Suso bagged a brace for Milan and Antonio Candreva scored a screamer, but Ivan Perisic grabbed Inter’s 2-2 derby draw in stoppages.
The Rossoneri knew a victory would propel them into second place, as Roma lost at Atalanta earlier today, while the Nerazzurri were making their debut under new Coach Stefano Pioli after Frank de Boer’s dismissal. Pioli moved Gary Medel into centre-back, returning from a three-match ban, while Marcelo Brozovic was preferred to Ever Banega. Gustavo Gomez was in the Milan defence for injured Alessio Romagnoli.
Milan are due to complete the sale of the club to Chinese investors on December 13 and President Silvio Berlusconi was in the stands for the first time in eight months. He was also literally in the stands, because the Curva Sud choreography was his image in the trophy room surrounded by the haul of 30 years at this club.
Ivan Perisic scuffed his shot straight at Gianluigi Donnarumma and Geoffrey Kondogbia nodded a corner over the bar. On 24 minutes Danilo D’Ambrosio’s cross went over Mauro Icardi, but Perisic’s diving header at the back post whistled wide.
Kondogbia was again strong in the air and turned a free header past the far stick with Donnarumma rooted to the spot, as Inter’s very aggressive pressing game smothered Milan.
Antonio Candreva drilled wide and a promising Jack Bonaventura counter fell apart when Carlos Bacca wandered offside.
Inter lost Medel to an ankle injury, making way for Jeison Murillo, who is the usual centre-back in this team anyway.
Icardi had a great chance when a wayward Candreva shot turned into an assist, but it clipped his trailing heel and went behind him.
Mattia De Sciglio unleashed a scorcher from distance that Samir Handanovic took the sting out of, while Bacca horribly wasted a counter by shooting rather than passing to the unmarked M’Baye Niang.
However, moments later Bonaventura was in a similar position and did not make the same mistake, passing out to the right for Suso, who curled a magnificent left-foot finish into the far bottom corner to give Milan the lead.
After the restart, Bonaventura’s deflected effort went wide with Handanovic stranded and Donnarumma needed a couple of attempts to get Candreva’s strike under control.
Inter drew level thanks to a ferocious shot from Candreva, as he gathered a throw-in and unleashed the right-foot ground to air missile into the top corner from a good 25 metres out.
Milan fought back in a thrilling second half, as Bacca and Suso exchanged a series of passes down the right flank, the Spaniard skipped a half-hearted Joao Miranda tackle and placed a snooker shot into the far bottom corner with his weaker right foot.
Perisic’s scuffed volley shaved a coat of paint off the far stick, but Icardi sprung the offside trap on a Danilo D’Ambrosio through ball to go one-on-one and then incredibly hit a fresh-air shot six yards from Donnarumma.
Icardi got a shin to Perisic’s low cross from six yards, but Donnarumma was alert to smother. Inter pinned Milan back into their own half for the final 15 minutes, but struggled to create genuine chances.
Deep into stoppages Ignazio Abate prevented Stevan Jovetic getting a diving header, but the resulting corner was knocked on by Kondogbia for Perisic to volley in at the back post with the inside of his left boot and equalise.
There was even time for Milan to threaten an even later winner, but Mario Pasalic scuffed the counter-attack wide.
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