Inter 2-1 AC Milan – Serie A Live Blog – 15 February 2009
It’s a choice of Serie A football or Dancing on Ice. Football wins every time. The biggest match in the Italian football calendar occurs on Sunday evening, with Joe Mourinho’s champions and current league leaders Inter, against third-placed AC Milan. Daily Soccer Blog has been on hand to report a plethora of goals today, so expect a goalless draw to round off the evening.
AC Milan held the bragging rights after surprising Serie A champions and city rivals Inter with a 1-0 victory earlier in the season. However, it is Inter who lead the table by six clear points, while Milan are playing catch-up in third.
Inter are unbeaten at home this season but the “Special One” Jose Mourinho has struggled against counterpart Carlo Ancelotti. The duo have faced eachother five times, in three friendlies, one European Supercup and one Serie A game and it is Ancelotti who boasts the superior record of three victories and one loss.
David Beckham is expected to play for Milan, but Kaka is ruled out with a foot injury. The match will also be the 56th and final Milan derby for veteran Paolo Maldini. The Milan legend, at 40 years old, is finally calling it a day at the end of the season and a sold-out Giuseppe Meazza stadium will be a fitting end to one of the true legends in the game.
Inter: Julio Cesar, Maicon, Samuel, Chivu, Santon, Zanetti, Cambiasso, Muntari, Stankovic, Ibrahimovic, Adriano.
Subs: Toldo, Cordoba, Maxwell, Figo, Cruz, Vieira, Burdisso.
AC Milan: Abbiati, Zambrotta, Maldini, Kaladze, Jankulovski, Beckham, Pirlo, Ambrosini; Seedorf, Ronaldinho, Pato.
Subs: Dida, Emerson, Inzaghi, Favalli, Senderos, Antonini, Flamini.
Inter: Adriano (29′), Stankovic (43′)
Milan: Pato (71′)
90+3′ Milan desperately try to get the ball forward but their attack comes to an end when the referee blows for a foul on Samuel by Ambrosini.
90+2′ Chivu is booked for some shameless timewasting. He eventually humps the ball upfield but any threat posed by Ibrahimovic and Maicon is snuffed out.
90′ Inzaghi squanders a glorious chance to equalise. He’s sent into the box from a Pato flick and remains onside for once. However, his low shot is well blocked by Julio Cesar who may well have just ensured Inter take all three points from this game.
89′ Milan are giving it one final push. Seedorf blasts one from the edge of the box but it’s defelcted behind for a corner following some neat footwork by Pato.
88′ Vieria, barely on for 10 minutes and sweating profusely, is booked for a foul on Pirlo. Maxwell replaces Muntari for Inter. It’s Mourinho’s final substitution so there will be no cameo for Figo.
86′ Maicon sends in a cross from the right hand side which heads towards goal but Abbiati is wise to it and tips it behind for a corner.
84′ Stankovic is replaced by Argentinian centre back Nicolas Burdisso whose first involvement in the game is to get himself booked.
82′ Inzaghi is flagged for offside again as he heads a Zambrotta cross inches over the bar. He looks Milan’s best bet for an equaliser, as long as he can avoid the linesman’s flag.
80′ Adriano has had enough for one game is replaced by veteran midfield enforcer Patrick Vieria.
79′ Julio Cesar needs to be alert to a sharp effort from Pato but the whistle should have gone for a penalty. Inzaghi was bear hugged to the ground by Chivu but the referee saw otherwise.
78′ Inzaghi crashes in a spectacular volley and peels away to celebrate. However, the whistle had already gone for offside and the game was denied another goal of high quality.
76′ The out-of-sorts Kaladze is replaced by a player you’d love to come on when your already-shaky defence has shipped two goals. Yes, it’s Phillipe Senderos.
75′ This is frenetic stuff from a bunch of 30 and 40-somethings. Ronaldinho does one of his famous step-overs to make Samuel look foolish and plays the ball into the path of goal scorer Pato. The ball is cut out before it reaches him and is cleared away.
73′ Adriano finds someone slower than him in Maldini and beats him for pace. He charges towards goal with the veteran left back in hot pursuit but his effort from a tight angle is beat away expertly by Abbiati.
