Inter 5, Milan 1: The €134 million Loss

With a record 5-1 loss to Inter and a record fifth Derby loss in a single calendar year, everyone immediately looks for someone to blame. Pioli was a common denominator in all five losses, so that is an obtuse conclusion. However, while victim blaming is in vogue these days, the answer is actually much simpler than that: this management made far too many changes this summer, and this team were neither built nor prepared to win this match. With 17 players leaving and ten new players coming in, it was a very unbalanced transfer spend of €134 million in all. Pioli did all he could to manage the losses, but has said from day one that the loss of Tonali was a massive technical loss and this team would need time. He changed his whole system to attempt to accommodate what this management's ideas were for this squad, but it clearly was not enough. None of the new players imposed themselves in this match, none of them were worthy reinforcements. At the end of the day, if your pain still affords you the ability to look for blame, you can call this one the €134 million loss.

The heavens wept for Milan fans everywhere, who had to endure this €134m loss.

Let's start on a slightly brighter note, the coreo. Despite having the entire stadium teeming with slithering Inter fans to present something great, their coreo fell short once again. It depicted a slightly adorable rat with the banner "You emerged from the gutter." Which is a weird insult coming from a team that emerged from the team they are claiming emerged from the gutter. The other banners accused Milan fans of being "touchy" and "with a complex." Okay. I only wish their team played as bad as their fans attempted to "insult" us.

The Curva Sud knows how to fight, even when on a horrific losing streak.

Meanwhile, the Curva Sud, limited to just the second tier, as the away team, filled it completely with a glorious and beautiful coreo depicting an "Internazionale Circus." All of the characters and items referenced their losses, or "being left empty handed" and Simone Inzaghi being King of cup finals (only winning Coppa Italia and Supercoppa trophies.) The artwork was resplendent with a sad clown, giraffes, the Turkish flag, and the Champions League logo, amongst other things, highlighting their most recent failure. I only wish our team played as clever and beautifully as our fans create coreo,

I do not have a lot of strength to rehash the entire match. The bottom line is that none of Milan's new players were ready for the Derby, they were weak links in a team that had been disemboweled by Cardinale and Friends this summer. The players who were left had played in these big matches before and were up for the battle, but were even more outmanned and outnumbered, given the many changes this summer. Tomori and Kalulu were greatly missed in defense as well.

Missing defenders with no reinforcements, Thuram an Inter protagonist instead of a Milan player.

The first half goals came from Mkhitaryan in the fifth minute, after not just one but two Inter fouls on Milan players on the buildup, of course, but a VAR review allowed the goal to stand. 1-0 Inter. They are the team that only wins if there is some level of cheating or dirty play. Thuram, who had an agreement with Milan to join us for free this summer, but changed his mind and went to Inter when Maldini was suddenly sacked, scored an incredible goal in the 38th minute. 2-0 Inter.

Milan's best chances of the first half were from free kicks, and with the downpour of rain in the second half, Pioli made his first sub: bringing Chukwueze on for Pulisic. Milan's lone goal came from a Theo Hernández ball in to Giroud, who got the assist as he sent it in to Rafa Leão, who showed the Inter fans what they missed when he was injured in the one Derby in May. 2-1 Inter, Milan were back in the game. (Not that it justified them burning his jersey, but given their history, that was probably about something else, anyway.)

Rafa Leão showing why his renewal was so essential, even to clueless Cardinale and Friends.

Milan played better for a while, until conceding the third goal in the 69th minute, when Mkhitaryan earned the second for his brace. 3-1 Inter. Milan fell apart after that, and Pioli's subs of Okafor, Florenzi, and Jović, who was making his Milan debut, did not really change anything. Theo conceded a penalty, which the Never-Scudetto™ ex-Milan Calhanoglu converted to make it 4-1. Musah replaced Loftus-Cheek in the 86th minute, and Frattesi, who demonstrated that he was truly an Interista with poor sportsmanship, struck the final nail in the coffin in the 93rd minute. 5-1 Inter.

Both Thiaw and Theo earned yellow cards. That is Theo's third yellow in four matches. Considering that Cardinale and Friends only felt it necessary to buy new players on the wings and in the attacking midfield, when Theo is suspended here in a couple of matches, that should be really enjoyable to see how we play without him.

Theo Hernández turning on the turbo speed... on the pitch and in the ref's notebook.

It is absolutely extraordinary to me that people are blaming Pioli for this loss. He put his strongest 11 out there. But, contrary to brainwashed beliefs, his strongest 11 is weaker than last year, particularly defensively. Milan have not allowed Inter to scored five goals against them for nearly 50 years, but Cardinale's "more physical, faster, more intense" Milan side will go down in the history books as one of the worst Milan sides to face Inter in a Derby. He wanted change, he got it. 

Now maybe he understands why Serie A doesn't care about his "30 years of experience" with "companies like Apple, Amazon, Paramount, Disney, ESPN, and Fox." None of us care. Because they are not relevant. They don't win games. He doesn't even understand the damage of not doing anything about Serie A allowing Inter to be sponsored by Paramount+, who streams all of the Serie A matches here in the U.S. What U.S. fans saw in this match was their precious "Captain America" completely overrun by the team that is sponsored by their streaming network. I don't know what his 30 years of experience have taught him, but from where I sit, that is some really terrible sports marketing. Maybe he should focus on his day job and leave the football club ownership to people who know football.

As many have predicted, Pioli will undoubtedly be Cardinale's next "change," but he is not really at fault. 

While Cardinale was going on and on about how he wants to be "Berlusconi 2.0" this week in the press, Pioli was trying to come up with a starting 11 that could possibly match Inter's squad that has quality, consistency, and depth. And he couldn't. Because Cardinale stole all of that from him. Ironically, it was reported this week that according to current market prices, Milan's squad is actually worth slightly more than Inter's (even if Inter still have higher wages.) I assume that assessment will change after this tragic excuse for a matchup, which demonstrated the need for footballing knowledge in management, as well as consistency in a squad.

Not the result anyone wanted, least of all Jović on his Milan debut.

There is a lot of potential in the individual talent of the players Cardinale and Friends purchased. But collectively, this is not a team. You cannot buy a team. Nor can you build one overnight. That takes time, like Pioli has said in pretty much every single interview since Maldini was sacked. Even Berlusconi 1.0 understood this, his success was building on a core team and spending on just a few important players. But Cardinale must learn, and unfortunately, we as fans hostages of this club, must painfully watch him learn. That includes suffering through horrific matches like this one, the €134 million loss.

This post inspired by the music of Jane Siberry's "It Can't Rain All the Time"

Our next match is 
Champions League Group Stage
AC Milan vs. Newcastle United F.C. 
Tuesday, September 19, 2023 • 18:45 CEST (12:45pm EDT)

Inter 5, Milan 1: The €134 million Loss Inter 5, Milan 1: The €134 million Loss Reviewed by Elaine on 3:30 AM Rating: 5
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