Inter & Adriano (literally) have one hand on title

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Inter have one hand on the title, so to speak.

Adriano may not have known much about Maicon’s bullet-like cross, which nearly took his head off, but the ball was not travelling anywhere near the goal until his errant hand deflected it into the net.

The fact that the referee and his assistant missed the incident is bad enough, but how can the Milan defenders and goalkeepers call themselves Italian footballers if they can’t even muster the energy for a bit of referee bating?

Milan's galactios opt against appealing for handball

Total indignation is the usual response whenever the opposition score, and if there is a hint of any wrongdoing then it’s taken to apocalyptic levels of arm-waving, pushing and shoving coupled with all manner of unsavoury behaviour.

Not, however, the oh-so polite Milan backline. Goalkeeper Christian Abbiati raised an arm in protest, but then thought better of it after seeing Paolo Maldini strolling off in the opposite direction.

Paolo – in his final derby - was probably already thinking of Miami and retirement, while the dishevelled Kakha Kaladze was still wearing his pyjamas under his kit and, oblivious to any potential rumpus, returned to his slumbers.

That moment sums up the general malaise sweeping through the Milan camp at the moment - the only distraction provided by the David Beckham tug-of-war with LA.

Of course, Becks had to pick the derby to have his first stinker. And it must have brought back memories of the 2006 World Cup for England fans, as he made sure everyone could see that he was only coming off because he was injured.

"Look, it really hurts" 

Posing elegantly at the edge of the dug-out, he continued to rub his leg just in case anyone hadn’t got the message.

Gianluca Zambrotta must have missed the script reading, with the full-back deciding he should play the role made for Beckham: making countless runs to the byline although lacking the ability to actually deliver a telling cross.

Inter, for their part, just did what it says on the tin marked: “Jose, I win matches.”

There is nothing fancy about Mourinho’s approach. And why complicate matters when you can get your players to run and pass the ball for the full 90 minutes?

Now being nine points ahead of Juventus and an ocean’s 11 in front of their city rivals has allowed the Special One to plaster on that George Clooney-esque smirk once again.

Smug George looks on

Monday morning in Milan was certainly shining brightly for the Portuguese, who is now safe in the knowledge that he can basically do and say whatever he wants.

Well, until he comes up against Manchester United at least.

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