71′ Goal! Inter 2 Milan 1. Despite being out of the game for long periods Milan are right back in it. Ronaldinho plays in Jankulovski down the left who pulls the ball back across the face of goal for Alexandre Pato to sidefoot in his 13th goal of the season. Game on!
69′ Pato and Seedorf combine to carve through the resolute Inter defence. Seedorf is perhaps guilty of wanting one touch too many and Chivu rushes in to clear the ball behind for a corner. Inter break quickly and a faster player than Adriano may have found themselves one-on-one with the keeper. Abbiati is quick to come out of his area and clear the danger. Cambiasso is booked for hacking at Pirlo.
67′ The marauding Maicon decides to take on a shot himself after a good run but blazes high and wide from the edge of the area. He rushes to get back but needn’t bother. He could walk and back into position faster than his labouring Milan counterparts.
62′ The chances are coming in number for Inter, who are intent on wasting every single one of them. Ibrahimovic threads in a delightful ball to Muntari, who thunders it over the bar under a challenge from Kaladze.
61′ Adriano slips the ball through to Ibrahimovic who strikes it first time towards the top corner. Abbiati is equal to it and turns it behind for a corner. The resulting corner finds Adriano who attempts a spectacular mid-air volley but unfortunately it goes wide.
57′ David Beckham is replaced by the greying Filipo Inzaghi due to a hamstring injury. He may be another Milan player pushing 40, but it’s goals they need and he can certainly provide them.
56′ Maicon is crudely bodychecked by Ambrosini on the edge of the box but successfully pleads with the referee not to send him off, after he had been booked in the first half. Ibrahimovic thunders the free kick straight into the wall and then over the bar from the rebound.
55′ Milan have a great case for a penalty when Ambrosini breaks into the box and is definitely felled by Stankovic, but nothing is given.
54′ Dead ball specialist Pirlo strikes a free kick from distance but it arcs wide and goes behind for a goal kick. Milan are getting back into the game but need to get a goal quickly.
52′ Ronaldinho sends a good ball into the far post but Seedorf can only poorly redirect it across the face of goal rather than get an effort on target. Pato and Zambrotta try to get the ball back into the box but their efforts are dealt with comfortably.
48′ Kaladze makes another dreadful error on the right when he misses a long ball, allowing Ibrahimovic to latch onto it and send the ball across the face of goal. Adriano isn’t fit enough to reach it and it rolls out for a goal kick. Adriano is clearly frustrated by the overhit pass, or perhaps it’s his lack of pace? Damn those hamburgers!
47′ Adriano had the chance to end Milan’s interest in this game when he skipped past a feeble challenge from Kaladze but blasted wide from the edge of the box. It was a dreadful miss with the whole of the goal to aim at and it should be game over for Milan.
46′ Walter Samuel finds himself instantly acquainted with the referee’s notebook after a crude challenge on Pato.
Half Time. Milan are going to have to perform infinitely better if they are to overturn their City rivals and end the remarkable home record which Joe Mourinho smugly discussed before kick off. While the first goal was farcical, the second was sublime. Everything about it was sheer beauty. A perfectly clipped in ball to Ibrahimovic, glanced perfectly into the path of Stankovic who smashed it in with real venom. I don’t care if nothing happens in the second half, I don’t think I’ll see a better goal than that again tonight.
45′ Milan are getting frustrated by their own ineffectiveness. Ambrosini gets booked for a challenge on Maicon and does the same on Adriano merely seconds later. He is lucky to still be on the pitch.
43′ Goal! Inter 2 Milan 0. Inter turn the screw just before half time. Dejan Stankovic dispells the myth he’s a labouring oaf with a well-timed run from an Ibrahimovic flick-on from a free kick and thunders it in, first-time, from 12 yards out. It was an excellent strike which left Abbiati in the Milan goal with no chance.
40′ Ambrosini provides a comedic moment when chasing after an aimless long ball. He fails to stop in time and goes A over T into the advertising hoarding. It’s the stuff You’ve Been Framed thrives on, so get that recording in and earn yourself £500.
