Carlos Bacca bagged a brace as Milan ended Palermo’s unbeaten run with a thrilling 3-2 victory.
Nonetheless, the Rosanero remain ahead of their opponents in the Serie A standings after four games.
The Rossoneri lost two of the opening three rounds, but Sinisa Mihajlovic said he saw a much stronger performance against Inter and fielded the same starting XI. The Sicilians won here 2-0 last season and arrived in sparkling form with two wins and a draw.
Luiz Adriano immediately burst down the right and pulled across for Carlos Bacca and Aljaz Struna was putting the ball into his own net, but Stefano Sorrentino stuck out a thigh to clear off the line.
Ignazio Abate picked up a thigh problem almost immediately and eventually made way for 18-year-old defender Davide Calabria.
Keisuke Honda almost scored a sensational goal, as he flicked the ball over two defenders in a ‘sombrero’ style before his final chip landed on the roof of the net.
Moments later, Milan took the lead. Jack Bonaventura used his heel to roll a Calabria cross into the path of Carlos Bacca, who turned in with the outside of the boot from nine yards in an unorthodox first-time finish.
Sorrentino beat away a Bonaventura rocket from distance, but Palermo equalised with an Oscar Hiljemark free header after Diego Lopez completely misjudged a corner.
Luiz Adriano again tested Sorrentino at the near post and Bacca had penalty appeals for a Struna shove, then the Colombian failed to make the most of a Mato Jajalo misplaced pass by trying to beat Sorrentino with a rabona. Mihajlovic was furious on the touchline, wondering why the ex-Sevilla striker didn’t do something simpler.
Bonaventura had a hand in the first goal and got the second himself, earning the free kick and curling it into the near top corner to restore Milan’s lead. Palermo Coach Beppe Iachini was sent off for dissent.
After the restart Bacca hit the side-netting from another Calabria assist and Uros Djurdjevic was stretchered off after catching his studs in the turf.
Ivaylo Chochev’s volley, Achraf Lazaar strike and a Kucka looping header went over, but Palermo were knocking at the door and an equaliser was no real surprise.
Alberto Gilardino teed it up for Hiljemark with a splendid slide-rule pass, sending the young Swede one-on-one with Diego Lopez to complete his brace.
Palermo had barely finished celebrating when Milan were back in front, as Bacca got a surprising amount of power to his header on a Kucka cross from the right. Bizarrely, Palermo had their assistant manager sent off for dissent too.
Hiljemark went for a hat-trick, stinging Diego Lopez’s gloves from distance, while Franco Vazquez’s left-foot daisy-cutter skimmed the upright.