AC Milan celebrate their derby win

AC Milan are back on their perch after a 2-1 win against great city rivals, Inter Milan, kept their 100% record in Serie A. They worked hard for a first ‘away’ win against Inter in 10 years as their first Derby win since January 2016 brings genuine cause for optimism. 

Although Antonio Conte’s side were missing six players to Coronavirus, it was an accomplished win for Milan who kept their early two-goal lead to secure the points.

This team has steadily improved since Stefano Pioli’s appointment and each win proves the giant is well and truly awake. The Rossoneri are now unbeaten in 20 games as they conceded only their first goal this season in their first big test after beating Bologna, Crotone and Spezia 

Zlatan Ibrahimović was the man-of-the-match after recovering from Coronavirus. The 39-year-old won the bragging rights for his team with a brace 16 minutes in and his presence was vital as Inter cranked up the pressure in the second half. He has now broken his own record as the oldest Milan Derby goalscorer which he set in February.

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Scudetto challenge for I Rossoneri?

AC Milan have been wary of talk of a title challenge given their long-awaited turnaround in fortunes, however, this team is it’s own biggest restriction.

Pioli’s team is very hungry and full of confidence as they look to play on the front foot. It is telling, then, that they were favourites going to the derby and won despite Inter’s absences.

The Derby win provides a huge mental boost as they have now set the pace with seven points ahead of Juve, five ahead of Inter and three more than Atalanta. Every single player in the squad has improved and they must grab the chance with Juventus in a transitional season. The Old Lady drew 2-2 with Crotone as they continue to find their feet under Andrea Pirlo.

“Pioli has to be given a lot of credit like us, we are a good squad, you can see it on the pitch I think. Just do not stop and stay on the ball”. Said Club Captain, Alessio Romagnoli, who returned from injury to partner Simon Kjaer in defence.

“We found a very strong team, we were good at playing from behind. To get to the top we need to win games like this.”

Crucially, Milan have the character and fearlessness required for this assault with Zlatan in front.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan Ibrahimovic reacts after his brace won the derby over Inter. (AFP via Getty Images)

Important strength in depth

While Pioli’s progressive style of play brings out the hunger and desire in his team, the midfield have the important job of getting the ball forward during transitions.

Franck Kessié played a key role in the Derby and keeps increasing in importance in his box-to-box role. His partnership and understanding with Ismaël Bennacer remains fundamental to Milan’s fortunes as they complement each other perfectly.

The African duo have further competition in the shape of the talented Sandro Tonali who now walks into a settled environment. The 20-year-old is yet to start but his quality addition bodes well for Milan’s season.

Infact, their title credentials have been significantly boosted by their impressive summer transfer business as Technical Director, Paolo Maldini, completed some shrewd deals.

After that morale-boosting win over their rivals, Milan are showing boundless potential for success. With the backdrop of a perfect start to the season, they can look towards a trophy this campaign. 


Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin

Chief Editor of the Football Castle, Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin is a football junkie and writer of the beautiful game.

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