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Dhaka Tribune

Four of the biggest Milan derbies

Inter will have the chance to win their 20th Serie A title Monday by beating local rivals Milan

Update : 22 Apr 2024, 06:29 AM

Inter Milan will have the chance to win their 20th Serie A title Monday by beating local rivals AC Milan in a hotly-anticipated derby between two giants of Italian football. Here we look at four of the most important matches in the history of an iconic city derby:

2003: Milan triumph on way to Champions League
Milan fans' dreams came true in 2003 when they beat Inter in the Champions League semi-finals and Juventus in that year's final at Old Trafford as Italian football reigned supreme over Europe. Two teams stacked with iconic players did battle over two legs at a typically pulsating San Siro, with Milan eventually reaching the Old Trafford final on away goals thanks to Andriy Shevchenko's opener on the stroke of half-time in the return match. Milan then triumphed over Juve on penalties after an understandably tense showdown in England, one of the most famous victories in the club's history.

2005: The derby of shame
Before the draw for the 2005 Champions quarter-finals former Milan managing director Adriano Galliani was desperate to not be drawn with another Italian team. Galliani, who was Silvio Berlusconi's right-hand man during Milan's golden years, had no desire to repeat that experience of 2003 and although the Rossoneri would again emerge victorious it might have been better had the tie never taken place. Milan would have calmed Galliani's nerves with a 2-0 victory in the first leg but the return fixture became one of the most famous matches in European football history for all the wrong reasons. Shevchenko killed the tie in the 30th minute of the second leg, but an Esteban Cambiasso goal being disallowed late on sparked fury among Inter's ultras, who launched a barrage of flares onto the pitch with one striking Milan goalkeeper Dida. The players were ordered back into the dressing rooms and what became known as the "Derby of Shame" ended up being awarded 3-0 to Milan, who went through to the semis 5-0 on aggregate. It was not all bad for Inter fans however, as they got to watch Milan throw away a three-goal half-time lead and then lose on penalties to Liverpool in one of the most thrilling Champions League finals of all time.

1988: Sacchi's Milan dominate
Milan had been waiting eight years for a league title by the time little-known Arrigo Sacchi was picked as coach in 1987 by Berlusconi, who saved the then-ailing club from bankruptcy one year previously. Ruud Gullit and Marco van Basten both arrived that summer and Gullit was on the scoresheet in a completely one-sided Milan derby, won 2-0 in late April 1988 by Sacchi's team who would burst past Diego Maradona's Napoli to win that year's Scudetto. It was the first major trophy of Berlusconi's long reign as Milan owner and set them on the way to becoming the European powerhouse that they had not been since Gianni Rivera starred in red and black in the 1960s.

2009: Treble winners Inter destroy Milan
Jose Mourinho will always be loved by Interisti for winning their club the Serie A, Italian Cup and Champions League treble in 2010, a season that will remain as probably the best of any Inter team. Inter were already Italy's dominant team as the "Calciopoli" match-fixing scandal had damaged both Milan and the other traditional powerhouse Juve, and a 4-0 hammering of Milan in August 2009 was a hint of what was to come. Thiago Motta and a Diego Milito penalty put Inter two ahead after 35 minutes and it was game over when Gennaro Gattuso was sent off for Milan moments later. Maicon added the third in first-half stoppage time before Dejan Stankovic completed the rout with a blockbuster strike midway through the second half. Inter would go on to win Serie A on the final day and triumph over Bayern Munich in that year's Champions League final before Mourinho left for Real Madrid, bringing the curtain down on a rich period of Nerazzurri dominance.

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