The Derby della Madonnina used to be one of the biggest games in Europe. But both clubs have lost their way in recent years, and Sunday’s edition was not even the biggest game in Serie A this weekend. That match involved leaders Juventus and second place Lazio.
Still we had a packed San Siro to watch these bitter rivals meet, and both sets of fans will feel that if not for referring decision, they would have won.
Milan were the first to have the ball in the net on the half-hour mark with Alex after a Suso free kick almost turned into a Danilo D’Ambrosio own goal, but the offside flag was raised. A good call by the linesman.
Then in the second half Inter thought they had scored with a classic counter when Hernanes burst down the left and rolled across for Palacio, only for Mexes to accidentally bundle it over his own line. However, the officials disallowed it for a Palacio shove on Antonelli in the build-up as they all ran into the box. In real-time it looked like a bad decision by the referee, but looking at replays it was a foul by Palacio.
The most conversational moment came before the Mexes own-goal when Hernanes saw his shot charged down on the penalty spot. Luca Antonelli was right next to him and Hernanes kicked the ball up on to his hand, but it’s also true to say the Milan defender’s arm was outstretched. The referee considered it to be involuntary amid penalty appeals.
Inter boss Roberto Mancini was furious with the decision after the match saying:
“It was a totally clear penalty. Completely clear. The referee saw perfectly well last week on Guarin’s handball, he considered that voluntary, so why not this one?
Milan boss Pippo Inzaghi did not think it was as clear a decision as Mancini made it out to be saying telling Sky Sport Italia:
“They were very close, I think it was involuntary. It’s true we’ve seen penalties given for less, but I generally wouldn’t give a penalty for that”
The bottom line though is that neither Milan sides will be in Europe next season, and this was a battle between two middle of the table sides. The game still had the passion and intensity that we expect from a Derby della Madonnina, but what was missing was the individual pieces of world class skills that have graced this game in the past.
What did you think of the derby and the referee’s decisions?