AC Milan 1-1 Inter Milan: Honours even in Derby della Madonnina
Joel Obi’s second-half equaliser was enough to earn Inter Milan a point as two of Italy’s greats, Pippo Inzaghi and Roberto Mancini faced each other for the first time as managers.
A wonder goal midway through the first half was enough to give Inzaghi’s men the lead going in to half time. However, Inter battled back and equalised through Joel Obi 15 minutes in to the second half.
Zdravko Kuzmanovic told Sky Sports: “Inter needed a night like this. We didn’t communicate well at all, but in the second half we played a great match.
“We did well on the pitch, we were compact defensively and we were always ready to counter attack. Inter has to aim high, especially with our new manager. Obi? He deserved it (the goal) completely, my regards go to him.”
Both Milan clubs have struggled in the Serie A of late, and this season is no different. Milan started the game in eighth, just one point above Inter in ninth.
Mancini returned to Inter for a second spell, picking up eight trophies in four seasons. The Nerazzurri have struggled to score of late which is what ultimately cost Walter Mazzarri his job, with just 10 goals in the past nine games, after putting seven past Sassuolo on the second match day.
Previous encounters has seen just five goals scored in the previous four matches between the two sides, with neither team managing to score more than once in those fixtures.
Inter looked like a different side under the 49-year old Italian. Within the opening five minutes of the 213th Derby della Madonnina Inter pressed Milan high up the pitch, a sense of urgency from Inter as they looked to take an early lead.
Mauro Icardi looked to score his eighth of the season as a stray pass from Sulley Muntari hit the Argentinian who was through on goal before Diego Lopez smothered the ball to safety.
Jeremy Menez scored the only goal of the first half after 22 minutes following a well-executed counter-attack from the Rossoneri. The ball fell to Stephen El Shaarawy on the right-flank, whose cross found Menez and the Frenchman hit the ball first time beyond Samir Handanovic.
The opening goal seemed to have taken the intensity out of the derby as Inter could not really carve out any real opportunity, to the disgust of Mancini who was barking orders from the sideline – as they went in to the break a goal down.
Both sides started the second half like they did the first – with high intensity, putting their opponents under pressure.
Lopez was called in to action for the fourth time and the Spaniard showed why he’s number one ahead of Andre Agazzi. The Milan goalkeeper got down low to deny Mateo Kovacic an equaliser 10 minutes after the restart.
Persistence paid off for Inter as Michael Essien failed to clear his lines, the ball fell to Joel Obi on the edge of the box and the Nigerian found the bottom corner, out of Lopez’ reach.
El Shawaary had a chance 15 minutes from time for Milan, but the Italian could only find the crossbar as Inzaghi looks away in disgust – the former Milan player would have surely put that away.
Straight up the other end, Fredy Guarin’s cross found Icardi who took the ball on first time, unleashing a right-footed volley, which struck the outside of Lopez’ post.
The result means Inter remain in ninth, on 17 points whilst their counterparts move up to seventh after Udinese drew 1-1 to Chievo Verona earlier today.
AC Milan XI: Diego Lopez; Rami, Zapata, Mexes, De Sciglio; Bonaventura, Essien, Muntari, El Shaarawy; Menez; Torres.
Inter Milan XI: Handanovic; Nagatomo, Ranocchia, Juan Jesus, Dodò; Guarin, Kuzmanovic, Obi; Kovacic; Icardi, Palacio