Inter hold AC Milan in thrilling derby
MILAN (AP): IVAN PERISIC´’S stoppagetime goal saw Inter Milan rescue a point in an entertaining 22 derby draw against city rivals AC Milan yesterday.
Suso had scored twice for Milan, which looked set to move to second place in Serie A before Perisic´’s last-gasp equaliser. Antonio Candreva netted Inter’s other goal.
Milan remained third behind Roma on goal difference and seven points behind league leaders Juventus, which beat Pescara 3-0 on Saturday. Inter moved ninth.
This was likely to be Silvio Berlusconi’s final derby as Milan’s owner and the Rossoneri fans paid tribute in their pre-match choreography, unveiling a giant banner with a picture of him and all the trophies won during his tenure.
Berlusconi, who purchased the club 30 years ago, is expected to close a deal next month that will see his majority stake go to a group of Chinese investors that includes a Chinese state investment fund.
It was also a first Milan derby for Inter’s new Chinese owners, as well as Stefano Pioli’s debut as Nerazzurri coach after replacing the sacked Frank de Boer just before the international break.
Inter had lost six of its past 10 matches in all competitions, but started the brighter and had several chances to take the lead.
Milan sparked into life towards half-time and Carlos Bacca wasted a counter-attack with a weak effort straight at Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic´ with team-mate M’Baye Niang unmarked.
The Rossoneri broke the deadlock moments later following another breakaway. A long throw from teenage goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma found Giacomo Bonaventura, who sprinted forward and picked out Suso, with the Spaniard curling his shot into the bottom left corner.
Candreva leveled in controversial circumstances in the 53rd with a stunning strike into the top right corner. Milan players surrounded the referee in protest as they felt they should have been awarded a free kick when Inter was given the throw-in that led to the goal.
The smoke from flares lit by celebrating Inter fans hadn’t cleared when Suso restored Milan’s lead. The forward collected Bacca’s pass and befuddled Inter defender Miranda before firing across into the bottom left corner.
Inter could have leveled sooner, but Perisic´ volleyed narrowly wide while Mauro Icardi scuffed an effort from a great position, with only Donnarumma to beat.
They found the equaliser in the final seconds as Jeison Murillo headed on a corner and Perisic´ tapped it in at the far post.
Meanwhile, Roma failed to keep the pressure on Juventus as a woeful second-half performance saw them lose 2-1 at inform Atalanta, which moved level with fourth-placed Lazio.
Inter Milan’s Gary Medel (left) and AC Milan’s Carlos Bacca fight for the ball during a Serie A match between AC Milan and Inter Milan at the San Siro stadium in Milan yesterday. The game ended 2-2.