Three takeaways from Inter 5-1 AC Milan: Mkhitaryan’s statement, more derby despair for Pioli

Inter were in total control against AC Milan as they put five past their city rivals, with Marcus Thuram and Henrikh Mkhitaryan playing a starring role. For Stefano Pioli, it's yet another Derby della Madonnina defeat.

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Inter laid down an absolutely massive marker on Saturday evening as they beat city rivals AC Milan 5-1 at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, maintaining their 100% record in Serie A.

A lightning start from Simone Inzaghi’s side saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan grab the opener, which was soon followed by a superb strike from Marcus Thuram. Rafael Leao grabbed one back, but second-half goals from Mkhitaryan, Hakan Calhanoglu and Davide Frattesi meant it was an embarrassing night for Milan.

Inter are now top of Serie A as the only team to have won all four games, whilst Milan will have to regroup before Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Newcastle.

Thuram is turning Lukaku and Dzeko into a distant memory for Inter

Inter’s Marcus Thuram celebrates. [@Inter_en]

There was understandable excitement when Inter got the deal for Marcus Thuram over the line. He had shown his quality at Borussia Monchengladbach, but there was always the chance that he may struggle at a much bigger club. He isn’t struggling.

Whilst Lautaro Martinez has a great presence for a player of his physical profile, he has always been paired with a bigger player, like Edin Dzeko or Romelu Lukaku. Thuram almost seems to combine the best attributes of both of those players. His goal against Milan had the pace and strength that you associate with Lukaku‘s best times at Inter, and then the incredibly cultured and precise finish out of nowhere that Dzeko is known for.

Thuram is undroppable in Simone Inzaghi‘s Inter side after a handful of games and when you consider he has Marko Arnautovic and Alexis Sanchez behind him, he could be set to play a lot of football this season.

Mkhitaryan responds to calls for Frattesi to start

Henrikh Mkhitaryan celebrates for Inter. [@Inter_en]

There were many calls coming into this game for Henrikh Mkhitaryan to be dropped from Inter‘s midfield so that new signing Davide Frattesi could start. He’s an exciting player and he had scored twice against Ukraine just a few days prior at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza for Italy.

Inzaghi stuck with Mkhitaryan and the Armenian certainly repaid that faith. He has such immense technical quality and he often turns up in big games, and he did that by scoring twice for the Nerazzurri and helping maintain the tempo throughout the game.

The time will surely come when he is phased out for Frattesi, but it may take longer than some fans expected. He’s also a team player; on a hat-trick, Inter were awarded a penalty but he allowed Hakan Calhanoglu to take it with no argument.

For what it’s worth, Frattesi came off the bench and netted in the 93rd minute. Inzaghi is spoilt for choice.

AC Milan’s Derby della Madonnina hoodoo continues

AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli. [@acmilan]

Five in a row. This is a horrendous run in Milan derbies for AC Milan now. Having beaten Inter 3-2 at the start of the 2022/23 season, the Rossoneri have now been beaten five times in a row by the Nerazzurri, which includes two legs of a Champions League semi-final.

At that point, a serious mental block has been created in this Milan squad, and clearly having a host of new signings who weren’t in the previous four defeats is not enough. It will take something special from Stefano Pioli and his players to get up for the next Derby della Madonnina.

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