Despite a second-half comeback by Inter Milan, AC Milan won the Derby Della Madonnina thanks to two goals from Rafael Leao. After 21 minutes, Marcelo Brozovic raced through the opposition defense and rolled a finish past AC Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan against the run of play.
However, defending Serie A winners AC Milan swiftly reacted and equalized through Leao, who hit the far corner of the net after Inter gave up possession cheaply in the middle of the pitch. AC Milan continued to dominate, taking the lead nine minutes into the second half when Olivier Giroud guided a shot past Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic following Leao’s superb work down the left.
Leao delivered a classic Milan derby goal to make it 3-1 to the hosts, beating his man with a superb piece of skill before slipping the finish into the far corner. This caused Inzaghi to make a number of substitutions, and Edin Dzeko had an immediate impact off the bench, finishing from a Matteo Darmian cross to offer Inter hope of a comeback. But AC Milan held on to beat Inter for the second time this season.
Leao came out strong
Last season, Leao was named Serie A Player of the Season when AC Milan won the scudetto, and the 23-year-old was in fine form in this derby, scoring twice and assisting on another. Inter was unable to cope with his direct rushing down the left wing.
Leao is unstoppable in this form, and AC Milan will need the Portuguese international to be sharp as they begin their Champions League campaign next week. Leao, at the age of 23, still has time to progress. Based on this performance, he has the potential to become one of the finest players in the world.
Inzaghi to be questioned
Inter were clearly second best until Inzaghi made substitutions in the second half. The most significant difference was the introduction of Dzeko, and the Bosnian striker had an immediate impression, scoring to give Inter hope of a comeback. It became a more open battle after that.
Inter were missing Romelu Lukaku, so most expected Dzeko to play the role he played for Inzaghi last season. Still, he was neglected from the start in favor of Joaquin Correa, who had little influence on the game. Following this, the Inter manager will face questions regarding his team selection.
Maignan performed admirably
Inter might have walked away with something to show for their late comeback if it hadn’t been for Maignan’s conduct in the closing 30 minutes of this encounter. As the away team sought an equalizer, the French goalkeeper made a sequence of remarkable saves.
Of course, AC Milan supporters are already aware of Maignan’s abilities following an amazing debut season for the club last season, but it wasn’t just that he made a number of solid saves he was also a commanding figure in claiming high crosses into his box. Maignan came through when he needed to.