AC Milan vs Inter: 5 Greatest Milan derbies of the 21st century

AC Milan vs Inter: 5 Greatest Milan derbies of the 21st century

Ayoola Kelechi 20:39 - 09.05.2023

The Derby Della Madonnina, one of the most famous derbies in football history is set to light up the UCL semifinals and in celebration of this we look back at the most colossal Milan derbies this century

AC Milan versus Inter is a fixture that rarely fails to live up to expectations, The fixture is regarded as one of the most keenly contested derbies in the world and has a history of offering up exciting showcases. 

With another Derby Della Madonnina set to light up the UEFA Champions League semifinals, we look at the greatest five from this century.

Inter 3-0 Milan (Serie A, February 25, 2021)

The animosity between both teams was at a recent high after a period of calm when Inter and Milan played the final derby of the 2020/21 season in February 2021. 

The source of the tension stemmed from a heated Coppa Italia quarterfinal just a month earlier, where Inter’s Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku and Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic started a melee that took several players and staff to separate. 

Lukaku declared himself King of Milan after he led Inter to a 3-0 derby win
Lukaku declared himself King of Milan after he led Inter to a 3-0 derby win

Ibrahimovic was sent off as Inter won 2-1 in the Cup game, but the battle continued into social media, and Milan swore revenge over the league leaders at the time. 

Instead, the derby became the match that crowned Lukaku as the King of Milan over Ibrahimovic. He scored once and assisted another as Inter romped to a convincing 3-0 win over the Rossoneri on their way to conquering Italy at the end of the 2020/21 season. 

Inter 3-2 Milan (Serie A December 11, 2005)

The first derby played after the infamous UEFA Champions League quarterfinal (see below) was an incredibly entertaining 3-2 encounter in Serie A that lived up to the Derby Della Madonnina hype, featuring some of the fixture's most enigmatic players as well. 

Nigerian forward Obafemi Martins gave Inter a 2-1 lead after Adriano and Andriy Shevchenko had traded goals, only for Dutch giant Jaap Stam to claw Milan back into the game. 

The derby was eventually decided by an Adriano header late in the game as he earned the Nerazzurri a vital win. 

Vengeance tasted sweet for Inter, who got one over their neighbours after the UCL defeat and managed a victory over Milan for the first time in 10 matches. 

Milan 6-0 Inter (Serie A, May 11, 2001)

This match provided the biggest spanking ever recorded in the Derby della Madonnina and makes it to the podium of the greatest fixtures this derby has been. 

With both teams in turmoil throughout the 2000/01 season, the second derby of the Serie A season was expected to be a tight affair, like the first leg which ended 2-2. 

However, the red half of Milan had other plans and mercilessly pummelled Inter with six unreplied goals. 

Milan, legend Shevchenko, was in only the second season of his Milan career and was already on his way to becoming a Rossoneri legend, scoring twice in the 6-0 win. 

Gianni Comandin also scored two of the three goals of his Milan career during this game, making him an instant crowd favourite at the time. 

No Milan derby before or since has seen a beating this thorough and it remains a stain on Inter’s derby legacy. 

Inter 4-0 Milan (Serie A, August 29, 2009)

Inter got some measure of revenge against Milan eight years later as they ran a steamroller over the Rossoneri on the way to a fifth consecutive Serie A title and a treble at the end of the season. 

Heroes of Inter’s treble, Thiago Motta, Diego Milito, Maicon and Dejan Stankovic, all scored for the Nerazzurri as they stamped early dominance over Milan with a 4-0 victory in only the second week of the 2009/2010 Serie A season. 

The match was a foretelling of things to come, as Milan could only finish third in the league standings behind AS Roma and were only three points away from losing their UCL place. 

Milan 3-0 Inter (UEFA Champions League Quarterfinal, April 12, 2005)

The infamous forfeited UEFA Champions League match is arguably the greatest Derby Della Madonnina fixture of the 21st century, as it embodied the tensions that the derby can produce while also showing the quality of the players on display. 

Milan and Inter had some of the best players in the world on the pitch, but it was activity off the pitch that caught the most attention. 

An incredible 82,000 people packed San Siro to see if Inter could overturn a 2-0 first-leg deficit against Milan, but after Shevchenko increased the aggregate lead to 3-0 and Inter’s Esteban Cambiasso had an effort ruled out, Nerazzurri fans felt they had seen enough. 

The Derby Della Madonnina had to be called off after flares were thrown onto the pitch and the players required police protection
The Derby Della Madonnina had to be called off after flares were thrown onto the pitch and the players required police protection

Flares were thrown onto the pitch, hitting Milan goalkeeper Dida, as chaos reigned in the stands, causing the game to be halted. 

Milan were awarded the win in a 3-0 forfeit, although they would probably have won the fixture on aggregate regardless. 

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