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Sport Milanese renaissance sets up biggest Milan Derby in 10 years

15:37  18 february  2021
15:37  18 february  2021 Source:   reuters.com

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By Alasdair Mackenzie

ROME (Reuters) - Ten years have come and gone since a Milan Derby in Serie A mattered this much.

When the two storied Italian clubs go head to head at San Siro on Sunday, it will be the first time since April 2, 2011 that the fixture represents a clash between the league’s top two teams.

The 2010/11 season proved to be the end of an era for football in the city.

Milan lifted the title to halt Inter’s five-year Scudetto stranglehold, but Inter were consoled with a Coppa Italia triumph. Neither club has won either competition since.

Much has changed since then. Both clubs have had three different ownership groups. Nine coaches have been in charge of Milan since the start of the 2010/11 season. There have been 12 at Inter.

Juventus hold Inter to book spot in Coppa Italia final

  Juventus hold Inter to book spot in Coppa Italia final Juventus hold Inter to book spot in Coppa Italia finalRomelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez had chances to get Inter back in the tie in the first half, while Cristiano Ronaldo came closest to adding to Juve's aggregate advantage in the opening period, having scored both of their goals in the first leg.

A football-crazy city has been starved of the level of drama that Sunday’s match-up promises, as Inter go into the game one point ahead of their neighbours on top.

NOTHING BETWEEN THEM

That scenario looked unlikely a week ago, but Milan’s surprise 2-0 defeat against Spezia on Saturday night, and Inter's subsequent 3-1 win over Lazio, ended a 19-week spell as league leaders for Stefano Pioli’s side.

With Juventus, who have won the Italian title for the last nine years, facing a transitional season under rookie coach Andrea Pirlo, Inter were tipped by many pundits as this year's title winners.


Gallery: Germans at the Club World Cup (dw.com)

a group of baseball players playing a football game: It was just too cold for the Brazilians. Bayern Munich won their home leg in November 1976 against Cruzeiro 2-0. Snow at the Olympiastadion did not help the visitors. Back in Belo Horizonte the second leg ended 0-0, giving Bayern their first Intercontinental Cup title. Bayern had won the European Cup in 1974, 1975 and 1976 but did not play in the

But this is the first time they have been top in the second half of a Serie A season since May 2010, when they won the Treble under Jose Mourinho.

Spezia 2-0 Milan: Maggiore and Bastoni stun Serie A leaders

  Spezia 2-0 Milan: Maggiore and Bastoni stun Serie A leaders Milan could end the weekend second in Serie A after Spezia inflicted a first top-flight away defeat on the Rossoneri since December 2019.Milan fell behind 11 minutes into the second half when captain Maggiore opened his league account for the season from close range before Bastoni added a sumptuous second after 67 minutes.

The story of the season suggests there will be little to split the two teams.

They have met twice in 2020/21, Milan winning an October league meeting 2-1, before Inter earned revenge with victory by the same scoreline in January’s Coppa Italia quarter-final.

LET BATTLE COMMENCE

The talismanic figures of Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic dominated those encounters.

They were responsible for all three goals in the October fixture, while their physical and verbal clash during the recent cup game was so heated that it resulted in the Italian Football Federation opening an inquiry.

Ibrahimovic scored and was sent off that day, while Lukaku scored a penalty before Christian Eriksen’s 90th minute free-kick winner.

The rivalry of the two former Manchester United team-mates has come to symbolise this season’s Milanese football renaissance, to the extent that a mural was painted outside San Siro this week of the pair clashing heads during the cup game.

The two strikers are their respective clubs' top scorers, Lukaku with 16 league goals and Ibrahimovic with 14, but their influence goes beyond that as they look to use their ferocious competitiveness to drive their team-mates towards the title.

The Milan Derby isn’t the only big game in Serie A this weekend, though.

Ten points separate the top seven teams and two of them, fifth-placed Napoli and Atalanta in sixth, are level on 40 points ahead of their meeting in Bergamo on Sunday.

Juventus, in fourth, will look to bounce back from a Champions League defeat to Porto when they host bottom side Crotone on Monday, while third-placed Roma travel to Benevento and seventh-placed Lazio host Sampdoria.

(Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Man United braced for 'good fight' against Milan, Solskjaer insists .
After United sailed beyond Real Sociedad in the previous round, thanks to their 4-0 first leg triumph in Turin, Serie A title contenders Milan were pitted against them in another testing tie. And, ahead of the two historic clubs facing each other competitively for the first time since 2010, Solskjaer explained that he is relishing the clash and the chance to reunite with former United players. © Provided by Daily Mail Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insisted Manchester United are braced for a 'good fight' against AC Milan 'It feels like a Champions League game, which is good,' Solskjaer said.

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