Mauro Icardi scored a hat-trick, including a last-minute penalty, to win the derby 3-2 and send Milan further into crisis.
This was a massive Derby della Madonnina, as the Nerazzurri were unbeaten and in second place, but needed a result to stop leaders Napoli breaking away. Marcelo Brozovic was injured and Joao Mario suffering from tonsillitis, so Matias Vecino moved into a more advanced trequartista role. The Rossoneri were in poor form after three defeats in the opening seven rounds and Coach Vincenzo Montella under fire. He couldn’t count on Nikola Kalinic, Andrea Conti, Luca Antonelli, Riccardo Montolivo or suspended Hakan Calhanoglu.
The last two meetings between these sides ended 2-2, but there haven’t been three consecutive derby draws since February 1937.
Milan have won only one of the last 12 Serie A derbies as the ‘away’ team, drawing three and losing the other eight.
The first real chance came after 13 minutes when Antonio Candreva unleashed a screamer that thumped the crossbar from the edge of the box.
Suso drilled wide from distance and Joao Miranda’s header flashed inches wide from a set play, but Inter took the lead with Mauro Icardi’s first goal from open play since August.
Candreva whipped a perfect cross in from the right and Icardi snuck up between the two defenders to steer it into the far bottom corner from six yards. It was the Argentine’s first touch inside the opposition penalty area.
Milan had been in trailing situations three times so far in Serie A this season and lost all of them. Ivan Perisic saw another attempt charged down by Mateo Musacchio, Andre Silva nodded over from Ricardo Rodriguez’s free kick and Gianluigi Donnarumma smothered Icardi and Vecino strikes.
The Rossoneri created a genuine scoring opportunity on the stroke of half-time. Fabio Borini ran on to a Franck Kessie through ball and Samir Handanovic parried at the base of the near post, then the ex-Sunderland man nodded the rebound on to the side-netting.
Montella threw on teenage striker Patrick Cutrone for the second half in place of midfielder Kessie. Milan suddenly came to life, as Andre Silva dribbled through a crowd for his angled drive to bounce off the inside of the far post and Mateo Musacchio turned in the rebound, but was offside.
Moments later, Suso unleashed a long-range rocket that dipped viciously, Handanovic flying to palm it out from under the bar. On the resulting corner, Handanovic was at full stretch for a one-handed save on Borini at the base of the near post.
Cutrone flicked a Ricardo Rodriguez low cross on to the side-netting by anticipating Milan Skriniar and Milan eventually got their deserved equaliser.
Suso cut inside and curled a wonderful left-foot finish into the far bottom corner from 20 metres out, as it bounced just in front of Handanovic and he only got a fingertip to it.
Vecino drilled inches wide from 12 yards when unmarked on a Candreva assist, but the Rossoneri were suddenly dominant and Handanovic showed cat-like reflexes to get down and deny Bonaventura from point-blank range. It proved a pivotal moment, because moments later Inter restored their lead.
Icardi caught Lucas Biglia in possession, spread it to Perisic and got into the middle to volley in the cross from seven yards. The Argentine seemed to almost mis-kick it, but still steered it into the far bottom corner.
Perisic’s towering header from a corner was straight at Donnarumma, but just as Milan seemed to be losing intensity, they got another equaliser.
The Rodriguez cross missed the intended target Cutrone, but Bonaventura came sliding in at the back post and Handanovic tried to claw it out, but was unable to stop the ball going in. In fact, as the goalkeeper pushed it on to the inside of the upright and it bounced in off his body, it will go down as an own goal.
Inter had a fine team move with Vecino, Icardi’s back heel flick and a decisive Rodriguez block on Eder. From the resulting corner, Rodriguez hauled down Danilo D’Ambrosio for a penalty, which Icardi kept his cool to convert for his hat-trick.