Milan vs. Internazionale  0 - 1


Stramaccioni delighted with derby victory

9 October 2012 09:18

Andrea Stramaccioni has underlined the importance of Inter's win over arch rivals AC Milan in Sunday's derby.

A single Walter Samuel strike early in the match was enough for Inter to gain the three points, and Stramaccioni feels that the tough circumstances give their victory even more value.

"Was the victory over Milan a six-pointer? It would have been had we won normally, but I think it's worth three wins considering how we stood up with 10 men to AC Milan's attacks on our goal and - in my opinion - suffered less than we perhaps should have," Stramaccioni told Radio Anch'io Lo Sport.

"It was a great result of course, even more so when you consider how the game went.

"Playing the entire second half with 10 men forced us to show the ability and mental strength we have here at Inter and that bodes well for the future."

The Inter coach also had his say on Fredy Guarin, who has recently been criticised, and stressed that the Colombia international is a key figure.

"He's an important player, a terrific investment, he's got strength and quality.

"He's definitely not overweight but he's very well-built, which gives him power. He might look laboured in tight areas but that's just his natural body shape."

Guarin has made 13 official appearances for Inter this term, scoring once.


Samuel hints at narrow escape

8 October 2012 13:26

Inter Milan defender Walter Samuel says he was lucky not to concede a penalty in his team's 1-0 derby victory over AC Milan on Sunday.

Argentine Samuel, who netted the only goal of the Serie A showdown at San Siro, said he attempted to prevent Milan forward Robinho from getting a shot on goal, and in doing so felled the Brazilian inside the area.

"Robinho made a nice run, I felt contact with him but I think there are a lot of challenges in the penalty area, and not all of them are fouls," Samuel told Sky Sport Italia.

"I just tried to prevent him from getting an easy shot away. Perhaps others are better placed to judge and say if it was a foul."

While satisfied with their battling victory, Samuel quickly talked down any suggestion Inter can mount a bid for the Scudetto in 2012/13.

"I'm happy, and pleased with where we are in the league as well," he said.

"We were all up for the derby and we wanted to show we could get a result here tonight.

"We have belief in our own ability and, although we came under pressure, we kept positive and always thought could win the game. We need to continue in this vein."

"The title? It's still too early to say, I don't think any team is thinking about that yet. We'll keep working to win something come the end of the season."

Inter, fourth on the Serie A table, trail joint leaders Juventus and Napoli by four points.


Allegri fumes at officials after derby defeat

8 October 2012 06:06

AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri has criticised referee Paolo Valeri after his team's 1-0 loss to Inter Milan in the Serie A on Sunday.

Allegri's men conceded in the fourth minute as Walter Samuel scored and were unable to find an equaliser despite playing with a man advantage for the best part of the second half.

Yuto Nagatomo was sent off in the 48th minute and Inter held on for an important three points.

Allegri has put much of the blame for his side's fourth loss of the season on the shoulders of Valeri, who he believes made many mistakes on incidents that were 'really obvious'.

"I never talk about referees. But, I have to now. The referee got it wrong in this game," Allegri told reporters.

"In the first half he made a technical error. He blew the whistle for half-time 12 seconds early. Then there was a last-man foul on (Urby) Emanuelson which was given against him.

"There was maybe a penalty on Robinho. The Nagatomo red card was obvious as he couldn't give him another yellow for that.

"This is not an excuse and perhaps today the referee was unlucky, but the incidents were really obvious."

Allegri also expressed his disbelief as to how Riccardo Montolivo's goal was disallowed for an apparent foul on Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic.

"I have no idea what the referee whistled for on the Montolivo goal," he said.

"Let's just say he was unlucky on the decisive incidents, as the goal would've been crucial. There was also a penalty and Samuel was last man too.

"It's not as if the referee did us a favour with Nagatomo's red card, as he obviously stuck his arm out for an intentional handling offence.

"It's a shame we are running into some decisions that go against us, but we can't do anything about that. Maybe referees are on as bad form as we are."

Inter counterpart Andrea Stramaccioni refused to get draw into commenting on the refereeing and instead preferred to focus on the progress his side are making.

"You know I'm not saying this because we won the match, but I think it's pointless to talk about the referee and judge his performance. That's my opinion and I respect Allegri's words," he said.

"I think that for a new project like ours there are still things we need to improve after seven games played.

"We are perfectly aware of that, there's still a long way to go, but the main positive aspect after tonight is that I see a growth in the solidity of the team.

"I feel that the team are playing for each other. If we consider the recent performances against Siena or Roma, or other Europa League home matches, we always had the feeling that to create a chance to score against us was easy."


Zaccheroni: Technical area key in Milan derby

7 October 2012 17:29

Alberto Zaccheroni believes the coaches will be the key figures in Sunday's clash between AC Milan and Inter.

