AC Milan fell to a painful 3-2 defeat to Inter in the Derby della Madonnina on Sunday night, with Mauro Icardi scoring a hat trick. The Rossoneri twice fought back from a goal down through goals from Suso and Giacomo Bonaventura, but a late penalty from the clinical Inter striker ensured Vincenzo Montella's side were left empty-handed.
The improvement in the second half was significant. The players were more aggressive, played with more urgency and took the game to Inter, which led to their goals and getting firmly back into the game. Positives can certainly be taken from the display after the interval.
It was the complete opposite to the above in the first half, as Inter won the 50/50 battles and played with more aggression, while Milan seemed content to slow the game down and had no flow or quality about their buildup play. Whatever was said at half-time needs to be the message to the players moving forward.
Manager rating out of 10
5 -- Montella deserves credit for his half-time team talk and made the right decision in acting quickly and bringing Patrick Cutrone on at the break. However, there's no excuse for getting tactically outdone in the first half and sending his players out with such little desire and character.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Gianluigi Donnarumma, 5 -- Not entirely convincing with his distribution, but can't be blamed for any of the three goals as there was little he could have done to deny Icardi's clinical finishing.
DF Mateo Musacchio, 6 -- Did well to help nullify Ivan Perisic's threat for most of the game, but could have arguably done better in key moments with the first two goals. However, it was a decent showing from the Argentine overall.
DF Leonardo Bonucci, 5 -- There have been more inspirational speeches on Instagram than good performances from the captain this season. Looked very shaky when Inter broke at the backline, while it's unfathomable how Icardi found so much space in the box for the second goal. Continues to struggle.
DF Alessio Romagnoli, 5 -- Was left exposed by Ricardo Rodriguez in his defence, but ultimately it was a poor overall performance. Booked early on for a foul on Antonio Candreva, who caused plenty of problems for him throughout.
MF Fabio Borini, 7 -- After all the criticism, the versatile Italian now deserves credit. Kept Perisic under wraps for the most part and produced an assist for Milan's second goal. Adapting to his new role well and put in another solid shift for his team.
MF Franck Kessie, 5 -- Replaced at half-time, the usually combative midfielder just wasn't at the races for this one. Had one brief moment of quality where he looked a threat to set Borini free, but that was the only notable contribution.
MF Lucas Biglia, 5 -- Struggled at times with the pressure and pressing of the Inter midfield, but gets marked down specifically for his costly mistake in giving the ball away in the buildup to the second goal.
MF Giacomo Bonaventura, 6 -- Got himself on the scoresheet and was always determined to try to make something happen. Too desperate at times as he tried too much, but ultimately, he was one of the better performers.
MF Ricardo Rodriguez, 4 -- Despite being the most consistent performer for Milan this season, the Swiss international put in his first poor display. Couldn't deal with Candreva as Inter looked a threat on their right flank throughout and then a moment of madness at the death as he gave away the penalty.
FW Suso, 6 -- The Spaniard was ineffective in the first half as he struggled badly in the tactical setup. Was more influential after the switch and produced a bit of individual magic with a great goal. Montella needs to put him in the right areas on the pitch to get the best out of him.
FW Andre Silva, 6 -- Battled hard from start to finish in a tough outing against Miranda and Milan Skriniar, and was unfortunate not to register his first Serie A goal after hitting the post. Needed to do more, though, as he clearly has it in his locker to be a real presence up front.
FW Patrick Cutrone, 6 -- His introduction changed Milan. Battled for every ball, lifted his teammates and was a threat in and around the box. Had an excellent impact on the game.
MF Manuel Locatelli, NR -- Arguably should have been brought on earlier as Biglia looked tired in the closing stages. Added a bit more steel in midfield and wasn't afraid of flying in for tackles.