Third 1-0: Milan restarts. Simone never changes Inter. Atalanta, Rome, Lazio for the Champions League points
Do you want to see that the much-mistreated Allegri finally makes school? To get Milan out of the crisis, Pioli seems to have taken Max as a model: a three-man defense so that there is greater density behind it, more ability and everyone’s desire to suffer, a little luck (palo-Tatarusanu-palo- outside, creepy stuff). And, of course, the legendary 1-0, good for taking victory away from Monza. Not the first 1-0 for the Rossoneri, but even the third in a row after those against Turin and Tottenham. No longer a case, therefore, but a rule.
And on the other hand, if the Italian champion coach intended to re-emerge, something had to change right back there, given the number of goals conceded by his Milan until last week: as many as 30 in the first 21 league days, many more than the Lecce, for example. You can’t hope to go to the Champions League when you defend like that.
Who knows if Pioli would be angry like Allegri if they told him that he has become the Rossoneri stand-in for his Juventus colleague. Perhaps he would limit himself to pointing out that he is more passionate about cycling than horse racing and doesn’t know what his short muzzle is. The fact is that Milan – although it is decidedly uglier than last season – is recovering a better position in the standings, as well as dreaming of the quarter-finals in the Champions League. What he can’t find, or rather find, is De Ketelaere, the acclaimed failure of the Rossoneri summer market. The boy is awkward in his movements, cumbersome, slow, and even in Monza he missed the goal that-who knows-could have unblocked him. The feeling is that it’s not just a psychological issue, but also athletic and perhaps technical. He seems uncomfortable in every play, always late, yet he doesn’t travel at a frenetic pace like in the Premier League.
Even Lukaku seems to have been inspired by Allegri in that gesture he showed at San Siro after scoring the penalty to make it 1-0 against Udinese. The hand passed on his forehead recalled Max’s “fiuuu” after having escaped, and in fact the Belgian center forward had just risked a lot by kicking badly from the penalty spot and favoring Silvestri’s save. Luckily for him, they made him shoot the penalty again and he cornered him. But it wasn’t enough to pave the way for Inter to victory over Udinese, indeed the Nerazzurri had to suffer a lot to take the three points. Inzaghi’s team seems tailor-made for the coach: he’s not wrong when it comes to winning a national cup, and in fact in two seasons he has brought home three and is in the running to win the fourth, but is in constant trouble in the league.
The trouble is that the Italian Cups and the Italian Super Cups are not enough for Inter, the history of the club – combined with the strength of the staff – imposes another path in the league: a winning path. Against Udinese, Inzaghi rested quite a few starters: not only Onana but also Skriniar, Calhanoglu, Lautaro. Too many? Maybe, but this isn’t the main problem, if anything it’s Simone’s inability to change the score, to shuffle the cards, to surprise, to try new paths even just for a piece of the game. Never a variation on the theme, always and only 3-5-2 (he fell in love with it in a Lazio-Palermo 6-2 in 2017 and has never, ever, abandoned it since then).
In a thousand sufferings, Milan and Inter still took their three points. Steps forward towards the Champions League, waiting for the opponents to try to respond today: Atalanta and Rome at home with Lecce and Verona, Lazio in Salerno against the deb Paulo Sousa. Sarri risks more, but Mourinho is also coming from a tiring cup Thursday. Can a 1-0 score be enough to have a peaceful Sunday?
February 19, 2023 (change February 19, 2023 | 00:34)
© REPRODUCTION RESERVED