The Japan coach, who has been in charge of both Milanese outfits previously, said the two teams were equally strong but he is 'curious' to see how Inter boss Andrea Stramaccioni performs.

"For now Milan and Inter have very balanced squads, so it may well be down to the coaches in this game," Zaccheroni told Sky Sports Italia.

"We have seen Massimiliano Allegri more than Andrea Stramaccioni, as this is the Inter man's first full season. This is perhaps why I am more curious about Stramaccioni."

Zaccheroni tipped a draw for the Derby della Madonnina, before hinting he could well move back into management in Italy if the opportunity arose.

"My prediction is that it will end 1-1 tonight," he said.

"For the moment I am happy where I am, but in the future if I still have the motivation, then a return to Italian football would be very welcome."


Stramaccioni talks down Mourinho comparison

7 October 2012 15:27

Inter Milan head coach Andrea Stramaccioni has laughed off any similarities between himself and former mentor Jose Mourinho.

Italian Stramaccioni hailed the Real Madrid head coach, who led Inter to the treble in 2009/10, for making football history in several countries.

Mourinho won the league and Champions League with Porto in his native Portugal, and has also guided Chelsea and Real to domestic glory in league and cup competitions.

"I've never compared myself to Mourinho, not for a second," Stramaccioni said.

"I'm a young manager trying to gain experience as fast as possible.

"The only thing that we have in common is that I'm training Inter Milan. That is the only thing I can think of.

"He has written important pages of football history in different countries, where as my experience in Serie A is limited to about 10 matches, therefore there can't be any comparison."

Inter have won their last three matches in all competitions, and a derby victory over struggling Milan would doubtless be another morale-booster, but Stramaccioni sought to play down the importance of the clash in the context of his team's campaign.

"I believe tomorrow's result will be important ... but honestly I don't believe it will change Inter Milan's season," he said.

"It can help it, but it can't change it because it's only the seventh match.

"Of course each match can represent a positive or negative turning point, but a manager should be able to give the right importance to a match and at the same time have a general view of the situation.

"Tomorrow we will surely be doing our best to win against AC Milan, but even a positive result - which would be a great result for us - can't change our season.

"We have had important performances in the last few matches and I want to see if we can do the same tomorrow after such a short time and against such an important team."


Bojan ready to live derby dream

7 October 2012 15:27

AC Milan striker Bojan has spoken of his dream to play in the Derby della Madonnina against Inter Milan on Sunday.

The former Barcelona forward, who is no stranger to highly charged fixtures given his experience in El Clasico, is hoping to make the starting line-up for the clash at San Siro.

"Of course we have to win the derby to make our fans happy and also because we need the three points," the Spanish international told the club's official TV channel.

"I am very happy to be experiencing the atmosphere of this game directly. Of course I'd love to play in the Milan derby.

"In Europe there are several really big derby matches that everyone pays attention to. The atmosphere in the Rome derby is also wonderful, as the fans start talking about it a month beforehand."


Evani tips big things for El Shaarawy

7 October 2012 09:38

Former AC Milan star Alberigo Evani has backed Stephan El Shaarawy to be a major hit, ahead of the upcoming Milan derby against Inter.

The 49-year-old, who spent 13 years at San Siro, guiding the club to two European Cups and three Serie A titles, believes the young Italy international has 'undoubted quality', remarking that Milan did a positive thing in selling their stars over the summer.

"Finally, something happens. There is more confidence now in the quality of [young players], which is not lacking," the former midfielder told Tuttosport.

"You just need more courage to take risks, and we can work harder because you have to start from the bottom. However, I think it will be a quality derby, as usual.

"I like [what] Milan is doing, without giving too much prominence. Stephan is intelligent, and has undoubted quality but [he] should know that you can always improve and that you cannot lie still in football, in a moment [you can] lose everything.

"The important thing is to be a team. Milan is improving, and the victory against Zenit returned confidence. Allegri has a lot of power, if Inter play with two strikers [they] can be functional. It's just about learning various game systems and adapting to the opponent.

When asked who could prove to be the decisive player in Sunday evening's derby, Evani plumped for one key performer for either side.

He added: "[Diego] Milito. [You] often see him in the derby, he knows [how to] score incredible goals. And El Shaarawy is in excellent condition, physical and mental, you might find another performance like that of Zenit St Petersburg."


Milito: Jeers will help Cassano

7 October 2012 06:53

Inter Milan striker Diego Milito believes Antonio Cassano will only benefit should the AC Milan faithful turn on him in the derby.

Cassano swapped AC Milan for their city rivals during the off-season in controversial circumstances.

But Milito maintains that verbally attacking the Italy international will only spur him to produce a performance of greater magnitude when the teams meet on Sunday.

