Milan Derby: Defeat Shows Rossoneri Are in for Rough Season

Ben Chodos@bchodosCorrespondent IIOctober 8, 2012

MILAN, ITALY - OCTOBER 07:  Robinho of AC Milan (R) speaks with referee Paolo Valeri during the Serie A match between AC Milan and FC Internazionale Milano at San Siro Stadium on October 7, 2012 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

AC Milan lost 1-0 to Inter in the first Milan Derby of the season. The disappointing defeat will be one of many letdowns during the Rossoneri’s current campaign.

Inter’s Walter Samuel headed in a free kick played into the box by Esteban Cambiasso in just the third minute of the match. To make matters worse, the free kick was won by Antonio Cassano, who made the mutinous move from Milan to Inter this summer.  

The Rossoneri were a man up for the majority of the second half after midfielder Yuto Nagatomo received his second yellow card in the 48th minute, but failed to capitalize on their advantage.

The result was the fourth time in seven Serie A matches that Milan failed to walk off the pitch with points, and the team currently sits 11th in the table. Two of the team’s four losses came to Udinese and Atalanta, who are currently in 14th and 19th place, respectively. 

This season was always going to be different than the glorious history that has characterized the club. Milan was forced to sell Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva—arguably the club’s two best players—to Paris Saint-Germain in order to help with serious financial problems.

Inter has been hit with similar problems as well, losing Maicon and Julio Cesar during the transfer window, and ESPN’s James Horncaslte noted the drastically changed nature of the derby, writing:

The value of both squads, according to La Repubblica, has decreased by as much as 111 million euros in the past year, reinforcing the impression that this is the Austerity Derby, or even Il Crash-ico.

While neither club is a European football giant anymore, Inter appears to be dealing with the seismic shift significantly better than Milan. The Nerazzurri are currently tied at 15 points with Lazio, and the two clubs trail only Juventus and Napoli

While selling players was necessary in the offseason, Horncastle notes that the move will not make Milan any money if the team fails to finish in the top three spots in order to qualify for Champions League. The UCL matches are lucrative events for the participating clubs, and missing out on these fixtures would be extremely detrimental to the team’s revenue. 

After an atrocious start to the season, the Rossoneri’s ability to qualify for Champions League next season is in serious doubt.  Even worse, this is the best-case scenario for the club this season, as it seems impossible that Milan will be able to compete with Juventus and Napoli for a league title.

The club’s supporters are being forced to drastically reform their expectations as the quality of the squad has suddenly decreased. This season will be characterized by Milan grasping at a third-place finish. 

It will be a rough road forward for the club and its supporters, as its era as one the titans of European club football is over for the time being.