Coppa Italia Semifinal • Inter vs. Milan: Breathe the Pressure

This match is more important to fans than most Coppa Italia semifinal matches would be. Not just because it is the fourth Derby della Madonnina this season, a rivalry unlike any other. And not for the Coppa Italia trophy that is at stake in the final, either. Much is being anticipated in this match because of the Scudetto race that these two teams are contending for. Even though this is a completely separate competition and this match has no bearing on that race, mentality, exhaustion, and injuries incurred in this match could impact it, that's how close it is. So this is not just another Coppa Italia semifinal second round.

Calm before the storm

After a dreary February dip in form and being knocked out of the Champions League, Inter have won their last three league matches. Unlike our second half of the season matchup with Spezia, Inter's trip to Spezia on Friday was reffed professionally and without incident, allowing them to take all three points. (That is six points difference in the Scudetto race, for those of you who are keeping track.) For that match, Inzaghi lined up Handanović; d'Ambrosio, Skrinar, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Brozović, The Turkish Traitor™, Perisić; Dzeko, and Correa. As of this writing, Inzaghi has his entire squad available for this match.

Pioli will still be missing his Viking duo of Ibrahimović and Kjaer, as well as Florenzi and Castillejo due to injury, with Romagnoli in doubt due to fitness and rumored transfer negotiations. Calabria took ill and was a late scratch from the starting lineups with flu symptoms on Friday, so is also in doubt as of this writing. With all of the rumors surrounding the sale of the club, we will be lucky if that does not impact mentality as well.

Will the Milan wall stand strong?

The first leg was all even, leaving it all to this match. Milan demonstrated that they could score again against Genoa and kept their seventh straight clean sheet, but will they be able to score against a more in form Inter side? And more importantly, will they be able to keep another clean sheet against the Nerazzurri? We already know that Inter will take anything they are given and that the refs have favored them this season while Milan have seen the exact opposite. But at least this time, Milan do have the slight advantage of the last incarnation of the away goals rule – should the score be even at the end of regulation, Milan would win on this technicality. 

There is more tension than usual, although this match will likely have no bearing at all on the Scudetto race, barring injury misfortunes or some massive swing in mentality. Even if one team wins, that would embolden the other team that much more to fight harder for the Scudetto. But in a season filled with injuries and referee robberies for Milan and a squad like Inter whose wages are 40% higher than Milan's, yet they are still two points below us in the league despite all of the help from the injuries and referees, there is a lot of pressure to perform in this match... at least for that team. Milan just have to hold our heads high, have fun, and remember to breathe.

This post inspired by the music of The Prodigy's "Breathe"

Coppa Italia Semifinal second leg
il Derby della Madonnina
Inter vs. Milan
Tuesday, April 19 • 21:00 CEST (3pm EDT)
This match can be streamed LIVE on Paramount+
or can be seen on CBS Sports networks

Coppa Italia Semifinal • Inter vs. Milan: Breathe the Pressure Coppa Italia Semifinal • Inter vs. Milan: Breathe the Pressure Reviewed by Elaine on 11:00 PM Rating: 5
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