CDK will not soon forget the first Milan derby: mistake when conceding goal, but he and Milan recover. Italian press: “He didn’t pull a rabbit out of his hat.” | Sport

Serie AHis men for the big moments stood out: phenom Raphael Leão, the inevitable Olivier Giroud and goalkeeper Mike Maignan gave AC Milan the win against city rivals Inter (3-2). Charles De Ketelaere (21) will not soon forget his baptism of fire in the derby della Madonnina. Although he quickly left that deadly mistake in Brozovic’s opener behind him. Lesson learned. The superlatives in the Italian press were – rightly – absent: “Didn’t live up to expectations.” Hadn’t they set it too high themselves? AC Milan and Napoli share the lead in Serie A for the time being.

Minute 54. For the Curva Sud, the one with the hard core of AC Milan, Charles De Ketelaere throws himself on his knees. He screams out. Olivier Giroud has just led his team 2-1. San Siro explodes. De Ketelaere cheers like an ultra. Happy for Giroud, content for the team, maybe also for himself.

In the end story of the Milan city derby, CDK is really just three paragraphs.

A passage from which he will draw his lessons. It wasn’t all that overwhelming. Part of the adaptation to a bigger league, to opponents of a different level as well. At the highest level, you also pay the mistakes in cash in Serie A. See Marcelo Brozovic’s opener. De Ketelaere followed him first. But when the Croat accelerated, he just couldn’t follow him. Brozovic gave Inter the lead on Correa’s pass.

Brozovic scores, De Ketelaere arrives too late. © AFP

In the sixteen where he would go to his knees forty minutes later, De Ketelaere bowed his head. He shook the head of hair once. He knew he was partly responsible.

Fortunately AC Milan still has Raphael Leão. A fickle Portuguese who is high on Chelsea’s wish list. A dribbler who slalomed Milan to the title last season. He doesn’t always listen to Zlatan, but they take those antics with them. He’s there for the flashes. He scored the equalizer from an oblique angle.

Leão to the party a second time. © AFP

The signal for De Ketelaere to turn his back. He narrowly headed over on a corner kick. Afterwards, after a good run, he forced a mistake on the edge of the sixteen.

Pretty much the end of his story in the derby. In the riots, typical of the confrontation between AC and Inter, he kept aloof. After the break he was still booked for a foul on Brozovic on the edge of the box.

Past the hour, after Giroud’s opener, De Ketelaere was allowed to rest. Giroud whispered sweet words to him. Pioli gave him an encouraging hug. This is what his trainer, in the rain to compliments from public figures and the Italian media, warned: CDK has yet to learn. Sometimes the hard way. The head coach has seen that too. In Italy they won’t judge him for that mistake. There they usually show patience and mercy with newcomers. Especially when they hyped it themselves.


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Leão zigzagged San Siro to the delirium with a great solo. Milan’s Little Wonder – the artist whose market value is rightly more than double that of De Ketelaere.

Substitute Edin Dzeko made it even more exciting. Inter pulled. Inter pushed. But came across one Mike Maignan, another champion maker of Milan.

In the final, Divock Origi and Alexis Saelemaekers were also allowed to show up at Milan.

Lukaku was missing from Inter due to a muscle injury. He went along on seclusion to assist the team.

After the final whistle, De Ketelaere and teammates formed a circle around trainer Stefano Pioli and sang ‘Pioli is on fire’ together with the stadium, to the tunes of Gala.

De Ketelaere was there just before the break with a header close by.
De Ketelaere was there just before the break with a header close by. © AFP

“He didn’t live up to expectations”

Last week against Bologna they brought out the expletives and superlatives for De Ketelaere’s performance. The 7.5 from then is today a 5.5 in the Gazzetta dello Sport. Correct quote. “He didn’t live up to expectations, which were perhaps too high. Brozovic gives him a difficult first quarter. CDK recovered, but he never pulled that enchanting ball he showed against Bologna.” No magician, no prince. Maybe they exaggerated a bit last week. “He gave up”, also knew the Corriere dello Sport. “He wasn’t the man.” They also gave a 5.5.

Bee Sky Italy and the Corriere della Sera he scores a six out of ten: “Didn’t go free with Inter’s goal, letting Brozovic run. But when he has the ball at his feet and cuts it, there is always danger. Wisely replaced after being shown a yellow card.”

His trainer didn’t have to answer specific questions about him this time. Make a change. Ex-Milan coach Arrigo Sacchi, who won the Champions League at the time, picked him out in his analysis: “He is good. He knows how to escape from cover. And how to dive into the spaces.”

CDK
CDK © RV

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