Fredy Guarin’s screamer gave Inter the Derby della Madonnina and top of the table, but Mario Balotelli hit the post for Milan.
The Nerazzurri would be the only team with a 100 per cent record with a victory tonight and top of the table on their own after five years. They threw deadline day buys Ivan Perisic and Felipe Melo straight into the mix, while Mauro Icardi returned from injury. Gary Medel moved to centre-back for the sidelined Joao Miranda, dropping Andrea Ranocchia. Milan gave Riccardo Montolivo his first competitive appearance in seven months, while Juraj Kucka and Keisuke Honda also supported the strikers. Andrea Bertolacci, Jeremy Menez, Luca Antonelli and M’Baye Niang were injured.
After two minutes Samir Handanovic rushed out to clear from Luiz Adriano on a Carlos Bacca through ball, then a similar chance was fired over. Stevan Jovetic drilled wide, but Luiz Adriano was again clear on goal until Juan Jesus sliding tackle as he was pulling the trigger.
Jovetic went close with a strike from the edge of the box that flashed just wide of the far post. Fredy Guarin only glanced his head to a Jovetic free kick, so Diego Lopez was able to smother. With the last kick of the half, Icardi sprung the offside trap and went clear on goal, but Diego Lopez parried with his legs.
A poor Diego Lopez clearance went to Jovetic, but Cristian Zapata was alert to close him down, while Diego Lopez fingertipped a Guarin header over the bar from Perisic’s cross.
Just as Milan seemed to be pressuring Inter, the Nerazzurri took the lead on the counter when Guarin ran forward and unleashed an unstoppable strike from 20 metres that flew into the near bottom corner. It was an absolutely ferocious left-foot finish and a fine way to mark the Colombian’s 100th Serie A game.
Mario Balotelli made his Milan ‘debut’ to a hail of jeers from the crowd and created a chance with his first touch, the free kick flashed across the face of goal with Luiz Adriano just unable to tap in.
Juan Jesus was stretchered off following a Kucka challenge and gave Alex Telles his debut. Icardi’s diving header on a Davide Santon cross was over from point-blank range thanks to pressure from Ignazio Abate.
Balotelli went on a mazy run and Telles risked an own goal to clear, then hit a screamer from distance that smacked off the base of the upright.
Handanovic had to be at full stretch to palm a remarkable long-range Balotelli free kick off the line, as it was flying in at the far bottom corner.
Milan poured forward throughout stoppages, but Jack Bonaventura blasted well over twice from promising positions.