Fashionable – Milan v Inter




To many, the city of Milan, the capital of the northern region of Lombardy, might seem brusque, businesslike and determinedly unItalian at least compared to many other major Italian cities.  

While ‘Milan earns Rome spends’ so the cliche goes.  This is a city where commerce and fashion are kings with some of the world’s most famous designer brands are headquartered in Milan.

In sporting terms, two of the biggest brands in world football exist side by side in the city, namely AC Milan and Internazionale.

The are both huge clubs – massive institutions and both are successful as the other.

Both sides continue to share the majestic ;Giuseppe Meazza; San Siro in the west of the city some distance from the compact historic center.  The core of Milan is based around its shopping streets and the inspirational Piazza Duomo, a structure that took 600 years to fully complete.

Like the Duomo, the San Siro has a spectrum of complex architectural styles.  

On the 8th June 1990, the Fourteenth FIFA World Cup kicked off here between Argentina and Cameroon.  

By then it had a unique roof and was distinctive for its cylindrical ‘candy twist’ towers which stand at each corner. These act as ramps to enable fans to climb the sky reaching heights of the upper tiers.

Today it is one of the most visited stadiums in Europe standing alongside the Nou Camp for its capacity and unique rectangular panorama feel.  It continues to host Champions League finals the most recent being the Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid final of 2016.

Its pitch is up close and personal with the stands giving the stadium an intimacy that few others can match.  Noise from the home ultra groupings tends to boom and smoke from Pyro tends to hang around the air amongst the Milanese mist.

On this particular derby night, things were no different.

In the build up to the evening kick off the rain crashed down for hours.  

The scene outside would be one of misery to most but such was the anticipation you could hardly say that the weather was dampening spirits among the fans.

Outside the fans mixed but Milanese dominated as expected given they were the home team.

Inter Milan, amidst a serious crisis on and off the field, are a team in transition and it may be some time before they return to the top of Serie A.  AC Milan, for so long a top 4 side and regular Champions League qualifiers, are spending the season not even in European competition.  

But they are a team full of optimism at least when compared to the negativity that seemingly surrounds Inter.

AC Milan was welcomed onto the field of play by a huge spectacular choreography among the home fans.   The Milan fans on the Curva paid tribute to departing owner Silvio Berlusconi the former Italian Prime Minister whose era at the helm of the club witnessed eight Serie A titles and five European Cups.

Amongst the Inter fans, the scene was equally spectacular if a little more intensive.  Colour coded bibs in blue, black, red and yellow were handed out and worn. Amongst that were blue, white and black smoke bombs, flashing flares, flags and a range of aggressively orchestrated chants which gave voice to the 10,000 ‘visiting’ fans.

Despite recent problems, Inter started the brighter of the two sides, with Perisic having a couple of chances.  The visitor’s midfield then lost some bite when Gary Medel was withdrawn hurt.

Then against the run of play, at the end of a counter-attack orchestrated by Bonaventura, Suso cut inside from the right to beat Samir Handanovic with a neat finish.

The noise was explosive.

HT: 1-0

At half time the Inter fans embarked on yet another choreography refusing to allow the stoppage or the rain to dampen spirits.

When play eventually resumed Milan pushed hard for a second goal to really knock Inter’s resolve. Inter through Candreva did promptly dragged them back into the contest with a screamer from 25 yards. AC Milan players had lost focus contesting the awarding of a throw-in.

The celebrations were short as Carlos Bacca and Suso combined and the little known Spaniard beat Handanovic to put back in front.

The noise differences in the night sky were unlike anything you can get anywhere such is the shape and feel of the San Siro.

Icardi, the young Inter captain who has fallen out with Inter fans twice this season, missed a clear cut chance to redeem himself when sticking a chance wide.

The Croatian Perisic, who missed so many chances during the game, took matters into his own hands some two minutes into stoppage time. With Handanovic up and causing panic in the box Murillo’s header from a corner put the ball on a plate for Perisic who slammed it into an empty net.

With Frank De Boer leaving behind one big sorry tactical mess and the new Chinese owners expressing worrying concerns at results that leave Inter mid-table, this was a morale-boosting point for the new coach of a struggling Nerazzurri side.

Milan do look a much stronger side to the one that finished the previous Serie A season in 7th place.

The giant Donnarumma still a teenager gives the defense a confidence and security with his saves and effective distribution. Moreover, at such tender years, he offers the Italian national team huge optimism for the next 20 years between the national team sticks whenever or if ever Buffon decides to retire.

Off the field, this match was a delight in the stands.  

Both ends offered unending support, noise, color and enthusiasm to both teams although it was the Inter fans who arguably enjoyed the draw most given the drama of the final minutes.

FT: 2-2

AC Milan: Donnarumma, Abate, Gómez, Paletta, De SciglioKuckaLocatelli, Bonaventura, Fernández Saez, Bacca, Niang

Inter Milan: Handanovic, D’Ambrosio, Medel, Miranda, AnsaldiBrozovic, KondogbiaCandreva, João Mário, PerisicIcardi

Referee: Paolo Tagliavento