AC Milan defeated Inter Milan 3-2 in a thrilling Serie A match at the San Siro on Saturday, with Rafael Leao scoring twice (28′ and 60′) and Olivier Giroud scoring once (54′).
Inter’s Marcelo Brozovic opened the scoring in minute 21, and Edin Dzeko closed the gap in minute 67, but I Nerazzurri couldn’t find an equaliser.
Milan is now second in Serie A with 11 points from five games, while Inter is sixth with 9 points.
Without further ado, here are three things that stood out during the game.
Both Teams Squandered Chances In The First Half, Which Ended 1-1.
Milan started with a 4-2-3-1 formation, while Inter went with their standard 3-5-2. The first half began with both teams launching threatening attacks and creating a few close calls.
Leao was active through the left flank from the start, making a few runs down the flank. Milan’s left back Theo Hernandez reined in his attacking instincts to stay in his own half and prevent Inter’s quick right back Denzel Dumfries from overlapping.
Leao cut in from the left flank once to take a shot that Samir Handanovic saved. Brozovic’s shot from the edge of the penalty box narrowly missed the target at the other end of the field. Then, while attempting to clear Leao’s cross from the left, Alessandro Bastoni almost scored an own goal, but the ball hit the crossbar.
Inter broke the deadlock when Brozovic broke through the middle and received a nice through-pass from Joaquin Correa near the half-way line. The Croatian midfielder slotted home past Mike Maignan with ease.
Milan quickly responded, with Leao finishing neatly into the far corner of the net from inside the penalty box. Leao had received the ball from Sandro Tonali, who had intercepted a poor pass by former Milan player Hakan Calhanoglu. The two teams split the spoils after an exciting first half.
Milan Took The Lead With A Quick 1-2 From Leao And Giroud.
Milan started the second half on a high note, scoring two goals in the space of six minutes. Leao was once again crucial, collecting a throw-in and playing a neat pass to Giroud, who scored with his left foot first time.
After Giroud had played the ball down to him following a long pass, Leao scored his second goal by dodging a couple of Inter defenders. With two goals and an assist, Leao had an outstanding performance in the match.
Those two goals stunned the Nerazzurri, who were facing a second consecutive defeat in the Milan Derby (they lost 1-2 last season). Inter coach Simone Inzaghi reacted immediately by making three substitutions. As Inter desperately tried to recover, Federico Dimarco, Henrik Mkhitaryan, and Edin Dzeko came on for Bastoni, Nicolo Barella, and Correa, respectively.
Inter Cut The Deficit, But Milan Kept Climbing The Serie A Table.
Inter’s substitutions soon paid off, as Dzeko scored his 323rd goal of the season after receiving a cross from the left. Dezeko’s shot had struck the crossbar before going in.
Inter gained momentum after scoring, and they began attacking primarily through the left flank and inside-left channel. Junior Messias, Milan’s right winger, was replaced by Alexis Saelemaekers because he was not contributing much defensively.
Pioli also brought in Brahim Diaz to bolster his midfield. As the game progressed, Milan’s manager introduced Simon Kjaer in place of Davide Calabria to further strengthen the defence.
The Milan players were also successful in slowing down the game by passing a lot among themselves. Inter came close to equalising, but Maignan brilliantly saved a Calhanoglu shot and a Mkhitaryan volley narrowly missed the target.
Milan’s advantage from counter-attacks could have been increased if players like Leao and Divock Origi had been more selfless in their approach. They preferred taking shots to passing the ball to one another. Nonetheless, the Rossoneri maintained their lead to earn three points from a thrilling match.