1. It started with a data visualization documenting club spending that went viral, showing that Inter and AC Milan were 7th and 8th in the world in spending, and have spent more than Juventus. The graphic shows how there are different mentalities in spending. Milan recently had their infamous summer where they attempted to purchase an entirely new starting 11. Meanwhile, Juventus show how a Serie A club can spend money and compete globally with smart signings as opposed to throwing money around on names.
  2. That said, the two teams are headed in opposing directions. Milan have won 7 out of 9 matches heading into the derby, with winter signings Lucas Paqueta and Krzysztof Piatek giving the side a new energy. Inter have won just 11 points from 7 matches in 2019. But Gennaro Gattuso remained on guard despite the records, saying that “every derby has its own story.”
  3. Although Spalletti is unbeaten in his three Milan derbies, Inter got knocked out of the Europa League by Eintracht Frankfurt earlier in the week. With rumors spreading, there have been assurances that he will not lose his job regardless of the result.
  4. The tale of the strikers also shows each side’s contrasting fortunes. Piatek has scored six goals in six matches since signing with Milan. Mauro Icardi, on the other hand, was stripped of his captain’s armband and hasn’t played since February while negotiating a new contract.
  5. Both sides line up in a 4-3-3 formation. The midfield battle between Paqueta, Tiemoue Bakayoko, and Franck Kessie against Roberto Gagliardini, Marcelo Brozovic, and Matias Vecino is a fantastic balance of mobility, power, and skill.
  6. Inter get the early goal three minutes into the match off a cross from the right wing. Ivan Perisic hits a back post cross, with Lautaro Martinez smartly heading the ball back across the net for a late running Vecino. There has been no feeling out period considering the pace and tempo.
  7. Inter continue to dominate the match up the middle through Vecino. The Uruguayan is getting too much space in dangerous areas too easily. 
  8. Paqueta brings the match back under somewhat of control for Milan by unleashing a deep shot. He does appear fearless and dynamic in this big match.
  9. The first half of this match comes to a half after a clash of heads from Bakayoko and Gagliardini, with both on the ground. Even after that rest, the match resumes with end-to-end action. Milan are gaining more possession, with Inter countering through Perisic’s direct running.
  10. Brozovic gets the first yellow card of the game 13 minutes in with a challenge on Hakan Calhanoglu. Meanwhile, Milan still have yet to figure out how to stop Vecino’s dynamism in running with the ball through midfield.
  11. As the announcers notice 20 minutes in, Piatek has barely touched the ball this match. Maybe twice total?
  12. Inter have struggled with results in 2019, but this current team makes sense. The midfield 3 are physical, can pass, and are mobile. Their attacking three of Perisic, Martinez, and Politano is direct and pacy with the ball. That is an identity.
  13. Calhanoglu gets a trademark bending shot off, but Samir Handanovic saves.
  14. Speaking of Milan attackers having little impact, Gattuso needs more from Suso cutting into from the right. Then again, Milan are having difficulty in building up play, leaving Suso to get on the ball much deeper than usual.
  15. Likewise, Inter’s right side featuring combination play between Danilo D’Ambrosio and Politano is creating so many crossing opportunities. Milan needs an extra defender on that side.
  16. Skriniar ends the half by almost scoring on a wide open header. Inter could have 2-3 goals by now, and 1-0 is a great result for Milan at half-time considering what it could be. Gattuso’s side needs to do more to up the tempo to change the momentum of the match. They’ve created no turnovers in Inter’s half. 
  17. Paqueta is off at half-time for Samu Castillejo. It’s a surprise substitution, but it shows how far the 21-year-old has to go in learning game management despite the flashes of skill.
  18. The second half begins as the first half finished with Inter on the front foot through Martinez. They get their second goal through a short corner play, with Stefan de Vrij finding space for a header.
  19. The 2-0 lead is more reflective on Inter playing well than Milan struggling. With Inter playing like this, it’s hard to imagine how they’ve struggled in recent matches.
  20. Milan Skriniar is not giving Piatek any space, aggressively tracking him as Piatek moves between the lines. That said, Skriniar fouls Piatek in a dangerous area. Bakayoko gets a goal back out of nothing off the ensuing free kick from Calhanoglu. This match is back on.
  21. Milan have the crowd and the momentum.
  22. Unfortunately for them, Politano gets a penalty off a mazy dribble, cutting inside to his left foot. Martinez buries the penalty. This is a dominant performance from Inter.
  23. Kessie gets subbed off for the width of Andrea Conti.
  24. Milan get their second goal, this time off another free kick situation. Suso hits an unstoppable, in-swinging cross, which somehow lands on Mateo Musacchio’s foot in front of goal. This is some match.
  25. Borja Valero comes on for Brozovic to try to add some control in midfield for Inter.
  26. Suso has been excellent this second half. Piatek almost gets a flick goal. He’s a clever striker but service his way has been lacking.
  27. One more piece of late controversy: Conti initially gets a red card for a challenge on Martinez. After VAR, the ref overturns the red card for a yellow card. It seems bizarre that a player could get sent off, then brought back into the match.
  28. Spalletti, instead, gets sent to the stands for arguing Conti’s yellow card.
  29. Handanovic makes a point blank save on Castillejo in the 91st minute. Again, what a ball from Suso.
  30. After if that previous chance wasn’t enough, D’Ambrosio makes a goal line save on Crutone in the 96th and final minute. The ref blows his whistle.
  31. That was not only one of the best Milan derbies in recent memory, that will surely be one of the matches of the season. The first goal was scored in the 3rd minute, and the match never let off until the 96th. If you were to watch only this match, you would walk away thinking Inter have had the superior season. They counter attacked with intensity and defended enough, barring the two set-piece situations.
  32. For Gattuso, the equation is much simpler. If Piatek and Paqueta were the keys to their revival, the two combined for just 25 touches on the ball. We can chalk that up to Spalletti’s tactics, especially with Vecino running rampant in the first half. But Piatek and Paqueta will learn how to take back control of matches when getting run over as well.
  33. In the bigger picture, Inter lept Milan to 3rd place in Serie A. Even with the loss, Milan remain four points ahead of Roma for 4th. With four guaranteed spots, we may see both Milan clubs return to Champions League next season.