SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 23 - 9 Feb 2020 (19.45 UK)
Inter 4 - 2 Milan
Rebic 40 (M), Ibrahimovic 45 (M), Brozovic 51 (I), Vecino 53 (I), De Vrij 70 (I), Lukaku R 94 (I)
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza

Inter fought back from 2-0 down at half-time to win a pulsating Derby della Madonnina 4-2, putting them top of the table alongside Juventus.

It’s now an astonishing fight for the Scudetto, as Inter and Juventus have 54 points, followed by Lazio on 53.

The Nerazzurri had Lautaro Martinez and Alessandro Bastoni suspended, so Alexis Sanchez and Diego Godin stepped in, dropping Christian Eriksen to the bench. Samir Handanovic was ruled out by a hairline fracture to his little finger. The Rossoneri welcomed back Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Simon Kjaer, while Ismael Bennacer’s ban had expired, but opted for Hakan Calhanoglu in a more advanced support role, with Ante Rebic wide left of a 4-4-1-1.

It was an aggressive start from Stefano Pioli’s men, Ibrahimovic holding off Godin to volley over, then the Uruguayan charged down the Rebic strike.

Calhanoglu skipped past Marcelo Brozovic and unleashed a right-foot rocket from just outside the box, which beat Daniele Padelli to smack against the far post.

Alexis Sanchez’s effort was charged down, on the resulting corner Godin’s towering header flashed inches wide of the far post. Gianluigi Donnarumma’s first save came on 24 minutes, his gloves stung by Matias Vecino from 12 yards.

Milan were largely dominating the first half, as Stefan de Vrij got the block on Calhanoglu following a Brozovic error, and broke the deadlock on 40 minutes.

Ibrahimovic towered above Godin to knock down the cross, Padelli and his defenders both flapped aimlessly at it, allowing Rebic to tap in undisturbed at the back post.

There was almost a second, as De Vrij flung himself in the way of a dangerous cross that was about to set up Rebic for another tap-in.

However, on the resulting corner, Kessie flicked it on for undisturbed Ibrahimovic’s header at the back post, with Godin keeping everyone onside. At the age of 38 years and 129 days, the Swede became the oldest ever goalscorer in a Serie A Milan Derby.

Inter certainly came out fighting for the second half, as they completed the comeback with two goals in two minutes. First, Candreva’s cross was deflected into the air, so Brozovic on the edge of the box waited for it to come down and hit a fantastic left-foot volley into the tiny gap between Donnarumma and the upright.

Moments later, Alexis Sanchez sprung the offside trap to pull it back for Vecino to drill home from 10 yards for 2-2.

The game was turned on its head and Milan understandably shaken. Ibrahimovic’s free kick from 30 metres out flashed wide, then Rebic twisted a defender inside out to have another shot charged down.

However, Inter switched the game around completely on a corner, as Stefan de Vrij got in front of Alessio Romagnoli for an extraordinary diving header, which he managed to loop up behind him into the far top corner.

After taking the lead, Conte introduced Eriksen and the Dane immediately threatened a fourth goal, as his stunning long-range free kick bounced off the underside of the bar.

Nicolò Barella could’ve finished it on the counter, but prodded straight at Donnarumma, then on 88 minutes Lucas Paqueta floated a cross for Ibrahimovic, who jumped over Skriniar to hit the upright.

Inter had a similar opportunity, except they got it in the net, as Lukaku jumped undisturbed by Andrea Conti for his header on a Victor Moses cross for 4-2.

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Inter: Padelli; Godin, De Vrij, Skriniar; Candreva (Moses 80), Vecino, Brozovic, Barella, Young (Biraghi 95); Alexis Sanchez (Eriksen 72); R Lukaku
Milan: G Donnarumma; Conti, Kjaer, Romagnoli, Theo Hernandez; Castillejo (Leao 80), Kessie (Paqueta 81), Bennacer, Rebic (Bonaventura 84); Calhanoglu; Ibrahimovic
Ref: Maresca