Fredy Guarin scored the decisive goal as Inter Milan defeated AC Milan 1-0 on Sunday at the San Siro in the 215th Derby della Madonnina. Following a goalless first half, Guarin scored the winner in the 58th minute to decide the first Milan derby of this season. Mario Balotelli, making his second debut for Milan, entered as a substitute but could not find an equalizer despite making a positive impact. The victory maintained Inter’s perfect start to the campaign. Roberto Mancini’s side are the only team in Italy with a hundred percent record and top the table with nine points, two ahead of Chievo Verona. Milan, meanwhile, suffered their second loss in three matches and are currently 12th with three points. THT analyses few talking points from Intera s win last night.
Inter Milan are genuine title challengers
Three games a three wins, Roberto Mancini couldn’t have asked for much more before the start of the season. After beating rivals Milan on Sunday, Inter sit pretty with nine points and a 100 percent record. Stevan Jovetic, the club’s marquee signing over the summer, didn’t score this time, but he has netted three times already and looked a constant threat everytime he got the ball last night. The squad is looking strong after a summer of wise investment. Mancini certainly knew where he wants his players to fit into his masterplan. Melo was the player Mancini wanted more than any other this summer as he felt the need to strengthen the middle of the park. Geoffrey Kondogbia arrived as Inter’s third most expensive player; although he was below par last night still his presence caused some problems for Milan in the midfield. The season is long, and Inter will have to keep improving if they are to remain atop the table. The defense looked sloppy at times against Milan, and the Nerazzurri scored just one goal despite creating several chances. Despite all these, Mancini must be pleased with how the season has started.
Decisions taken by Mihajlovic will raise questions .
Milan invested heavily in the transfer market over the summer, but the first three matches of the Serie A season have yielded two defeats and just two goals. At a club like Milan, that means manager Sinisa Mihajlovic will be feeling the heat. Those in charge at the club expect the Rossoneri to win, especially after splashing the cash this summer. Mihajlovic used the international break to assess his options and on Sunday evening he made some strange changes in midfield. Riccardo Montolivo came in for De Jong, providing more stability just in front of the defence and allowing a bit more freedom for Kucka to his right and Giacomo Bonaventura on his left. Keisuke Honda sat in behind Carlos Bacca and Luiz Adriano as the trequartista. Montolivo might have looked bright for most of the match but it was his inability to spot Guarin’s run that ultimately proved decisive.
Introducing Mario Balotelli as a second-half substitute proved a good decision, but perhaps Mihajlovic would have done better to leave Carlos Bacca in the game to partner him up top. Luiz Adriano missed at least two good chances early in the match and would have been a good candidate for a substitution, but Bacca was starting to show sparks of creativity as the game progressed. Mihajlovic’s margin for error will be minimal this season in Milan. After two defeats in three games, the Serbian needs to turn results around sooner rather than later.
It was very hard to ignore Mario Balotellia s return
Milan manager Sinisa Mihajlovic directed some harsh words at Mario Balotelli during the recent international break, questioning the striker’s fitness following a friendly match against Serie C side Mantova FC. However, Balotelli did play on Sunday, and while he might not have been in the best shape of his career, he did impress. Entering as a 62nd-minute substitute for Carlos Bacca, Balotelli quickly created a chance with his first touch of the game, a dangerous free kick. His determination to help set up chances for his team mixed with excellent skill, most notably when he stuck the post from far out with a drilled effort, seemed an unbeatable combination. Balotelli’s play was direct, and he showed all the strength and skill that made him a footballing prodigy once upon a time. Sunday represented a good start and Balotelli can only hope to build on it.