Milan were pegged back at the 95th minute by Verona for a 2-2 draw and Pippo Inzaghi’s decisions will be picked apart.
Inzaghi was under huge pressure and surprised everyone by dropping Mattia Destro and Salvatore Bocchetti for Giampaolo Pazzini – making his first start of the season – and Philippe Mexes on his return after a ban for attempting to throttle Lazio’s Stefano Mauri. The injury list included Alex, Nigel de Jong, Riccardo Montolivo, Mattia De Sciglio, Stephan El Shaarawy, Cristian Zapata, Pablo Armero, Cristian Zaccardo and Adil Rami. Hellas had never won this fixture with nine draws and 16 defeats between Serie A and B.
Pazzini hit a fresh-air shot on Jeremy Menez’s pull-back, then Jacopo Sala’s angled drive skimmed the far post.
Sulley Muntari clumsily clattered into Artur Ionita to give away an early penalty, which Luca Toni converted with a cool as you like ‘Panenka’ chip over Diego Lopez.
Jack Bonaventura drilled wide, while a Mexes scorcher from 30 metres whistled inches past the upright and Artur Ionita forced Diego Lopez to parry at the near post.
Milan did get back on level terms when Mexes was tripped by Bosko Jankovic after a free kick, earning a penalty. Menez stepped up and blasted a powerful finish past Francesco Benussi.
Straight after the restart the Rossoneri turned it around completely and Mexes was crucial again on his comeback. He kept his cool to pounce on a loose ball, go round Benussi and try to squeeze it in from the by-line, but it ricocheted in off a combination of Eros Pisano and Panagiotis Tachtsidis.
Verona also lost Rafael Marques to injury during that chaotic move and Toni drilled wide. Milan sat deeper and deeper until Tachtsidis hit a scorcher that thumped the underside of the bar and bounced off the ground.
Keisuke Honda curled over on the counter and Menez limped off with a muscular problem. Andrea Mandorlini was also sent off for dissent in stoppages.
Gabriel Paletta rushed to clear when Muntari’s dreadful back-pass had sent two Verona players on goal, as Milan clung on to the slender lead by their fingernails.
However, they were inviting the pressure and deep into stoppages Hellas drew level when Nico Lopez kept his cool one-on-one with Diego Lopez, as it was knocked down by Juanito Gomez Taleb on the edge of the box and the Rossoneri were caught napping.