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Inter Milan Still the Indisputable Dominant Force of Serie A

Posted by Marzia Hazra Wednesday, January 27, 2022

2008-09 scudetto winners celebrate at the San SiroThe expectations ahead of the second “Derby della Madonnina” of the season were sky-high. For once in a long time the traditional derby was not just about pride and prestige, but this time there was also three vital points at stake. Not only had Inter Milan been struggling as of lately with under par performances against Siena and Bari, but AC Milan had been showcasing a brilliant run of form and was coming to pose a genuine threat on the current champions title aspirations. On top of that, Leonardo’s men were seeking revenge for the 4-0 humiliation at the start of the season.

However, after referee Gianluca Rocchi blew the final whistle on Sunday evening, Inter had all but killed off the competition. Not only did the Nerazzurri collect a 2-0 victory, but they had overshadowed their rivals on every department with a brilliant José Mourinho at the helm.

Although some may say that the champions won the derby due to individual errors, such as Ignazio Abate’s misplaced header as Diego Milito opened the scoring instead, no one can take away the tactical awareness, impeccable organization, wonderful teamwork and sheer hunger the players put on display.

In other words; Inter were superior.

The “home side” took command early on in the game and broke the deadlock through Milito on 10 minutes. Mourinho’s men went on to dominate until Wesley Sneijder’s straight red card around the half hour mark. After the Dutchman’s dismissal, the visitors were allowed into the game as Inter fell back to defend their slim lead while going on the counter when the possibility presented itself.

Despite their numerical advantage, the Rossoneri were having a hard time creating any kind of dangers. Only Ronaldinho and Beckham posed any kind of threat up front, but with Marco Borriello utterly isolated at the top, Julio Cesar had a fairly slow first half.

Despite being under siege in beginning of the second half, where Julio Cesar made some truly wonderful saves, Goran Pandev managed to double the score against the run of the play with a beautiful free kick goal Nelson Didá had misjudged miserably. Milan were handed a life-line in the stoppages as Lucio handled the ball - leaving Inter to finish the game with only nine men - but once again the Inter shotstopper made a crucial save by denying Ronaldinho from the spot.

However, one can’t help but to think that the outcome of the game may have been entirely different had Milan been given a penalty after Maicon’s handling offence while the scoreline was still 1-0 to Inter.

The outcome of high-profile clashes are rarely decided by run of form, but often determined by factors such as desire, determination and hunger - and on Sunday evening Inter showcased that in abundance. Despite having won four Scudetti on the trot (and one in the courtroom), the hunger for more league titles hasn’t ceased.

Milan had the chance to close in on their rivals and make a genuine run for the title, but instead they ended up paying for their shortcomings - telling Leonardo there is still a lot of work to be done.

Inter, on the other hand, showcased which team is the strongest in the Italian Peninsula and by the looks of things the club seem well on their way to adding yet another Scudetto to their prize cabinet.

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