Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku starred once again as Inter Milan trashed their arch-rivals AC Milan 3-0 in the Derby della Madonnina at the San Siro.
The combination of Lautaro and Lukaku took only four minutes to create the opening goal of the derby when Achraf Hakimi sent Lukaku through on goal with a delightful pass from his own half, Lukaku’s snapshot was blocked by Simon Kjaer, but the ball fell back on the striker’s feet whose left-footed cross was headed home by Lautaro Martinez.
Milan were constantly on the backfoot due to Inter’s impressive high press and it took the Rossoneri fifteen minutes to create their first chance of the game. Inter found a lot of space in the Milan half during the first 45 minutes with Perisic almost doubling the lead in the 36th minute with a low shot that was well saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma.
After an enthralling first half, Milan started the second half brightly creating three big chances in under 2 minutes only to be denied by some excellent goalkeeping by Samir Handanovic. However, it was Antonio Conte’s men who scored the second goal against the run of play in a brilliant counter-attack started by a lung-bursting run from Hakimi which ended in a second goal for Lautaro Martinez.
Lukaku almost scored the third goal after he was put through on goal by Nicolo Barella but his shot was saved by the Milan keeper. A couple of minutes later the Belgian picked on a loose ball from midfield and ran at the hapless Milan defence to coolly slot past Donnarumma’s goal to further Inter’s lead.
Any hopes of Milan comeback were shattered after they conceded the third goal. Inter maintained their position at the top of the Serie A standings and opened up a four-point gap over their rivals that could be vital in this exciting title race. Let us take a look at how both the teams fared.
Gianluigi Donnarumma: 6/10
Did not have any chance with Lautaro’s header for the first goal. Although the Italian did make a few crucial saves against Lukaku to keep his side in the game, he could not have done much about the other two goals he conceded.
Davide Calabria: 5 /10
Started the half poorly and struggled to cope with Perisic all afternoon. Improved slightly post the break but most of his crosses were blocked by Inter’s defence. Was caught out of position for the second goal.
Simon Kjaer: 4 /10
Did well to block Lukaku’s initial shot however, lost Lautaro for the first goal and got a yellow card for a daft tackle on the Argentine in the 11th min. The Dane was constantly playing catch-up with the diminutive striker in the first half. Looked shaky throughout the game, not his finest performance.
Alessio Romagnoli: 3.5 /10
The day everyone finally accepts that Romagnoli is and never will be a top defender.
Torn apart by Lukaku and Lautaro today #MILINT
— Carlo Garganese (@carlogarganese) February 21, 2021
Was given the strenuous task of marking Lukaku and he failed miserably, Lukaku easily got the better of the Milan captain throughout the game as the Italian looked out of pace against the Belgian. Romagnoli let Lukaku go past him with relative ease for the opener and could have done better to close down the striker for the third goal. Another poor performance by the Italian.
Theo Hernandez: 5/10
Scuffed his shot wide in the first half and struggled to get any momentum going for him in attack. Hakimi got the better of him on a few occasions as he struggled defensively.
Sandro Tonali: 5.5/10
Struggled to orchestrate in the first half as Inter’s high press did not let him settle on the ball. Showcased an improved second-half performance as he got further up the pitch in search of a goal and almost found the back of the net when his vicious strike was parried by Handanovic.
Franck Kessie: 4 /10
It was a tough outing for the Ivorian as he ended up chasing shadows in the first half and failed to keep up with Barella’s movement. Left a lot of open spaces in midfield while pressing high up the pitch during the second half onslaught by Milan which led to Inter doubling the lead and sealing off the victory with a third.
Alexis Saelemaekers: 4.5 /10
How Saelemaekers is still starting for Milan is beyond ridiculous
— Koro 🔴⚫️ (@Koro_acm98) February 21, 2021
Looked off the pace and was easily subdued by Perisic and Bastoni. The Belgian has not been in the best of form for quite some time now and could face a spell on the bench if his poor run continues. Replaced by Rafael Leao in the 67th minute.
Hakan Calhanoglu: 6/10
A rare bright spark for Milan in the opening half, as he was the only player who looked likely to create any kind of opportunity for his team. Was at the heart of all the attacks created by the Rossoneri at the start of the second half. Faded away after his team conceded the third goal.
Ante Rebic: 4 /10
Dreadful performance by the Croatian as he did not trouble the Inter backline at all. Managed to get only a couple of efforts on goal, that were saved effortlessly.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic: 6 /10
Made his presence felt in the opening half that caused Inter defenders to make a few errors but he could not capitalize on the chances. Had two great chances to equalize early on in the second half but his headed efforts were brilliantly saved by Inter’s custodian.
Was Zlatan applauding Lukaku after his goal? 👀 pic.twitter.com/YLBzc1qVMg
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) February 21, 2021
Soualiho Meite: 5/10
Came on for Sandro Tonali in the 67th minute after Milan had conceded the third goal. Did not do anything to change the course of the game.
