Alberto Gilardino cancelled out an Ivan Perisic strike as 10-man Inter were held 1-1 in Palermo.
Roberto Mancini made four changes to the side that drew 0-0 with Juventus, giving Yuto Nagatomo his first start of the season and resting Felipe Melo, while Michel Morganella, Uros Djurdjevic and Francesco Bolzoni were injured after the Sicilians ended their four-game losing streak.
Inter hadn’t conquered the Stadio Barbera since 2010, managing only two defeats and a draw.
Samir Handanovic got a good punch to a Franco Vazquez cross-shot, taking it away from Alberto Gilardino. The veteran striker got in front of Joao Miranda to nod over the bar and Handanovic was again crucial to parry from Vazquez.
Vazquez was booked for simulation on the edge of the box, a difficult decision, as otherwise Geoffrey Kondogbia would’ve received his second yellow card.
Inter finally threatened on 38 minutes, as first Giancarlo Gonzalez tackled Mauro Icardi, then the move continued and Fredy Guarin hesitated until his shot was charged down.
In first half stoppages an Inter corner whipped past everyone, including Joao Miranda at the back post, and Guarin had penalty appeals waved away for a Struna shirt-tug.
Stefano Sorrentino had his first genuine save on 50 minutes, flying to palm a Stevan Jovetic free kick round the near post, and from the corner Guarin’s header was charged down.
Mancini introduced Jonathan Biabiany and it was an inspired move, as five minutes later the French winger controlled a long Jovetic ball over the top and rolled it across for Ivan Perisic to tap in at the back post.
The lead did not last long, as on a set play Vazquez drilled it into the crowd and after a double deflection Gilardino stuck out a shin to score from four yards. It was a pure poacher’s goal and his eighth career strike past Inter.
It was suddenly wide open, as Guarin and Andrea Rispoli had shots charged down, but Sorrentino was at full stretch for a sensational fingertip save taking Guarin’s deflected screamer out from under the bar.
Inter went down to 10 men in controversial circumstances. Jeison Murillo went at full stretch into a clumsy challenge, but contact was minimal and Vazquez had already been booked for diving. The referee opted to flash the second yellow card at the Colombian defender.
Robin Quaison’s free kick from that incident was straight into the wall and Guarin ran coast-to-coast only to fire just off target.
It remained wide open and in stoppages Sorrentino stuck out a hand to deny Biabiany’s chip from point-blank range.
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Sent off: Murillo 79 (I)