37′ Inter break quickly but the lumbering Adriano is slow enough to allow the geriatric Maldini to put in a sliding tackle and end any danger there was.
35′ Ronaldinho picks out Pato who in turn sends it forward to Seedorf. The Dutch international rides one challenge before firing in a low shot which is blocked desperately by Chivu.
29′ Goal! Inter 1 Milan 0 Big boned striker Adriano guides the ball into the back of the net with his arm after he shook off the challenge of Maldini following Maicon’s sweeping cross. How on earth did none of the officials see it? Shocking.
26′ Ronaldinho looks really up for this now and pings one out to Pato on the wing. He cuts inside but the attack fizzles out to nothing.
20′ Ronaldinho bends a cross into the box towards Pato. The Brazilian couldn’t get on the end of it but the ball bounced all over the place and Julio Cesar had to claw it away in the Inter goal.
18′ An unmarked Stankovic ponders on the ball like an 80-year-old rather than hammering the ball from six yards out. His indecision allows Ambrosini, himself no spring chicken, the time to come sliding in from behind to clear the ball behind for a corner.
16′ Penalty shout for Inter when Maicon’s cross looked to be blocked by a hand on the edge of the box but the referee is having none of it.
10′ Walter Samuel misses a corner in front of Abbiati by mere inches, allowing the keeper to punch it clear. It falls to Muntari at the edge of the area who thumps it into orbit.
5′ Muntari fouls Beckham and there is a little bit of afters. The referee decides not to produce any cards. Milan continue down the right but Beckham’s cross is easily cleared.
3′ “Maicon is like a two for the price of one player” chirps the Beeb’s Jon Stevenson, who can’t believe his luck that he’s doing some live commentary. “You get a full back, a winger and a goal scoring centre forward all in one”. So that would be three for the price of one then?
1′ Inter have the first chance of the game before a minute is recorded on the clock. Cambiasso sends a free kick into the Milan box and it is met by the head of the unmarked Ibrahimovic but it’s directed over the bar. It was a great chance and wasted by one of the world’s deadliest strikers.
1′ Milan get the 270th Milan derby underway. It’s an incredible achievement for Paolo Maldini who has featured in almost one fifth of them.
0′ Juventus could only draw with Sampdoria earlier on, a result which means AC Milan would leapfrog them into second if they beat Inter tonight. However, if Inter win, they will go nine points clear of Juve and a whopping 11 ahead of city rivals Milan.
0′ Any punters reading this blog had better get their money down on Inter, but cover the draw for safety, Incredibly, Jose Mourinho has not lost a home match for 109 games. The last time he lost at home was when he was a first-year wetback at Porto and the record continued during his time at Chelsea and now at Inter. Utterly incredible. What odds on a record-ending 1-0 win for AC Milan then?
0′ This is the first (and possibly last) live blog from Serie A. I can’t say I’m a particular fan of Italian football and cannot remember the last time I watched an entire match from start to finish. What’s the point when you already know the score is going to finish 0-0?
A fantastic advert for Italian football. Inter should have been home and dry after going 2-0 up but they allowed Milan back into the game through Pato. Some frenetic defending by the home side and Inzaghi’s habit of straying offside ensured Jose Mourinho beat Carlo Ancelotti for the first time. Breathtaking stuff from start to finish and hopefully more matches will be broadcast by the BBC, who did a decent enough job after some early sound synchronising issues. Serie A looks to be Inter’s to lose as the victory sees them edge nine points clear of second-placed Juventus and of course, Mourinho has now taken charge of 110 home matches without defeat.
Man of the Match
Some excellent performances from Inter, but I’m going to award it to Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He’s not a player who huffs and puffs, but his contributions were sublime this evening. His flick on to Stankovic for the second goal was perfect and he was at the heart of all Inter’s attacks this evening. Honourable mention should also go to Milan striker Pato, who did not deserve to finish on the losing side. It was a shamce Paolo Maldini also finished a loser on his final derby game. However, he even got a standing ovation from the Inter fans as he left the field and that doesn’t happen very often.