Rafael Leao: 5/10
Subbed in for Saelemakers in the 67th minute. Struggled to impose himself on the game and could not create any chances for his team.
Samu Castillejo: N/A
Was thrown in for Zlatan in the 76th min. Barely had anything to do as the game was well and over for the Rossoneri by then.
Samir Handanovic: 9/10
🔎 | FOCUS
Samir Handanovič vs Milan:
⏱️ 90' played
👌 47 touches
🧤 8 saves
📥 5 saves from inside the box
🏔️ 2/2 aerial duels won
🧼 1 clean sheet
📈 9.3 SofaScore rating
— SofaScore (@SofaScoreINT) February 21, 2021
The Slovenian was at his brilliant best today as he single-handedly kept Milan’s attack out at the start of the second half with three unbelievable saves within a span of two minutes. His timely interventions gave Inter the platform to go on and score the two goals later in the half. One of his finest displays in recent memory.
Milan Skriniar: 8/10
A solid performance by the Slovakian, as he carried the ball out of defence with confidence. Dealt with the threat of Hernandez and Rebic really well.
Stefan De Vrij: 7.5 /10
A top-class display from the most senior defender in that Inter backline. Battled well to keep Zlatan away from the penalty area in the first half. Won a lot of headers and displayed great composure in his passing.
Alessandro Bastoni: 6.5 /10
Looked shaky in the first half and struggled with his clearances as he gifted Milan a goalscoring opportunity twice. Apart from a few errors, he did well in keeping Saelemaekers and Calabria at bay. Made a crucial block to deny Kessie a goalscoring opportunity in the second half.
Achraf Hakimi: 8 /10
It was his through-ball to Lukaku that created the passage for the opening goal. Constantly bombed down the right flank and helped in creating Inter’s second goal. Will miss the next match after he picked up his fifth yellow card of the season in the second half.
Nicolo Barella: 8.5 /10
New favourite GIF courtesy of @snajaths
Barella is the best midfielder in the league I won’t say it again!!!! pic.twitter.com/edm2yHxX4G
— thomas (@FClMthomas) February 21, 2021
Was everywhere on the pitch in the first half, showed exceptional close control with the ball at his feet. Carried the ball well across the field and linked well with Lukaku. Complete performance from the Italian, who is currently one of the best box-to-box midfielders in the world. Pulled up his hamstring in the 86th minute and was replaced by Arturo Vidal.
Marcelo Brozovic: 7/10
Showcased his excellent range of passing in the first half with diagonal balls to the wide players to get his side moving. Had to play a more defensive role in the second half as Milan took control of the game.
Christian Eriksen: 7.5 /10
Rarely misplaced a pass tonight as he linked well with Inter’s attack. His deliveries from set-pieces were of top quality, creating a really good chance for Skriniar in the first half, which the latter headed over the bar. He was instrumental in his team doubling the lead.
Ivan Perisic: 8.5 /10
🅰️ Ivan Perisic assists in 20 league appearances before today – 2⃣
🅰️ Ivan Perisic assists in the space of 9 minutes vs AC Milan – 2⃣ pic.twitter.com/lAB2VLygbx
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) February 21, 2021
Marauded forward with intent and looked threatening every time he had the ball in the opposition half. Set up Lautaro well with a cut back for the second goal and could have scored a goal himself but he was denied twice by Donnarumma. He was sound defensively and did not let Calabria have any joy in the other end of the field.
Lautaro Martinez: 9.5 /10
A live wire on the pitch tonight, it took the Argentine maestro only four minutes to open the scoring with a thunderous header from an inch-perfect cross by Lukaku. He was a constant thorn in the Milan defence and he doubled Inter’s lead in the 57th minute with a well-placed shot past an accursed Donnarumma. Subbed in the 79th minute for Alexis Sanchez.
Romelu Lukaku: 17 Serie A goals
Lautaro Martinez: 13 Serie A goals
Top of the league 👉👈 pic.twitter.com/G8TXrnO1HK
— B/R Football (@brfootball) February 21, 2021
Romelu Lukaku: 9 /10
The Belgian was a nightmare to deal with for the Milan defenders. His left-footed cross was headed home by Lautaro for the opener. Milan did not know how to deal with the striker as he constantly harried Romagnoli and showed the world why he’s one of the best strikers in the world. Scored his 17th goal of the season with a wonderful shot around the edge of the box, curling it around Donnarumma into the bottom corner for Inter’s third.
Matteo Darmian: N/A
Part of the triple change made by Conte in the 79th minute
Roberto Gagliardini: N/A
Brought on for Eriksen in the 79th minute
Alexis Sanchez: N/A
Subbed in for the goalscorer Lautaro Martinez in the 79th minute.
Ashley Young: N/A
Thrown in for Hakimi to play out the last seven minutes of the game.
Arturo Vidal: N/A
Subbed in to replace Barella, who pulled up his hamstring after stretching to keep the ball in play