"A hostile reaction will not be a problem," the 33-year-old told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "On the contrary, they'll be paying him a great favour.

"He just gets fired up under such conditions. If he's feeling any nerves, he's certainly hiding it very well, joking and smiling during training, just being himself.

"He just has too much experience to be troubled with situations such as these."

Indeed, the former Roma and Sampdoria man has immediately taken to life under Andrea Stramaccioni, chalking up four goals in six Serie A appearances, a successful start Milito is not taken aback by.

"Cassano sees the game like no other. He can smash open any game. In fact, he enjoys making assists even more than scoring goals," he said.

"Making the right run by watching him when he has the ball is the secret to playing with him. We are getting to know each other even better with time, even if that was never in question."


Allegri: Inter favourites for derby

6 October 2012 20:40

AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri believes rivals Inter Milan should be favourites for Sunday's derby.

AC Milan have struggled in Serie A so far this season, with only two wins from six games, and Allegri admitted his young side is still learning despite a morale-boosting 3-2 win over Zenit St Petersburg in the Champions League on Wednesday.

"Well, I think that the derby match is something different, it's a match without a favourite to win, even if usually the favourite team is the one higher up on the table," Allegri said.

"They were the favourite in my first year at Milan and we were the favourite last season in both derbies.

"This season they have five more points than us on the table, so they should be the favourite to win."

"They (Inter) are smart and skilled and they have great technical qualities, so we need to play a great match tomorrow and be smarter than them.

The match will see Antonio Cassano face his former club for the first time since his move to Inter in the off-season.

"Cassano is an extraordinary player, only few players in the world pass the ball like he does, we'll need to be very careful when he gets the ball," Allegri said.


Abbiati: We are all behind Allegri

6 October 2012 16:28

AC Milan star Christian Abbiati has backed under-fire coach Massimiliano Allegri ahead of the crucial derby against Inter on Sunday.

Milan have been struggling in Serie A this season and find themselves in 11th place after six games.

The 35-year-old year old goalkeeper made it clear the AC Milan squad are fully behind Allegri and reiterated that the coach is doing a great job.

"I have never had any problems with Allegri, but I can assure (you) that ever since he arrived at the club, then the players have always been with him," Abbiati told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Being Milan's coach isn't easy, but Allegri is handling the squad well. His age (45) allows him to have a great connection with the players.

"I would say that his relation with us is very similar to the relation that we had with Ancelotti. During the matches then he's the one who's in charge, but off the pitch he talks and makes jokes.

"I'm sorry that Allegri has been criticised so much lately. I hope that he will stay at least until his contract expires in 2014, and I hope to be here as long as well."

Abbiati appealed to the fans for their support in Sunday's derby.

"I want to see the stadium full of passionate people when we face Inter tomorrow," he said.


Moratti: Coutinho could make the difference

6 October 2012 15:35

Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti believes Philippe Coutinho could play a key role in the outcome of Sunday's derby with AC Milan.

Inter twice defeated their city rivals in the 2011/12 Serie A campaign, and Moratti wants to pick up the full three points again on Sunday.

"It is possible that Cassano could make the difference, but I personally think that Coutinho could decide the game," Moratti told reporters.

"You can never tell who are the favourites ahead of the derby. Milan won a difficult away match in midweek, but I think we are on the same level.

"I hope that it will be a great game for the fans. Expectations are high and hopefully we will do well on Sunday evening."


Ambrosini keen for derby win

6 October 2012 15:18

AC Milan midfielder Massimo Ambrosini says it would be a huge confidence boost for his team if they can beat Inter in Sunday's Milan derby.

Milan have been struggling to find their best form so far this term, but Ambrosini feels they have improved in the past few weeks, and is hopeful that they can get back on track at the weekend.

"The derby is a game that everyone wants to play, and it can have a big impact on the rest of the season," Ambrosini told Sky Sport Italia.

"We have made steps forward in the last few matches, and now we have to turn this progress into results. A win against Inter would really give us a confidence boost.

"The new formation is good, but it all depends on how the team interprets the game-plan. It is very important in modern football that a team can change its tactical set-up during a match. It's a sign of flexibility."


De Jong: Inexperience the problem at Milan

6 October 2012 10:23

AC Milan midfielder Nigel de Jong says a lack of experience is to blame for his team's disappointing start to the season.

Seasoned stars such as Clarence Seedorf, Mark van Bommel and Zlatan Ibrahimovic departed the Serie A giants in the off-season, with a precarious financial situation limiting the club's ability to bring in established stars.

De Jong, who joined the Italian side from Manchester City late in the transfer window, insists progress is being made ahead of Sunday's city derby against Inter.

"I think everything revolves around a lack of experience," the 27-year old said to Corriere Dello Sport.

