Fabio Quagliarella and Alessandro Matri gave Juventus a 2-1 victory away to Inter that seals the Derby d’Italia and possibly also the Scudetto.
This remains a massive grudge match in any situation, but this time the Bianconeri were out for revenge after their 49-match unbeaten League run was ended in Turin. Juve also faced potential distraction from the upcoming Champions League quarter-final with Bayern Munich.
Mirko Vucinic pulled out with flu symptoms, joining Mauricio Isla, Martin Caceres, Nicklas Bendtner and Simone Pepe on the treatment table. Juan Jesus was suspended, while Fredy Guarin arrived late back from international duty after missing his flight. Dejan Stankovic, Diego Milito, Luca Castellazzi, Joel Obi and Gaby Mudingayi missed out. Walter Samuel and Giorgio Chiellini were able to start despite injury concerns, as Inter switched to a three-man defence.
Inter fans mocked their rivals’ post-Calciopoli slip into Serie B by pointing out in banner form they were the only side never to disappear from Serie A.
It took under three minutes for Juventus to break the deadlock, as Fabio Quagliarella gathered from 20 metres and curled a wonderful effort under the bar with Samir Handanovic watching it go by.
Leonardo Bonucci nodded over on the counter-attack from a poor Cassano corner, while Gigi Buffon was at full strength to fingertip a deflected Cassano angled drive round the far post. From that corner, Buffon performed a stunning reaction save to deny Rodrigo Palacio’s header at the back stick.
Alessandro Matri had a great chance moments later on the counter, but his volley was so far off target it went out for a throw-in. Claudio Marchisio nodded the ball on to Javier Zanetti’s arm, so the referee waved play on.
Juve were continually dangerous on the counter, but Matri was caught offside and Arturo Vidal trapped an Andrea Pirlo chipped pass, but hesitated and Handanovic smothered at his feet. Handanovic palmed away a fierce Pirlo shot from the edge of the area before half-time.
Fredy Guarin replaced the anonymous Ricky Alvarez for the second half and Inter equalised after nine minutes.
Pirlo gave the ball away in midfield to spark a counter and Cassano rolled through the middle to send Palacio clear with a delicate angled drive across Buffon into the far bottom corner.
Simone Padoin stung Handanovic’s palms and moments later Juventus restored their advantage. Vidal’s through ball sent Quagliarella to the by-line and he just about kept it in, pulling back for Matri to tap in from a couple of yards at the near post. Inter protested and claimed the ball had gone out of play, but replays show it was clean.
Cassano had too much time to chest down and volley a corner, which Buffon managed to block. There were protests in the build-up for Chiellini’s tackle on Mateo Kovacic.
Inter also complained at Chiellini’s challenge on Cassano, but it was right under the eyes of the goal line official. There was controversy in the final kick of the game, as Esteban Cambiasso was shown a straight red card for taking down Sebastian Giovinco with a horrible leg-breaker tackle to the ankle. It was an awful challenge for his first red card in 277 games for Inter.
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Sent off: Cambiasso 95 (I)