Monday, December 8 th, 2014
Mission  |   Team  |   Contact Us    
Fernando Torres vs Mauro Icardi: who won the Derby's tactic face-off?
Both largely disappointed in yesterday's clash, but Icardi tried to create some dangers for Diego Lopez, while el Niño was virtually absent from the game
by Federico Formica
Yesterday night’s draw at the San Siro perfectly reflects the poor state of form of both the Milanese teams. Inter's attempt to control the game didn't bear fruits, while Inzaghi set Milan on a defensive aptitude and the Rossoneri were dangerous especially in fast counter-attacks. A strategy that Inzaghi adopts for the clashes against the best Serie A sides (in the game vs Juventus the Rossoneri applied a sort of catenaccio). But it must be said that the Essien-Muntari wall in front of the defense was effective and frustrated most of Inter’s attacks. That was a good choice.

There were high expectations on two famous strikers for the Derby della Madonnina: the Argentinian Mauro Icardi (7 goals in Serie A so far) and the Spaniard Fernando Torres, who netted only once so far but has an ace in the hole Icardi cannot rely on: experience, a crucial skill in this kind of the games. Unfortunately both disappointed the expectations, and their offensive sterility negatively influenced the game, although their respective team-mates are also to be blamed for that.

Fernando Torres. Every Premier League follower knows it: El Niño is not the same as three-four years ago. There's nothing new. But one could hope in Fernando Torres' resurrection in a less-physical and pacey league as Serie A. At the moment, this seems to be a naive illusion. Yesterday the ex-Liverpool and Chelsea striker was virtually absent from the game and he drifted away from Inter's penalty box, with six successful and four missed passes from the left flank. He didn't hit a single shot and, as we can see in the image below, his defensive contribution was also null (although probably that's not what Inzaghi requires from him). Three aerial duels lost (and none won) are also a bad indicator for a player with his skills. Torres is not required to build up the play, nor to help his team-mates in the defensive phase. He only has to score goals and create chances for him and the other forwards. The problem is that he seems unable to do that. Menez's goal is another sign of Torres' bad moment: the French scored from a central-striker position. Exactly where Torres should have been.

Fernando Torres' game in numbers:
Shots: 0
Chances created 0
Passes: 65%


Mauro Icardi. Everybody expected a great game from Mauro Icardi, but the best came from his fellow countryman Rodrigo Palacio. While El Trenza was able to build some chances for Inter (especially from the right flank) even producing a remarkable defensive effort (2 successful clearances, tackles and interceptions), Icardi's derby was basically colourless. The 21-year old forward failed a huge chance in the 8th minute, when he shot against Diego Lopez a ball that - normally - he would convert in a goal. That was his only shot in the opposite target of the game, so Icardi played the rest of the derby with a gigantic regret to corrode him, drifting in the opposite third without leaving a mark. At least, during the best moment of Milan, Icardi managed to give a hand to Inter's defenders with two successful clearances and hit the cross-bar in the final minutes. But it's definitely not enough for a top-class finisher like him.
We can consider Icardi as winner of today's face-off.


Mauro Icardi's game in numbers:
Shots: 3
Chances created 0
Passes: 50%

Data are from FourFourTwo Stats Zone and Squawka

Monday, November 24 th, 2014
For discussion of this topic and many more about Serie A, join R/ItalianFootball