Normally, the Derby Della Madonnina is the biggest in the world, between two giants usually going for it all in Europe and Italy. Times have changed, and although the quality of football wasn’t bad, the lack of something to win made the Inter – AC Milan match somewhat of a dull affair.
Not that Inter are known for their attractive football. Some traditions remain and don’t change. Milan have the style, Inter are a different bunch. Doesn’t matter if the manager is called Mancini, Mourinho or Andrea Stramaccioni, certain traditions aren’t broken. Through the first 45 minutes of the second meeting between the huge rivals, it looked to be the Rossoneri’s night for the first time in quite a while, losing three consecutive league derbies.
Stephen El-Shaarawy and Mario Balotelli are exciting to watch, because of the ying-yang factor, and by simply presenting the attack Italy should play with for potentially the next 7-10 years. El-Shaarawy scored the opening goal, and only Samir Handanovic’s fantastic form (Inter are happy they got rid of Cesar?) kept it at only 1-0.
The second half was a different story. Italian matches always look like great tactical battles instead of individual ones. Maybe it’s just the perception of the football played in the Serie A, or maybe it’s just the way it has been since Helenio Herrera. The Inter midfield trio stopped looking so frightened of doing something with the ball, and the substitution of Esteban Cambiasso, putting in the eventual equalizer, Ezequiel Schelotto, wasn’t a stroke of genius, but it did what it was supposed to.
In the league, things will remain pretty even. Milan still have to play at Juventus, among other matches, and hope that the strength shown by Muntari and Montolivo isn’t just a big-match thing. For Inter, it’ll have to be about overcoming the injury to Diego Milito and bringing in a bit of flair to all the grey areas this team seems to be filled with, causing them to slip recently.