Parma were left to rue missed opportunities, as Inter defenders scored two late goals to wipe out Gervinho’s counter and conquer the Stadio Tardini 2-1.
The mood in the Inter camp was sluggish after a 3-3 draw with Sassuolo effectively ended their Scudetto hopes. Milan Skriniar and coach Antonio Conte were suspended, with Marcelo Brozovic, Stefano Sensi and Matias Vecino injured, so Diego Godin and Danilo D’Ambrosio got rare starts. The Ducali were fresh from a 4-1 win away to Genoa with an Andreas Cornelius hat-trick, but Simone Iacoponi sat out a ban.
Kastriot Dermaku had to make a goal-line clearance after six minutes, as Christian Eriksen’s corner was either going in directly or off the head of Romelu Lukaku at the back post.
At the other end, Vincent Laurini ran down the right and pulled back for Gervinho to prod wide from eight yards, a chance the Ivorian really should’ve done better with.
Gervinho made up for it moments later, as he gathered a sweeping Juraj Kucka cross-field pass, cut back inside to send Antonio Candreva sliding into the advertising boards and drilled home from close range.
There was an odd moment on 21 minutes, as Diego Godin’s header was charged down by the arm of Jasmin Kurtic. It would’ve been a penalty, but VAR also noticed that Godin was offside, so Parma received a free kick instead.
Romelu Lukaku pulled back from the left for Nicolò Barella to blast well off target, but Andreas Cornelius missed a sitter when sent clear by Gervinho, blasting over after the Ivorian had won back the ball to spark a counter from midfield.
There was more controversy on 38 minutes, as Kulusevski seemed to be caught by Barella in the box, but VAR did not suggest an on-field review.
Cornelius wasted another golden opportunity, pulling it wide first time from a pull-back at the by-line, though Lautaro Martinez barely tested Luigi Sepe after a good turn.
Inter tried after the break, but Godin and then Barella had attempts charged down during the same corner, while Kulusevski skimmed the upright on another counter and then stung Samir Handanovic’s gloves.
Lautaro’s glancing header whistled wide on a Cristiano Biraghi cross and Christian Eriksen fired well off target from the edge of the area. Inter third choice goalkeeper Tommaso Berni managed the impressive feat of getting his second red card of the season from the bench for dissent, despite not playing a single minute of football.
Kulusevski was dangerous on every counter, using his strength to shrug off challenges, while Inter struggled to create chances, Lukaku curling just wide from distance and Alexis Sanchez stinging Sepe’s gloves on 79 minutes.
Inter did eventually get their equaliser when a corner was knocked on by Lautaro Martinez for Stefan de Vrij to redirect it from six yards, wrong-footing Sepe.
Parma were furious, as they felt there was a push in the build-up, with Juraj Kucka’s protests vociferous enough to earn him a straight red card.
The Ducali were evidently still shaken and had just completed a double substitution, which might explain why they left Alessandro Bastoni totally unmarked to nod in a Victor Moses cross at the back post from a couple of yards. The Parma defence was absolutely static.
Ashley Young also tested Sepe on Gagliardini’s assist, as Parma seemed deflated.
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Sent off: Kucka 85 (P)