Ahead of what promises to be a fantastic Milan derby on Tuesday evening, it only seems right that we cast our minds back over some of the more excellent matchups played out between the two sides over the years.
The prospect of a Milan vs Inter fixture has been as exciting has it has been in many a year recently, and, it remains one of Europe’s most eagerly anticipated derby days. Here are just a few crackers for us to reminisce over…
Not many of us will recall this extraordinary goal fest. 11 goals, 6-5 to Inter, and the Milan derby of 1949 remains the highest scoring of all-time.
I Nerazzurri were underdogs coming into this one, and found themselves 4-1 down at one point, seemingly down and out.
Could the I Rossoneri hold onto secure a resounding victory? Nope, Inter clawed back to make it 4-4, before going 5-4 up. Milan equalised before Amadeo Amadei (what a name) completed his hat-trick at the death to seal an extraordinary 6-5 victory. And breathe.
Contextually, Milan’s 2-1 victory over Inter in 1984 is perhaps one of the most significant of them all. I Rossoneri had reached rock bottom – they had been demoted to Serie B in 1980 after the Totonero match-fixing scandal, and suffered another relegation from Serie A in 1982.
Milan were living in their neighbours’ shadow, and Inter hadn’t lost a derby for five years. Well, that was soon to change, even after I Nerazzurri took a 1-0 lead in this particular encounter. It looked bleak for Milan until…
The equaliser. And then on the hour mark, up stepped Englishman Mark Hateley, who rose like a salmon to head home. 2-1 Milan, and a watershed win for the then underdogs.
Milan’s comprehensive 6-0 win over Inter in 2001 remains the largest margin of victory in the derby’s history. And, despite the fact that both sides were having resoundingly underwhelming seasons, one team decided to crank it up a notch for the Derby di Milano.
And it wasn’t Inter. Prior to kick off, the sides were level on points. Battling it out at the top of the table? Nope – both were languishing in mid-table. Uninspiring stuff…
Until Milan stuck six past their rivals, that is. Andriy Shevchenko bagged a brace, and they enjoyed themselves the highlight of their season. Inter, by contrast, suffered one of the most humiliating defeats in their history.
First, let’s spare a moment to appreciate the above beauty. A truly timeless image that encapsulates the classic aspects of the Milan derby: tension, toxicity and wonderful competition.
Italy’s finest were pitted against each other in the 2004/05 Champions League quarter-final. Milan were 2-0 up after the first leg, and Shevchenko opened the scoring in the second leg which made it 3-0 on aggregate. This, and a disallowed Esteban Cambiasso goal early in the second half didn’t sit well with the Inter faithful…
Flares were flung onto the pitch. Milan’s Brazilian keeper, Dida, was struck, and the referee was forced to abandon the proceedings. Consequently, I Rossoneri were awarded a 3-0 victory. Inter were handed a hefty fine, and ordered to play their following four European fixtures behind closed doors.
The derby rarely requires extra fuel for the fire but that’s what it had going into this particular showdown. It was their first encounter since the infamous abandoned Champions League contest the previous campaign.
Understandably then, tensions were already running at an all-time high. And, if the stakes weren’t grand enough for Inter, they hadn’t beaten Milan in their previous ten attempts. Considerable implications for this game’s result then…
Inter’s Adriano opened the scoring before Shevchenko made it 1-1. It was all square after 90 minutes after Jaap Stam and Obafemi Martins had it locked at 2-2. And then, in the 93rd minute, Adriano headed home to secure a 3-2 win. Scintillating scenes ensued, underlining the unrivalled magnificence of the Milan derby.
One for the Inter fans. And, we understand if Milan supporters have since eradicated the entire 2009/10 season from their memories. Under José Mourinho, Inter were ruthless, relentless, and quite simply ridiculously brilliant during their historic treble-winning year. And it showed in the first derby of the season.
Thiago Motta, Diego Milito, Maicon and Dejan Stankovic were all on target as Inter romped to a 4-0 victory. Milan’s Gennaro Gattuso’s saw red, but their opponents were so dominant it probably didn’t even matter.
Inter cantered to the Serie A title, secured the Coppa Italia, and concluded a remarkable campaign with a 2-0 victory over Bayern Munich in the Champions League final. They are still the only Italian side to achieve such a feat.
It wasn’t all Inter, we promise. But recent times have seen them come out on top in the Milan derbies. And, after their then unprecedented five consecutive Scudetti, Inter conceded the 2010/11 title to their city rivals.
Fast forward to the following campaign, and AC Milan were on the brink of recording their second successive Serie A crown. In the penultimate fixture of the season, it was Milan vs Inter, and the stakes were yet again at an all-time high.
Step up Diego Milito, who struck a memorable hat-trick to break I Rossoneri’s hearts and record a remarkable 4-2 win for Inter. The title was Juventus’, and I Nerazzurri had personally ensured their arch-rivals were denied another title triumph.