There were days in the early aughts when Thierry Henry was simply unstoppable. Unfortunately for Internazionale November 25th 2003 was such a day. The Invincibles were guests at San Siro that day but while their domestic campaign was taking off, Europe seemed elusive. On the fifth Champions League matchday a win was needed to survive in the competition. Luckily for the Gunners they had Henry.
The Derby della Madonnina splits many a household in Milan. At casa Baresi in 1979 the bragging rights lay with Franco. The 19 year-old had yet to taste defeat against his older brother Giuseppe. Twice they had faced each other at the senior level. Both matches came during the Serie A season ‘78/79: Milan won the first 2:0, earned a point in the second (2:2), and went on to claim the Scudetto; sitting a cool eight points ahead of their city rivals Internazionale in the final table.
Franco had just broken into the first team. Appearing in all 30 matches he began to make a name for himself. With one caveat. Franco was “The Other Baresi”. The Other Other Baresi played for the Nerazzurri. Giuseppe had sufficiently impressed the Inter coaches during a trial in 1974. Franco had not. Milan needed some convincing too, but Franco found a new home at Milanello.
And what a time to join the Rossoneri, at least when it comes to the derby. From November 1974 all the way through to October 1979 Milan did not lose any match against Internazionale. Thirteen times they met in league or cup during that run. A more one-sided derby form was only enjoyed by Inter who went sixteen meetings without defeat just prior to World War II.
Heading into matchday 7 of the Serie A season ‘79/80 Internazionale sit atop the table, one point ahead of Milan in second place. Both sides from the Lombard capital are still unbeaten. Continue reading
April 1979: As Internazionale and Juventus meet at San Siro, the sides are level on points. The hosts eke out the visitors on goal difference. Both, though, are unhappy with their position, sitting a respective fourth and fifth in the Serie A. With six matchdays remaining Milan are four points ahead. Only the winners could reasonably hope to catch them.
Nearly half of the Italian World Cup winning squad of 1982 is on display. Six future champions lace their boots for Juve in this match, four feature for Inter. The two coaches who would help shape this emerging generation of Italian talent were recent managerial additions for their clubs. Eugenio Bersellini had only just taken over as the Nerazzurri head coach in the summer of ‘77. In his first season in charge, Inter finished fifth but claimed their first Coppa since 1939.
Giovanni Trapattoni had a year’s head start on Bersellini. In 77/78, his second of ten seasons in Torino had netted the second consecutive Scudetto. Of 30 matches the Bianconeri only lost one. Defence was their claim to fame. A stretch from late November ‘77 to mid March ‘78 saw Juve concede just two goals in 16 league matches, one coming via penalty. Goals were hard to come by at both ends of the pitch. Roberto Bettega was the team’s top goal scorer with just 11 goals to his name. For contrast: young Paolo Rossi had netted 24 times for Vicenza. Continue reading