“Three fatal minutes” and “We made life difficult for ourselves” with “Individual errors” were all words that Andrea Stramaccioni used to explain Inter’s defeat to Parma last night. With the Derby Della Madonnina just around the corner, the young Inter coach will not be allowed ten fatal seconds.
On the outset it looks bleak for the Nerazzurri, another performance was dogged by mistakes at the back, and the sluggish play was representative of a team that looked like it was craving for the end of the season.
In some parts of the game you could have been forgiven for assuming that the Nerazzurri had nothing to play for and that they certainly could not have had something as important as Champions League qualification at stake.
Milan on the other hand are now only a point away from league leaders Juventus after the ‘Old Lady’ inexplicably blew their lead at the top against relegation threatened Lecce. They are playing with passion and desire and a tempo that mirrors their self belief and it would seem that the Derby, is theirs for the taking.
Inter who lost a one goal lead and then imploded against Parma, have no time to dissect their 3-1 defeat as the Derby and all its fervour is now upon them. Even if they did tactically, mentally and physically assess the game it could be summed up in the simple terms of ‘could have, would have, should have.’ Focus will be easy to shift as this match is a game like no other in the season and there just may be some positive signs in the build up.
Firstly Inter are at home, with their neighbours still pushing for the title there will be no chance that the supporters will make this an easy fixture for the Rossoneri. Secondly the fact that Milan are under such pressure to get a result could play into Inter’s hands. It goes without saying that if they defend as they have been doing then they will get nothing for the game, but this is a different sort of match, where each player cannot dare to be lethargic, only nerves can force mistakes in this game and Inter’s veterans have seen it all.
If the Nerazzurri can get through the first twenty or thirty minutes without conceding then the nerves and the atmosphere will surely start to affect their neighbours. There will be pressure on the Nerazzurri but in the heart of hearts of many Inter supporters, after the Parma result the Champions League is now just a pipe dream.
The stage is now set for one of the greatest footballing derbies on the planet. Inter versus Milan, a title deciding derby that will make or break a season. For the Nerazzurri, analysing matches past is irrelevant as when this game comes around nothing else matters. What if they lose? It is true that if they do then European competition may elude them this year, but on the brightside, it did not do Juventus any harm this year, did it?