"This is a very young team. In addition, several players who were on the bench last year are now regulars. Not surprisingly, we are making progress with every game."

Massimiliano Allegri's side sit 11th in Serie A having picked up just seven points from their opening six fixtures.

Allegri has been widely criticised for his team's performances, with many calling for the 45-year-old to be sacked.

De Jong is dismissive of such rumours, saying the squad has no problems with the Italian.

"It's always like that everywhere. Ajax had four coaches (in my time at the club) and new managers are always being spoken of at Manchester City," the Dutchman said.

"The newspapers have a vested interest in cases like these. But what counts in the end is what (the club executives) want.

"Only (Silvio) Berlusconi and (Adriano) Galliani can determine if he is no longer suitable. And if they say Allegri is our coach, Allegri is our coach and (the squad) is with him."


Antonini: Derby win crucial

5 October 2012 20:28

AC Milan's Luca Antonini says Sunday's derby with Inter is the biggest in years and could have a big impact on their season.

The 30-year-old defender grew up as a supporter of Milan and believes it is vital his side get three points on Sunday, after a less than impressive campaign to date.

"The derby is always an important game. But especially for us this time around. We are starting to improve our performances and are getting to the level we want to be at," Antonini told Milan Channel.

He went on to speak passionately about playing in a contest of such importance and what the game means to him as a player and lifelong fan of the club.

"Milan and these colours are everything to me," he said.

"I have always adored the club, when I was a fan, and even more now that I am a player.”

The Italian allayed any fears he could miss this weekend's clash after it was revealed he only took part in half of Friday's training session.

"I had a small twinge from the game against Zenit (St Petersburg), so I preferred to only do some of the session. It's ok though, I'll be fine," he said.


Coutinho bracing for derby test

5 October 2012 16:36

Inter Milan youngster Philippe Coutinho is eagerly anticipating Sunday's derby against AC Milan and expects a difficult match.

Inter won the last Serie A encounter against their city rivals 4-2 back in May, and the Brazilian is hopeful of recording another victory at the weekend.

"The derby's always a difficult game, hopefully we'll be able to keep up the form we've shown in the last few games and get another win," the 20-year-old told reporters.

"I don't know whether I will start against AC Milan. I hope so, but it's up to the coach to make the final decision."

The youngster looked back on his loan spell at Espanyol in the second half of the 2011/12 campaign, and insisted his time in La Liga has made him a better player.

"Going to Spain has definitely benefited me and then coming back and finding a coach like (Andrea) Stramaccioni gives us all confidence," he said.

Coutinho has netted three goals in 10 official appearances for Inter this term.


Van Bommel wishes Milan well

5 October 2012 15:37

Mark van Bommel hopes his former team AC Milan can emerge victorious from their derby with rivals Inter on Sunday.

The combative midfielder left San Siro for PSV in the recent transfer window after an 18-month spell at the Serie A giants, but the Dutchman has not forgotten about his former team just yet.

"There's no doubt about it that I will be rooting for Milan in Sunday's derby," van Bommel told reporters.

"It is an important match and even more important as Milan have to make up for the points they lost earlier this season. It will be a great game.

"I still think about Milan a lot. I have regular contact with a number of the players and I talk to the people at Milanello occasionally.

"They had a difficult start to the season and lost a lot of quality. They also signed some quality players, though. I am confident that they will get back on track and climb in the league table."


Zanetti putting team first

3 October 2012 18:11

Inter Milan captain Javier Zanetti says he is focused on winning Sunday's Milan derby and not the fact it could be his last.

The 39-year-old is coming towards the end of his illustrious career, but said he is not fixated on the very real possibility this will be one of his last games against great rivals AC Milan.

Instead, in his typical professional manner, he chose to concentrate on the game on Sunday.

"We just want to win. I'm not thinking that this could be one of my last derbies. I'm just enjoying the moment," he told Sky Sports Italia.

"It's a massive game with no favourites. What I can say is that we're in good shape and we're building a side that can last for a long time and be very successful.

"And of course winning the derby would give us even more confidence in our ability."

One of the main sub-plots surrounding the match sees Antonio Cassano face his former side for the first time after he swapped the red side of the city for the blue during the summer, and Zanetti feels the Italy striker can help Inter bring silverware back to the club.

"He's a world-class player. He feels at home here and we're working to win lots of trophies together," Zanetti said.

Serie A table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +47 87
2 38 +37 78
3 38 +28 72
4 38 +28 70
5 38 +14 66
6 38 +15 62
7 38 +9 61
8 38 +4 56
9 38 -2 54
10 38 -1 49
11 38 -12 47
12 38 -15 45
13 38 -6 44
14 38 -8 42
15 38 -17 40
16 38 -9 39
17 38 -14 38
18 38 -20 32
19 38 -21 30
20 38 -57 22