Italian champions Inter confirmed they are the team to beat in Serie A with a 4-0 win against Milan in tonight’s Derby della Madonnina.
Tonight for the first time in history an official Milan derby was played in August. It turned out to be an emphatic win for Inter, who earned a fully deserved 4-0 triumph, even though Milan played with ten men from the end of the first half following Gennaro Gattuso’s sending off.
The match was intense from the start, with Milan looking the slightly better side early on. The first dangerous moment came in the 6th minute, when new Inter signing Wesley Sneijder fired a great shot from distance that was tipped away by goalkeeper Marco Storari.
Four minutes later, the Rossoneri responded, as Alexandre Pato received the ball from Marco Borriello and tried a shot, which was well blocked by Walter Samuel.
Two minutes after that, Ronaldinho had a chance as on a counterattack he tried a first-time shot on a back-pass by Pato, but he sent it well over the bar.
It was a good spell for Milan, and in the 13th minute Gianluca Zambrotta played it to Ronaldinho, who sent in a dangerous cross-shot that Julio Cesar failed to hold, and Borriello had a chance to tap it in but could not find his footing.
After a slower spell midway through the first half, Inter suddenly took the lead with a great move in the 28th minute. Samuel Eto’o played it first time to Diego Milito, who sent Thiago Motta clear through on goal and the Brazilian midfielder curled it past Storari to make it 1-0 Inter.
Six minutes later, Inter had a chance to double their lead as Eto’o was fouled in the area by Gennaro Gattuso as he tried to finalise a quick counterattack, and the referee pointed to the spot. In fact, the midfielder should probably have been sent off as the striker was alone in front of goal, but the ref only gave a yellow card. Milito stepped up to take the penalty, and confidently beat Storari to give the Nerazzurri a 2-0 lead.
‘Rino’ did get himself sent off in the 38th minute, just moments before he was to be replaced by Clarence Seedorf, as he fouled Sneijder and received his second yellow card, leaving Milan behind with ten men.
Inter didn’t take long to take advantage of their numerical advantage, and in the first minute of stoppage time Maicon finalised a nice one-two with Milito with a clinical finish to make it 3-0 to the ‘visitors’ just before the break.
During half time, Milan coach Leonardo decided to bring in Seedorf and Massimo Ambrosini for Borriello and Flamini respectively.
Inter controlled the match with ease in the early stages of the second half, and Maicon threatened to get his second in the 53rd minute, when he made a dangerous run and fired a shot on goal that whizzed past the post.
Three minutes later, the impressive Sneijder turned around and fired a shot from 30 meters, which went just over the crossbar.
Just after the hour mark, Inter had the ball in the net again but Eto’o’s header didn’t count as the Cameroonian was in an offisde position.
In the 68th minute, Jose Mourinho’s men did find a fourth goal, as Dejan Stankovic unleashed one of his trademark shots from distance that found its way to the top corner of the goal.
Two minutes later, substitute Klaas Jan Huntelaar wasted a good chance to get a consolation goal for the Rossoneri, as his shot from inside the area was straight at Julio Cesar.
Inter continued to create danger for the home side’s defence, and in the 75th minute Eto’o’s low shot went just past the post.
The final half-chance for a disappointing Milan side came in the 87th minute, when Huntelaar controlled the ball in the air on a pass by Andrea Pirlo and fired a shot which was saved by Julio Cesar.