coppa-italia01 March 2022

ALL SQUARE AFTER THE FIRST LEG

No way through for either side as AC Milan and Inter play out a goalless draw

After the games against Salernitana and Udinese, the Rossoneri recorded their third consecutive draw in all competitions, though this latest match held a lot of positives. The first leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final ended goalless at San Siro but AC Milan put in a convincing display and were, for large swathes of the game, the better side. The Rossoneri will, however, regret having spurned a raft of chances. So there’s a bitter taste left in the mouth but, at the same, we can also be safe in the knowledge that this team were physically and mentally prepared and are well in with a shot at reaching the final. We may be talking about a goalless draw here, but the Rossoneri put in a solid performance, one that eclipses those shown in their two previous outings. In the face of the reigning champions of Italy, Pioli’s side largely dominated the game and got into interesting positions when attacking, often testing Handanović.

All that was missing was a goal, which is certainly not a trivial matter; nevertheless, on the other side of the coin, a clean sheet is certainly positive with the away goal rule applying in this Coppa Italia tie. There were a lot of good Rossoneri performances all over the park and the team did particularly well defensively, giving practically nothing away. More disappointing was Romagnoli’s injury; he’ll be assessed in the coming days. This semi-final showdown will be decided in April, then, and now the Diavolo need to focus on the league. On Sunday, a crucial match away to Napoli awaits, and the team can’t get it wrong.

CHECK OUT THE GALLERY FROM AC MILAN v INTER

REPORT
The match was played at a high tempo and in a hard-fought and physical manner right from the get-go. The Rossoneri almost took the lead in the tenth minute: a mix-up in the Inter defence resulted in the ball being presented to Saelemaekers, who was denied by Handanović. A minute later, Hernández burst through down the middle before firing inches wide with his right foot. With 26 minutes on the clock, the Rossoneri lost Romagnoli through injury, with Kalulu coming on in his place. A big opportunity came AC Milan’s way in the 39th minute as Saelemaekers picked out Krunić, whose shot from inside the box was deflected narrowly over. After a minute of added time, the first half came to an end. From the Rossoneri’s perspective, all that had been missing was a goal.

The second half began with a right-footed Leão attempt from distance, but Handanović was equal to it. The chances kept on coming as a Saelemaekers shot from twelve yards out was blocked in the 49th minute. The Rossoneri kept on pushing: in the 57th minute, Florenzi’s throw-in found Krunić, who, after getting the ball under control in the box, dragged his effort wide. Florenzi had a go after 63 minutes, but his long-range strike was too close to the Nerazzurri goalkeeper. Coach Pioli switched things up in the final third on the 67-minute mark and, ten minutes later, a Rossoneri counter-attack ended with Messias drilling wide. Neither side was able to mount a late assault and it finished goalless.

MATCH DETAILS

AC MILAN 0-0 INTER

AC MILAN (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Florenzi (84' Calabria), Tomori, Romagnoli (26' Kalulu), Hernández; Kessie, Bennacer; Saelemaekers (67' Messias), Krunić (67' Díaz), Leão (67' Rebić); Giroud. Subs: Mirante, Tătăruşanu; Ballo-Touré, Gabbia; Bakayoko; Lazetić, Maldini. Coach: Pioli.

INTER (3-5-2): Handanović; Skriniar, de Vrij, Bastoni; Dumfries (88' Darmian), Barella (65' Vidal), Brozović, Çalhanoğlu, Perišić (88' Gosens); Martínez (65' Sánchez), Džeko (79' Correa). Subs: Radu; D'Ambrosio, Dimarco, Ranocchia; Gagliardini, Vecino. Coach: Inzaghi.

Referee: Mariani from Aprilia.
Booked: 33' Brozović (I), 58' Martínez (I)


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