By Jerry Mancini.
The first meeting between Inter Milan and AC Milan this season was a disappointment but this second edition of the Derby della Madonnina met expectations. Inter trailed 2-0 at half time yet managed to come back in the second half to win 4-2 against Milan.
“It was a special night, that’s for sure. The first half saw us in real difficulty, perhaps more than we’ve ever been this season, and there was the risk of a hammering,” Antonio Conte told Sky Sport Italia.
“Instead, we did well to get the balance back, to understand where we had to improve, to have faith in what we were doing and the credit goes to these lads.
“Aside from the result, I am happy to see them resist under blows and turn it around, as that means they are preparing for something truly important.”
The first half showcased a brilliant performance by the Rossoneri as they controlled most of the possession and created many scoring chances.
Ante Rebic opened the scoring before Zlatan Ibrahimovic extended the lead to 2-0 before half time.
In the second half, Conte had his men prepared as they came out strong.
Less than ten minutes into the half, Marcelo Brozovic scored to trim the lead to one goal. Antonio Candreva’s shot initially went out off Theo Hernandez which was redirected to Brozovic. The midfielder took advantage of the open space that was given to him and his shot beat Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Minutes later, Inter were on the attack once again and Matias Vecino scored to tie the game at 2-2. With a quarter of the match still to be played, Stefan De Vrij gave the Nerazzurri the lead. The defender scored a nice header off a corner kick from Candreva which was delivered nicely into the box.
The Rossoneri came close to tying the match right before injury time as Ibrahimovic headed a shot off the post.
In added time, Inter sealed the victory as Romelu Lukaku was awarded for his hard work in this match. The striker was left unmarked and scored a header from a pass sent into the box from Victor Moses.
“It’s difficult to explain what happened,” Ibrahimovic told Sky Sport Italia.
“At half-time we told ourselves, the first 15 minutes going back out there will be crucial, and in that 15-minute spell, we conceded two goals.
“We stopped playing, the team stopped believing, we stopped pressing, didn’t pass it around enough. From the equaliser onwards, everything collapsed.
“I think a lot of it is down to experience because you must know how to control a game at 2-0 up, not just winning at the end.
“It’s strange because our first was practically perfect. I expected more from Inter and the first half performance did not look like a team worthy of second place. They did after the break.”
Milan will be disappointed that they let three points slip away after a strong start to the game. As for Inter, they have regained first place after Juventus lost this weekend against Hellas Verona.