Why Ballo-Touré didn’t see red in Milan derby

by | Nov 8, 2021 12:09

Inter coach Simone Inzaghi wanted a red card for Fodé Ballo-Touré when the Milan full-back brought down Matteo Darmian, but Daniele Doveri is being praised by the Italian papers for his decisions in the derby.

Doveri’s performance is being highlighted by the Italian press after the Derby della Madonnina on Sunday, a positive note during a difficult time for the match officials in Italy.

Milan and Inter clashed for the first derby of the season and Franck Kessie gave away a penalty in a duel with former Rossonero Hakan Calhanoglu at the start of the game.

Serie A | Milan 1-1 Inter: Dramatic Derby della Madonnina

Doveri pointed at the penalty spot when the Turkey international anticipated the Ivorian with his foot and the Milan midfielder brought him down inside the area.

VAR checked the decision and confirmed the penalty kick, as the images clearly revealed the contact stopping the Nerazzurri player in his path.

The second penalty decision was more controversial due to Inzaghi’s reaction. The Inter coach was not happy with Doveri only showing Ballo-Touré a yellow card.

The Milan full-back brought down Darmian in the area and it was a clear penalty for the Beneamata, but the Inter coach obviously wanted a different colour on the card.

However, this is a decision in line with the regulation. Ballo-Touré’s intervention aims to take the ball and this, according to the rules, discriminates the seriousness of the incident despite being a goalscoring opportunity.

Il Corriere dello Sport highlights the good performance by the match official on Sunday and defined the referee as ‘perfect’ in the Derby della Madonnina.

La Gazzetta dello Sport agrees with the referee too, highlighting the ‘genuine intervention’ of Ballo-Touré and the correct yellow card.

At the other end, Milan called for handballs on Hakan Calhanoglu and Joaquin Correa, but both newspapers agree the right calls were made.

Doveri only showed the one yellow card during the game at San Siro and read the intense game very well.


  1. tom

    I’m sure Inzaghi knows the rules and is just frustrated, but it makes him look incompetent. It’s not just an attempt to play the ball, he even got his toe on it first, so there’s zero room for interpretation there.

  2. Vero Rossonero

    At the end of the day I think 1-1 is the correct result. But speaking of the penalties, what I saw was Calhanoglu tripping Kessie first and Ballo-Toure’s toe getting to the ball first. For me it’s clear the first was a foul on Kessie. For the second I can see how Ballo-Toure would be call for sliding through the player, but it still remains he got the ball first if ever so slightly. Maybe I’m crazy or just biased? Perhaps I need to review the rules?

  3. Rosario

    1. Hakan fouls Kessie, causing Kessie to become unbalanced and then legs get tangled. Woeful officiating and even worse on the part of those running VAR.

    2. Even my grandma who has been dead for 20 years could see that Ballo-Toure makes a beautiful sliding challenge and gets a toe to the ball. It is only natural that momentum of him slide tackling and Darmian running forward would cause them to come together – common sense. But he has 100% touched the ball and has only gone for the ball. Again – horrendous judgement on the people reviewing the VAR monitors.

    The officiating was pro Inter the entire game. There were so many 50/50 challenges, shoulder to shoulder comings together, and not a single one went Milan‘s way.

  4. rosario

    And whilst we’re at it with their whinging. How many times were Milan told by Doveri to put the ball out of play because of an Inter playing faking injury? I thought the referee only stops the game if the player down has a suspected head injury? Otherwise the onus is only on the team in possession to put the ball out.

  5. Vero Rossonero

    I’ll also add that if Ballo-Toure touches the ball first, and it’s still ruled a foul, then it has to be because it’s dangerous play and like Inzaghi wanted, a red card. But they didn’t give him a red, because- “However, this is a decision in line with the regulation. Ballo-Touré’s intervention aims to take the ball and this, according to the rules, discriminates the seriousness of the incident despite being a goalscoring opportunity.” How was it then determined that he “aimed to take the ball away”? Oh, was it because he touched the ball first? So if he touches the ball first and it’s NOT judged to be dangerous play how can it even be a foul? Nuts.

  6. Milan Fan

    At this rate Inzaghi will want the crown of England by the end of the season.

  7. Milan Fan

    Inter coach Simone Inzaghi wanted a red card for Fodé Ballo-Touré…”

    At this rate Inzaghi will want the crown of England by the end of the season.

  8. Michael

    I think the first penalty was so-so, yes Kessie was sort of pushed, was it enough to take him down? He fell because he wanted the foul, then puts his leg sideways into Hakan’s path. That’s not a normal place for his legs to be, so I can understand an interpretation that he intentionally took Hakan out as he fell for a non-foul. The real issue here is Kessie (1) shepherding the ball into the penalty area, and then (2) not clearing it when he knew he was under pressure in such a dangerous position. All he had to do is kick it out for a corner and apologise for getting into that mess, but he tries to keep it and makes it much worse.

    The second, again I don’t think it was that clear. Did Ballo Toure actually get the ball? I watched it a few times and couldn’t tell, though it did seem like the ball moved sideways after he did that challenge which makes me think he barely got a toe to it. But did he take out Darmian first? I think so (just from memory, I’m not studying the images), so the penalty may well have been right. So I don’t really begrudge either penalty, rather it’s our fault for getting into those situations.

  9. putuco

    Italy is the first place where you can make a foul being behind a player. Other than an elbow hit, this is just not possible.

    I understand the second penalty – even if Ballo-Toure hits the ball first, then he took Darmian because the force of the play. I think that is an acceptable penalty call, but the first only in Italy is a penalty and only in Italy a referee is praised for a blatant mistake

  10. putuco

    I mean being in front of a player, my bad

  11. Milanfromoslo

    First penalty is tricky to judge. I think it’s a 50/50 call, and Kessie made the mistake to be in that situation in the first place. The foul on Kessie I do not think is clear and obvious, thus giving Inter that penalty is not outrageous.

    The second penalty is similar to the one Ibanez on Ibrahimovic at the Olympico. However Ibanez gets Ibrahimovic before he gets the ball, thus I think it’s not clear and obvious to give penalty to Milan in Rome. Ballo Toure clearly gets the ball before the man, though ever so slightly. Ballo Toure slides into Darmian, but I don’t think it is dangerous. It would be nice to know what the VAR thinks about these situations, to know what they are discussing. I think all three penalties mentioned are not judged completely wrong, however I think we need transparency. Nevertheless you cannot say Milan where lucky to be given two penalties against in the derby. Without the two penalties Milan would’ve won. I don’t think Inter can complain about anything else than their ineffectiveness in front of goal.

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