Milan fought back from 2-0 down, but Marco Parolo’s free kick gave Parma victory with the last move of the game.
The Rossoneri were buoyed by a 1-1 midweek draw with Barcelona, although the injury crisis dragged on with Christian Abbiati, Stephan El Shaarawy, Giampaolo Pazzini, Daniele Bonera and the suspended Philippe Mexes unavailable. Parma had ex-Milan men Roberto Donadoni and Antonio Cassano in control, but Stefano Okaka, Daniele Galloppa and Gabriel Paletta were sidelined.
Parma had won just one of the last 10 editions of this fixture, both 1-0 results in 2003 and 2009. There was a minute’s silence for Ferdinando Pasotti, the grandfather of Parma President Tommaso Ghirardi.
Mario Balotelli was in a new trident and had a new look, shaving off his trademark Mohican and removing his diamond earrings.
Parma broke the deadlock with Marco Parolo, though much of the credit goes to Jonathan Biabiany. He burst past Kevin Constant and his cross was deflected into the path of Parolo to fire in from seven yards.
Parolo threatened again, this time firing at Gabriel, while Matias Silvestre stopped Cassano’s cross from coming through to Amauri.
Andrea Poli came very close to an equaliser just past the half-hour mark, but his angled drive shaved a coat of paint off the upright.
Balotelli went down in the box, but was booked for allowing himself to fall far too easily. Robinho only scuffed his volley off target after great work from Poli.
Parma made it 2-0 in first half stoppages when Biabiany again burst down the right, Parolo knocking the cross back in for Cassano to pick his spot from 12 yards, beating Gabriel at the base of the near post.
Straight after the restart Cassano and Biabiany tested Gabriel again, so Max Allegri took drastic measures, replacing Balotelli and Poli with Alessandro Matri and Kaka.
Cristian Zapata’s deflection took a Walter Gargano attempt off target, but Gargano couldn’t believe he hadn’t scored on the hour mark when he gathered from Cassano and smacked his shot on to the underside of the crossbar.
Moments later Matri got Milan back into the game with his first goal for the club. He held of a marker to place a precise snooker-shot into the far bottom corner.
It was like a light suddenly coming on, as Milan were now a totally different team and turned the match around completely. Zapata’s header from a corner hit the bar, but Silvestre turned in the rebound.
Riccardo Montolivo almost made it 3-2, hitting the side-netting, while Valter Birsa’s free kick skimmed the bar. It was all Milan now, aided by the fact Cassano had to go off due to a headache when colliding with Gabriel.
Kaka dribbled through the Parma defence and Mirante needed a knee to deny his finish, but the hosts were furious when Nigel De Jong was booked for a foul on Aleandro Rosi and they claimed it was a clear scoring opportunity, but was too deep into midfield for that.
In the final minute Constant completely missed a cross and Gabriel was decisive in blocking at Rosi’s feet.
Just as Milan thought they had done enough to earn a point, Parma restored their lead at the Stadio Tardini. Parolo had opened the scoring and his free kick from a good 30 yards out flew past a surprised Gabriel into the near bottom corner. The Rossoneri wall clearly split in two.