Inter 4-2 AC Milan: 3 standout players from the derby | Serie A 2019-20
In one of the most entertaining clashes across Europe this gameweek, Internazionale were on hand to make a daring comeback and see off a rejuvenated AC Milan. While tempers were expected and goals were forseen, not many people predicted Milan leading by two goals at the end of the first half. More stunning, no one expected that Inter would score three goals to snatch the game back from Milan's tight grasp, and then add one to top it up.
After a good number of chances for both sides in the first half, Milan opened the scoring on the cusp of half time. Zlatan Ibrahimovic's height came in handy for the Rossoneri when he got to the ball before Diego Godin and squared it for Ante Rebic. Rebic was on hand score an easy goal with the keeper too far to get to him.
Barely four minutes after, an AC Milan corner led to the second goal of the night. Franck Kessie met the ball in the air and flicked it back towards Ibrahimovic at the far post. The Swede's header was powerful and on point to take the Rossoneri's goal tally to two.
The second half started as entertainingly as the first half had ended. 51 minutes in, the Nerrazuri pull one back, thanks to quick reflexes by Marcelo Brozovic. Inter surged into the final third, but the resulting shot was deflected kindly into Brozovic's part. The captain wasted no time in slamming a left footed volley into the net.
That was, however, the beginning of Milan's problems, as two minutes later, Inter scored another goal to equalize. Alexis Sanchez drove into the final third and found Matias Vecino who sent his accurate shot beyond Donnarumma's reach and into the back of the net.
The match became quite intense at this point as both sides struggled to find chinks in each other's armour. Milan was clearly finding it a lot more difficult to gain their rythym after they had been stunned into silence with two quick-fire goals.
It took another 17 minutes after their last goal to complete the brilliant comeback. As the Rossoneri struggled to gain a foothold on possession again, the Nerrazuri continued to push for another goal. This time, it was Stefan de Vrij who headed in a brilliantly taken corner by Candreva.
Even after their comeback, Inter were relentless. They continued to maintain pressure on visitors which forced Milan to stay on the defensive, rather than push for a goal. Christian Eriksen smashed the crossbar for Inter, and ten minutes later, in a rare attacking plunge, Ibrahimovic put his chance on the woodwork as well. It was deep into injury time when Romelu Lukaku added another goal to bring Inter's tally to four, and eradicate Milan's chances for a revenge comeback.
Without further ado, let's take a look at three standout players during the derby:
#3 Marcelo Brozovic
The 27-year-old Croatian performed quite brilliantly for the Nerazzuri, and some of the accolades should go to him for inspiring his team to make a fantastic comeback. Antonio Conte certainly drove the squad to push for a result during the half time team talks, but it was the Inter captain that spurred his team on by scoring the first goal.
Hardly putting a foot wrong throughout the game, he was consistent in defence, as well brilliant in attack, and he certainly stood for his team when they needed him the most.
#2 Romelu Lukaku
The former Manchester United man has been in rich vein of form ever since his move to Italy to work under Antonio Conte. He has been consistent for the squad in every game he has played, and this game was no different.
Milan clearly saw him as the main threat, and they managed to put him down for long periods of the game. However, the 26-year-old Belgian finally found his opportunity near the close of the game, and has continued to repay Conte's faith in him.
#1 Zlatan Ibrahimovic
The 38-year-old Swede has successfully aged like fine wine. After his stint in the MLS, Ibra has joined his former Italian outfit, and continues to play at such a remarkable level. In today's derby, he picked up an assist and capped his performance with a goal.
While Milan failed to win the game eventually, the reason for bringing Ibrahimovic back to the Serie A is clear for all to see. He won six aerial duels - the most among every player on the pitch today - in his targetman role, and while his pace has reduced over time, his impact has continued to blossom.
Published 10 Feb 2020, 06:49 IST