High-flying Inter demolished arch-rivals Milan 5-1 in the newest edition of the iconic Derby della Madonnina on Saturday evening to go alone at the top of the Serie A table. Both sides came into proceedings with a 100% record, but Nerazzurri are now the lone rangers at the summit.
Inter started the game on the front foot, asserting possession dominance from the get-go. Simone Inzaghi’s men didn’t have to wait long to capitalize on their flying start. Federico Dimarco unleashed a thunderous low effort from the edge of the box that found its way to Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s feet on the periphery of the six-yard box.
The Armenian had no problems directing the ball into the net to put Inter in front in the fifth minute. Despite Milan’s faint shouts over a potential foul in the build-up, there was no salvation for Stefano Pioli’s side. Rossoneri were lucky to trail by a single goal at the 10-minute mark as Mkhitaryan had another clear-cut chance to score.
He found himself unmarked only a few yards out of Mike Maignan’s goal, but his free header failed to hit the target after another pinpoint delivery from Dimarco. Mkhitaryan’s miss was a wake-up call for Milan. They started to grow into the contest, regaining possession and keeping Inter miles away from the front third.
But despite enjoying much of the ball, Milan couldn’t find a way past Inzaghi’s well-positioned backline. Theo Hernandez came closest to leveling the score of all Pioli’s players. He exchanged a quick one-two with Olivier Giroud and breezed past his markers but couldn’t keep his close-range effort on target.
Nonetheless, Milan looked better than Inter for a large chunk of the first half. When it looked like they could make a decisive breakthrough, Nerazzurri clipped their wings with a lightning-fast counter-attack. Lautaro Martinez dispatched Denzel Dumfries into space, with the Dutchman playing a through ball to Marcus Thuram.
Though the Frenchman had to chase the ball outside the box, he found a pocket of space and launched a thunderous strike into the top far corner to give Inter a comfortable two-goal cushion at halftime. However, Milan were constantly near Yann Sommer’s door, and there was still everything to play for in the second 45 minutes.
Rafael Leao got on the scoresheet again to pull one back for Rossoneri on the cusp of the hour mark, slotting the ball past the Swiss goalkeeper after receiving a nice pass from Hernandez. The Portuguese winger’s strike gave Milan a glimmer of hope, but it quickly vanished as Mkhitaryan added another goal to the tally in the 69th minute. He latched onto Martinez’s layoff and tricked Maignan to restore Inter’s two-goal lead.
Things soon went from bad to worse for Milan. Hernandez committed a silly foul inside his 18-yard box, giving Hakan Calhanoglu a chance to pour more misery on his side. The Turkish playmaker made no mistake from the spot to put Inter 4-1 ahead in the 79th minute. Second-half substitute Davide Frattesi added insult to injury deep into stoppage time to seal a memorable win for Inzaghi’s lads.
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