusive movement and creative abilities on the right wing. 

Now 24 and an integral part of Gattuso’s plans at the San Siro, Suso has the ideal platform on which to shine and cement his status as one of the finest attacking players on the continent.

7. Franck Kessie

The unexpected star of a largely under-performing Milan side last season, Kessie established himself as a key figure in the engine room for Gattuso’s side.

Still on loan at the San Siro from Atalanta, the Ivorian Coast international’s power and dynamism are a central feature of his side’s operations in delivering the kind of high energy and intensity in matches which Gattuso demands from his team.

Still only 21, Kessie appears to be growing ever more in stature for Milan and appears set for an even bigger future as one of the finest young central midfielders in Europe.

8. Radja Nainggolan

Few footballers of the modern day are more distinctively recognisable than Radja Nainggolan through the uniquely powerful and impassioned approach.

Now 30, the midfield powerhouse has been omitted from Roberto Martinez’s recent squads for the Belgium national team, including from the side which reached the World Cup semi-finals during the summer, but Nainggolan remains an immense figure in Serie A.

Having joined Inter from domestic rivals Roma in the summer, there was a real sense that the Nerazzurri had pulled off a major coup in securing Nainggolan’s services, and the Belgian has become immediately as integral for his new side as he was with such distinction for Roma.

9. Ivan Perisic

The definitive workhorse and tireless runner for club and country, Perisic’s already lofty stock was raised all the more with some standout performances for Croatia as the winger hauled his side to the World Cup final during the summer with some truly heroic displays.

Another who has been consistently linked with a move to some of Europe’s finest over recent years, not least as the kind of hard-working team player that Jose Mourinho craves at Manchester United, Perisic remains an integral figure for Inter.

Perisic’s unique combination of technical brilliance and a never say die work ethic mean that the Croatian winger would likely get into any side in Europe.

10. Gonzalo Higuain

A combination of age and the emergence of new stars around him has seen Higuain fall out of favour for both Argentina and Juventus. 

However, his loan move to Milan has handed the forward yet another new start and a fresh environment in which to re-instate his status as one of Europe’s top marksmen.

The former Real Madrid hitman has already established his seniority in the Milan striking ranks and an integral importance for his new side, scoring four goals in his first five Serie A matches for the Rossoneri. Higuain has also hit two goals in two Europa League outings for Gattuso’s side this term.

11. Mauro Icardi

Continuing the trend of iconic Argentine superstars for Inter from where Javier Zanetti, Diego Milito and others left off, Mauro Icardi has assumed the role as Inter’s captain and talisman with ever-increasing aplomb.

Still just 25, Icardi has become the focal point not only for Luciano Spalletti’s team, but for Inter as a club. The Argentinian has seized his role of importance for his club with a remarkable streak of goal scoring consistency and all-round quality in recent years.

Icardi has registered three goals in his first five Serie A appearances this season, whilst his record of two goals from Inter’s first two Champions League games this term further establishes his status as not only one of the best forwards in Italy, but as one of Europe’s elite.