Inter versus Milan. The historic, Derby della Madonnina
Fans of the Milanese clubs don’t have to wait long on this year’s calendar for the Derby della Madonnina this upcoming Sunday. With the first derby against Inter and Milan coming up in Week 3, it’s imminent to reflect on the past derby matches from recent history.
One of the most anticipated matches in Italy, there has been memorable moments between the rossoneri and nerazzurri. The derby’s name is honoured by the statue of the Virgin Mary, which sits on top of il duomo in Milan’s centre as a main city attraction who is commonly referred to as La Madonnina.
Throughout the late 80’s and early 90’s, fans were blessed watching players like Marco Van Basten, Rudd Gullit, Paolo Maldini and Franco Baresi suit up for Milan, and Andreas Brehme and Jurgen Klinsmann on the other side for Inter. Jump ahead to the modern era, fans are seeing players like Wesley Sneijder and Alessandro Nesta replaced with Kuzmanovic and Mexes.
More recently, over the last ten years since the 2005-06 season, the derby has recorded 6 wins for Milan, 11 wins for Inter and 3 draws in Serie A competition. Both derby matches last season ended in a draw, as the only other draw from the last ten seasons happened during the 2012-13 season when Inter was the host team.
Although at first glance it seems that Inter have dominated in the Stadio Guiseppe Meazza, it’s worth noting that Milan won both derbies during 2011-12, the season following Inter’s historic treble. In 2007 when Milan won the Champions League, Inter clinched the domestic title and recorded a 17 consecutive game win-streak that season, beating Milan both times that year.
One of the most notable derby matches in history was the 2005 Champions League quarter-final. The rossoneri took an early lead in the second-leg match to set the aggregate score to 3-0 in their favour. A disallowed goal from Cambiasso was enough to spur Inter fans to throw flares onto the pitch, one which hit Milan goalkeeper, Dida. The game was postponed at the 74th minute to remove flares from the pitch and after a 30 minute delay, Dida did not return to finish the match. The referee allowed one more minute to be played after calling the match indefinitely and awarded a 3-0 win to Milan, giving them the advance to the semi-final 5-0 on aggregate. The nerazzurri were fined 200,000 euro from UEFA and had to play four Champions League games the following season with no fans in attendance.
The derby della Madonnina normally causes some flare, yet in this case, literally.
A look back from 20 years: 1995 vs. 2015
Inter Starting XI in 1995:
Pagliuca; Bergomi, J.Zanetti, R.Carlos, Fresi, Festa; Paganin, Bianchi, Ince; Carbone, Ganz
Inter Starting XI in 2015:
Handanovic; Santon, Miranda, Murillo, Juan Jesus; Guarin, Medel, Kondogbia; Brozovic; Palacio, Jovetic
Milan Starting XI in 1995:
Rossi; Panucci, Maldini, Baresi, Desailly, Costacurta; Albertini, Savicevic, Eranio; Weah, Simone
Milan Starting XI in 2015:
Lopez; De Sciglio, Zapata, Romagnoli, Antonelli; Bertolacci, De Jong, Nocerino; Suso; Bacca, Adriano
From the star-studded 90’s, the present-day Milan derby looks much different as it once did. Matches that were traditionally one of the most anticipated events in the Serie A fixtures, have recently lost some of its luster. Last season’s derbies were almost meaningless as Milan and Inter went into the last derby in ninth and tenth place. Considering the fact that last season was one of the worst for ticket sales for both clubs, the derby is still a huge draw and a season highlight. Even in these desperate times, the derby is still the derby – a significant display of two of Italy’s top clubs competing head to head.
With the lack of excitement surrounding last season’s matches, Corriere della Sera published an article earlier this year highlighting the five worst matches between Inter and Milan. If there was any takeaway from Corriere’s shortlist, aside from a few tears, it is that every one of the five games highlighted were played inside of a packed San Siro stadium.
Yes, there hasn’t been a lot to compete for when both sides are sitting in mid-table positions. However, with the recent mercato activity that saw both Milan and Inter spend heavy this summer, the lead up for the 2015 derby has garnered a bit more excitement than in recent years.
Whether you support the rossoneri, nerazzurri, or Italian football in general, fans will always view the Milanese derby as a significant game, with bragging rights included. So, get in the mood for the 215th derby on Sunday as Inter host Milan for the first time in the 2015-16 campaign, as both sides will look to collect their three points early in the season.