Of all the classic derbies around the world, there are none that can compare with the Derby della Madonnina. The Milan derby combines history, drama, and uniquely a shared stadium, and when the two teams have something to fight for, as is the case this week, it also comes with very high stakes.
As the two teams prepare for the Milan Derby tonight, Inter will be hoping that their win last week against Udinese will close their chapter of disappointing draws and Juventus' 2-1 loss to Hellos Verona last night opens up the title race yet again. The Nerazzurri find themselves three points behind the Old Lady on the Serie A table, and a win against their fiercest rivals will give them exactly the confidence boost they so desperately need.
The two genuine powerhouses of the Italian game have won 18 Scudetti apiece and 10 European Cups/Champions League titles between them. While neither club are the European powerhouses they once were, this fixture has given us some unforgettable matches over the years.
5. Milan 0-4 Inter, (August 2009)
In one of the most one-sided derby games in recent history, Jose Mourinho’s Inter kicked-off their treble-winning campaign by cruising past their city-rivals. Inter were two points behind Leonardo’s Milan after their opening day draw against Bari, but managed to kick-off their campaign in style. It was some way for Wesley Sneijder to make his debut for Inter, who had only signed for the club the day before.
Thiago Motta gave Inter the lead on 30 minutes before Diego Milito made it 2–0 from the spot. Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso received his marching orders soon after, as Maicon made it 3–0 on the stroke of half-time. Dejan Stankovic’s goal on the hour mark rounded off a memorable night for the Inter and their fans.
Inter went on to have their greatest ever season. They would win the Serie A title, Coppa Italia, and the Champions League. They are still the only Italian club to ever achieve this feat and they started this historic season in some style with this win over Milan.
4. Inter 0-6 Milan, (May 2001)
Heading into this derby, the Milan clubs were level on points but floundering in the middle of the Serie A table. There has been no other derby game that came close to the 2001 derby in terms of lopsidedness. Both clubs were experiencing a terrible season, and fighting for a UEFA Cup spot. A mere two minutes into the game, Milan winger Gianni Comandini’s left-footed finish put the Rossoneri ahead. Comandini then made it 2–0 with a perfectly executed header.
Federico Giunti made it 3–0 early on in the second half, before all-time Derby della Madonnina top goalscorer Andriy Shevchenko netted a brace to take the score to 5–0. A few minutes after, Serginho darted past the Inter defenders before comfortably slotting past Sebastian Frey to make it 6–0 for the Rossoneri. It was a big highlight in an otherwise mediocre season for Milan, who finished the season in sixth place.
3. Inter 6-5 Milan, (November 1949)
Milan Derbies of the past always meant a goal-fest. Following up a 4-4 draw in February was always going to be tough, but the two Milan clubs went three goals better when they met again in November of 1949. The Rossoneri scored after just 36 seconds through Enrico Candiani, and then the winger put them two up in the seventh minute, grabbing an early brace.
Istvan Nyers got Inter off the mark, but Milan pulled away again through Nordahl, and Liedholm made it 4-1 before the 20-minute mark. Incredibly, the Nerazzurri fought back to reclaim a 5-4 lead before Milan tied it up with 31 minutes left. Amedeo Amadei scored the final goal of the match, completing his hat-trick, and clinched a truly remarkable win for the Nerazzurri.
2. Milan 2-1 Inter, (October 1984)
The Rossoneri had already reached rock bottom, not once but twice. The Totonero scandal in 1980 demoted the team to Serie B, and after an immediate promotion to Serie A, they faced relegation once more in 1981-82. Facing up to derby No. 106, they had not experienced victory against Inter for six years, and they had a point to prove.
Alessandro Altobelli gave the Nerazzurri the lead in the first half, before former Roma captain Agostino Di Bartolomei equalised for AC Milan. On the hour mark, Franco Baresi played the ball wide to Pietro Paolo Virdis whipping in a cross that found Englishman Mark Hateley who powered a header past Walter Zenga in the Inter goal to end his side's terrible run with utmost authority.
In January 2016, Milan fans unfurled a banner dedicated to Mark Hateley, a tribute which was a throwback to Hateley's brilliance in the 1984 Milan derby.
1. Inter 3-2 Milan, (December, 2005)
As the first derby match since that infamous abandoned Champions League quarter-final between the two Milan clubs, tensions were running at an all-time high coming into this clash.
The two Milan clubs had been drawn together in that year's Champions League quarter-final and Milan held the advantage in the second leg after defeating Inter 2-0 in the first meeting. Andriy Shevchenko scored on the night to make it 3-0 on aggregate to Milan, but things turned sour as Inter fans began to hurl flares onto the pitch. One struck Milan goalkeeper Dida and the referee was forced to abandon the match.
When the two rivals met again in 2005, Inter were the team with the most to prove, having not defeated their fierce rivals in their previous 10 attempts.
Adriano opened the scoring for Inter from the penalty spot. A handball in the box gave Milan a penalty of their own, which Andriy Shevchenko calmly slotted away to draw them level. Obafemi Martins and Jaap Stam added to the scoring to make it 2-2 heading into full time. But in the 93rd minute, Adriano put an end to Inter's torrid run in the Milan derby with a headed goal.