On Sunday, each corner of Milan will hold its breath for 90 minutes. Whether it’s the black and blue of Inter inside the San Siro or the red and black of Milan, the two Italian football institutions have set up a thrilling end to a thrilling season.
Cynics in Italian football will point to Juventus’ nine consecutive titles between 2012 and 2020.
Only now is the pendulum of momentum shifting to Milan, the footballing capital.
Inter and AC Milan have won 37 league titles in 120 editions of the Italian tournament.
They have had vastly varied experiences leading up to the final day. Inter are trying to go back-to-back, but without manager Antonio Conte. For Milan, they have not had a better chance to end their 11-year title drought than this.
Last season, they had to have been hiding out and battening down the hatches as Inter’s triumphant supporters descended on the Duomo to toast the Scudetto.
Milan now understands that if they don’t take care of business, it will be them who are hailed as cult heroes by their fans. After 37 games, only two points separate these historically renowned rivals. Now, 90 minutes will determine who the true Kings of Italy are.
Milan is champion in two of three situations.
If they win at Sassuolo, they will win by at least two points. If they draw, they will win on goal difference or on head-to-head with Inter.
Milan tied 1-1 with their opponents in their first meeting this season before overcoming them 2-1 in the rematch.
Inter, in general, requires assistance.
The Nerazzurri are anticipated to easily defeat Sampdoria, whose fans have spent the week parading the streets to celebrate the relegation of bitter rivals Genoa, so expect someone on the Inter bench to be paying close attention to happenings at Sassuolo.
Inter have 81 points, but given that they are two points behind and have a poorer head-to-head record, only a Sassuolo win will suffice.
When it takes 11 years to win the Scudetto, Milan fans might be excused for going crazy on the eve of the end of the drought.
For weeks, the devoted Rossonerri fans have acted like crazed dogs, seeking to force the squad to victory. The Curva is alive and well, with a conviction that this team hasn’t seen in a decade.
Milan’s bus was made to crawl past the swaths of spectators gathering outside the stadium before the game against Atalanta. Drones shown an astounding degree of support and turnout.