Majestic Meazza spurs Inter to derby glory

AC Milan certainly got the better of Inter Milan in the infancy of their intense rivalry. I Rossoneri registered nine wins to I Nerazzurri’s five in the fixture’s first 17 meetings, and they posted an emphatic 8-1 victory in its only knockout clash in the 1917/18 Coppa Mauro.

The tide nonetheless began to turn from 1927. That’s when an attacking midfielder who, as a 13-year-old four years earlier, had been rejected by Milan for being too skinny, made his professional debut for Inter. His name was Giuseppe Meazza.

In his first Derby della Madonnina, Il Balilla scored one and set up the other as Inter beat Milan for the first time in six attempts. By the time the teams met at the Arena Civica in November 1932, 80 years ago to this Tuesday, Meazza was unquestionably established as Milan’s nemesis. He had, after all, registered some magical assists and breathtaking goals as Inter went six matches without losing to their bitter enemies.

Milan were determined to avoid that figure rising to seven. Their goalkeeper was determined that he wouldn’t concede a goal to Meazza, vowing pre-match that the Italy international wouldn’t score past him.

As the clock ticked on to 75 minutes, Dario Compiani was en route to keeping his promise. And, by then, three of his team-mates – Mario Magnozzi, Pietro Arcari and Giovanni Moretti – had got on the score-sheet. By then, however, Meaaza had employed his exquisite dribbles and defence-parting passes to lay on a brace for Attilio Demaria and goals for Marcello Mihalic and Virgilio Levratto, which had Inter at a 4-3 lead.

After playing the role of grand creator, Meazza killed off the game – and Compiani’s promise – with 14 minutes remaining, waltzing past two Milan defenders and slotting the ball home to make it 5-3. And though Magnozzi managed to score again, it proved nothing more than a consolation for Milan.

The outcome helped Inter establish what remains a club-record 17-match undefeated run in the Derby della Madonnina, during which time Milan were incessantly unable to negate the output of Meazza.

Their answer? I Rossoneri, whom Meazza had scored against 12 times, snared him from I Nerazzurri in a headline-erupting deal in 1940. Finally, the exceptionally gifted extrovert would no more subject them to more afternoons like that frosty one in November 1932.

Legendary players
Click this Classic Players link to read about the superb careers of former AC Milan or Inter Milan players Roberto Baggio, Franco Baresi, Marcel Desailly, Giacinto Facchetti, Ruud Gullit, Paolo Maldini, Lothar Matthaus, Gunnar Nordahl, Daniel Passarella, Frank Rijkaard, Ronaldo, Paolo Rossi, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Enzo Scifo, Juan Schiaffino, Marco van Basten and George Weah.