Inter Milan 4-2 AC Milan
Inter Milan are back on top of Serie A after a stunning comeback in the Milan derby.
Two nil down at half time after Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic had bullied their defence, I Nerazzurri somehow fought back with four second half goals to take the Milan bragging rights, and keep their Scudetto hopes well and truly alive.
The Serie A 2020 results from Saturday gave this game, always an epic, even more significance. Juventus’ shock defeat away to Hellas Verona meant Inter could draw level at the top of SBOTOP Serie A with a derby win.
They did it in spectacular style, and while Stefano Pioli’s Milan is now 22 points behind Inter, Antonio Conte’s team is ahead of Juventus at the top of the league on goal difference.
Highlights of the game
You’d think Inter would be right up for this game, but it was Milan who showed the greater intent at the start and gave Antonio Conte’s team a serious warning on nine minutes. While the Inter players fumed, believing that Nicola Barella had been fouled, Hakan Calhanoglu jinked his way towards the Inter box and unleashed a fierce shot which bounce back off the upright.
Inter heeded the warning and came out on the front foot. Alexis Sanchez has been pushing for a start in Conte’s side, and he forced a corner on 18 minutes. And when he latched on to the loose ball from the corner kick he curled a shot which took a deflection and bounced to safety.
But AC Milan have a legendary hero in their ranks, once again, after the return of the incomparable Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and what better stage than the San Siro for the great Swede to display his genius. He might be 38 years old but he will always be there when there are headlines to be made and he had a big role to play in Milan’s opening goal.
When a cross flew in from the left side he climbed above veteran defender Diego Godin to nod the ball down into the path of Ante Rebic who poked the ball home to give I Rossoneri a deserved lead.
Pioli would have been happy at that, but his team doubled their lead in first half stoppage time as the Inter defence fluffed their lines again when Franck Kessie flicked on for Ibrahimovic to head beyond Daniele Padelli and into the net.
Conte had work to do at half time.
Is he a magician?
Well the way his team responded you might wonder. The Nerazzurri captain, Marcelo Brozovic, stepped up first, using brilliant technique to fire a volley past Gigi Donnarumma to half the deficit on 51 minutes.
Two minutes later Inter were level and the San Siro was going crazy. The lively Sanchez sprung the offside trap and as Donnarumma rushed out to close him down he squared for Matias Vecino to fire home. There was an anxious wait for VAR but the goal stood and Inter were right back in the game.
And craziness turned to mayhem on 7 minutes. A Romelu Lukaku effort had been deflected out for a corner, and when the cross came in Stefan de Vrij stooped to lift a header into the top corner.
It’s what derby dreams are made of, and when Christian Eriksen’s 35 yard free-kick crashed back off the cross bar we were almost entering into the surreal!
But there was still time for Ibrahimovic to give I Nerazzurri a major scare, leaping above the Inter defence to deliver a thumping header but it crashed back off the post.
And when Romelu Lukaku headed his 17th goal of the season deep into stoppage time the party started.
What a game!
Inter have two more big games to come up this week, with a Coppa Italia semi-final against Napoli, followed by a trip to Rome to take on fellow title chasers Lazio. But then there’s a trip to Ludogrets in the Europa League, a result of Conte’s men crashing out of the Champions League rather earlier than they’d hoped.
Meanwhile AC Milan face Juventus in the other Coppa semi-final on Thursday, before entertaining Torino in a Serie A clash the following Monday.