Jeison Murillo, Stevan Jovetic falter in Inter's Derby Della Madonnina loss
The Derby Della Madonnina on Sunday saw AC Milan's Curva Sud unveil a huge banner showing Mark Hateley, of all people, towering above Fulvio Collovati in a memory from a Derby long in the past. Inter Milan's fans retorted with flags and flares and a banner that read "I watch you and I take heart, you are more beautiful than a dream." The city ground to a halt and the Derby was well and truly on.
The pace of the game was frantic early on and Inter did well to find ways to attack win wide positions. Once again the central areas were the Nerazzurri's downfall and, combined with some poor fouls, they allowed the Rossoneri to benefit from set pieces. Alex was the first beneficiary and he scored on 34 minutes beating Davide Santon in the air.
The second half started well for Inter as they pressed well and with the introduction of Mauro Icardi they won a penalty. The subsequent miss from Inter's Argentine striker changed the game and the Nerazzurri went on to concede two more goals, humiliating Roberto Mancini's men as they went down 3-0. Inter have at the very least a chance to redeem themselves as they face Chievo in midweek and can at least try an erase this memory quickly.
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Samir Handanovic, 6 -- Handanovic was left exposed for Milan's opener as Alex headed home but overall he had a solid first half. The Nerazzurri custodian was hardly tested. Despite conceding twice more he pulled off a great save late on.
DF Davide Santon, 6 -- Started the game well, he was always open for a pass and helped in early attacks but did put in some poor challenges leading to Milan set pieces. Beaten by Alex in the air for the opener he looked off the pace but this was fair enough considering this was his first game since October.
DF Jeison Murillo, 5 -- Considering he was sent off in the Coppa Italia semifinal, Murillo's aggression perhaps should have been a little more tempered. He composed himself well but looked lost late on as Milan dominated.
DF Joao Miranda, 6 -- Inter's centre-back always exudes confidence but the bigger the game sees him always step up. Struggled late on but left open as his fullbacks were caught out.
DF Juan Jesus, 6 -- The Brazilian has often looked more at home at fullback and alongside Murillo and Miranda this seemed to be the case early on. Dominated his position throughout and arguably this could be his best position although he perhaps did not give Inter that much offensive prowess.
THE BEST OF ESPN FC
- Bell: Liverpool fans make themselves heard
- Cox: Leicester improving | Why Poch should stay
- Okwonga: Man United's market | City's title hopes
- Laurens: PSG's pre-UCL issues | Hertha's curse
- Highlights (U.S. only): Stuttgart 1-3 BVB
- FC TV: Champions League W2W4 | LVG wrong
- News | Transfer | Toe Poke | Fantasy | FC TV | Podcast | MLS
MF Marcelo Brozovic, 6 -- The Croatian was influential early on and helped dictate the pace of the game. He was left isolated due to Gary Medel playing very deep but did try to get the ball into the wide areas well.
MF Gary Medel, 6 -- The Chilean has been the only impressive player when Inter have played with three in midfield this season. With two sitting deep in this formation he continued to hold and this proved problematic as Brozovic was left with too much to do.
MF Ivan Perisic, 6 -- The enthusiastic start certainly encouraged the Nerazzurri faithful as he constantly looked to cut inside and shoot. Sometimes he does seem to lack composure and his crossing was poor at times.
MF Adem Ljajic, 6 -- The Serbian started with the usual innovative stance that has endeared him to the Curva Nord thus far. He seems more suited to Inter's play when Mauro Icardi is on the pitch.
MF Eder, 6 - The 29-year-old could have made himself a hero with a fantastic early chance that he headed wide. He was fairly quiet in the first 45 minutes and could have done more to supply Stevan Jovetic. Started to win some free kicks in important positions in the second period and looked like he had settled in well considering it was his debut.
FW Stevan Jovetic, 5 -- It would be unfair to criticise him for being quiet early on as he was following Mancini's instructions to play as a No. 9. He did not come looking for the ball and did his job well but suffered from poor supply. Even so, Jovetic failed to make any purposeful runs.
FW Mauro Icardi, 5 -- Came on for Jovetic after 64 minutes, he had a lot to do considering the man he came on for had no supply. Did well winning a penalty but then proceeded to hit the post. It was decisive in the game.
MF Felipe Melo, N/R -- Came on for Perisic to try and stop Inter conceding any more goals.
DF Alex Telles, N/R -- Came on for Adem Ljajic late on.
Richard Hall is an Italian football writer contributing to ESPN, The Guardian, Daily Mail, IBWM and Football Italia. Follow him on Twitter @Gentleman_Ultra.