Milano. “Cold mind and warm heart”: this is how Stefano Pioli prepares the most decisive derby in recent years, as the childhood legend of the coach Tex Willer would have done. You need precision, control but also the pride of those who want to give a dream as a gift. Milan will try to overtake Inter, they will do so by relying on Ibrahimovic but not only. Because the whole group has to make the difference.
“Between Ibra and Lukaku? I keep Ibra all my life”, declared the coach at the conference. Great respect for the Nerazzurri striker, but the Swede has changed the face of this Milan, he has given courage to the young players, shown a spirit of sacrifice and a desire to think big. The two strikers will meet again after the famous fight in the Italian Cup. “It would have been better if it hadn’t happened – admits Pioli – but tomorrow is another match, there will be duels, clashes, it’s a very heartfelt match, but there will also be great respect and professionalism”.
Milan, one distance from Inter, could be satisfied even by earning just one point. But he will not take the field aiming evenly: “If you approach a match like this, you are closer to defeat than to victory. We will go on the field to win, we want to build the game but we will also have to defend. We will play our cards to the end”. Also because Inter, according to the Nerazzurri coach, was built to win. Milan “is the young surprise team of the league”. But that this season has shown that anything is possible and that dreams should not be limited. Milan’s goal is the Champions League, losing with Inter would mean a little further decrease in the advantage over direct competitors in fourth place, a week before another decisive match against Roma. But now there is the derby, the most heartfelt game of the season and which returns to smell like the Scudetto. Tomorrow there will be no Mandzukic who had to stop due to a very slight injury. Out also Bennacer, who came out in the first half of the match in Belgrade in the Europa League, but his is not a relapse and Pioli hopes to get him back soon. The key to the match lies in precision and cynicism, assures the Rossoneri coach: “The two teams have a very clear physiognomy. The previous derbies have always been balanced, with several scoring chances. Tomorrow the team that will have more compactness and that he will be able to be more precise he will have more chances. We want to play a high level game. It is a very important game, we can get back in the lead. It will not be a decisive match, but it is very important. We have prepared it like this. ” A delegation from the Curva Sud charged the Rossoneri team today at Milanello. Choirs, drums, flags and a banner: “90 minutes to the assault. The derby is won”. San Siro will be empty, the pandemic has upset the rituals and expectations of the Milanese derby. No derby in the stands with choreographies that go around the world. The ultras met outside the stadium to wait for the bus to pass. The only way, despite the anti-crowd directives, to feel the derby adrenaline and try to transmit it to the players before taking the field and trying to win a victory that is worth the first place.