In­ter steal march on Juve

The Citizen (KZN) - - Internatio­nal - Mi­lan

In­ter Mi­lan moved top of Serie A on Sun­day af­ter storm­ing back from two goals down to snatch a 4-2 win over AC Mi­lan in a pul­sat­ing derby at the San Siro. In­ter pulled level on 54 points with Ju­ven­tus, who lost 2-1 at Hel­las Verona on Satur­day, but are ahead of the cham­pi­ons on goal dif­fer­ence thanks to a thrilling sec­ond half turn­around af­ter Ante Re­bic and Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic had put Mi­lan 2-0 up at the break.

Lazio are just a point be­hind in third af­ter Fe­lipe Caicedo scored the only goal in a hard-fought win at Parma ear­lier on Sun­day.

“It’s a spe­cial night be­cause in the first half we were in great dif­fi­culty like we hadn’t been this sea­son. There was the risk of tak­ing a ham­mer­ing,” said In­ter boss An­to­nio Conte.

“Credit to th­ese lads be­cause they were able to re­sist the blows which means that we are ready for some­thing good.

“It’s ab­so­lutely too early to talk about things that we can still dream of to­day.”

Mi­lan had dom­i­nated the first half with In­ter strug­gling to deal with Ibrahi­movic, who soared above Diego Godin be­fore knock­ing down for Re­bic to tap the opener past Daniele Padelli.

Ste­fan De Vrij blocked an­other cross to deny Re­bic a sec­ond tap in but Franck Kessie flicked on for a wait­ing Ibrahi­movic to turn in the sec­ond.

The come­back be­gan five min­utes af­ter the break when Bro­zovic lashed home a stun­ning vol­ley and two min­utes later Mat­tias

Ve­cino fin­shed off an Alexis Sanchez pass to level the scores.

De Vrij put In­ter de­servedly ahead with a su­perb div­ing header with 20 min­utes to go, and af­ter Ibrahi­movic hit the post for Mi­lan Romelu Lukaku then headed home sub­sti­tute Vic­tor Moses’ cross three min­utes into in­jury time to main­tain In­ter’s charge for a first Serie A ti­tle in a decade.

Mi­lan’s col­lapse means they missed the chance to move into the Europa League places and sit 10th.

“It’s dif­fi­cult to ex­plain. The first half was al­most per­fect, the sec­ond half the op­po­site.” said Ibrahi­movic.

“We con­ceded the first goal and the squad lost faith, then con­ceded a sec­ond and ev­ery­thing fell apart.

“In­ter in the first half didn’t look like a team who were sec­ond but then demon­strated why they were af­ter the break.”

Caicedo kept Lazio’s own dream of a first “Scud­etto” in 20 years alive as a 1-0 win over Parma moved the Ro­mans sec­ond.

Si­mone In­za­ghi’s side are right in the ti­tle dis­cus­sion af­ter ex­tend­ing their un­beaten run to 18 league games.

Their last Serie A de­feat was in Septem­ber to In­ter, who they host next week­end.

“We are try­ing to stay in there, fight­ing against the bat­tle­ships. With this spirit, we can ad­vance very well,” said In­za­ghi.

“Sun­day will be a great game against a great team.”

Caicedo broke through just be­fore half­time as the Ecuado­rian volleyed home af­ter Parma failed to clear.

Napoli’s strug­gles con­tin­ued as they col­lapsed to a 3-2 de­feat at home to Lecce. – AFP

Pic­ture: AFP

BANG ON TAR­GET. In­ter Mi­lan’s Romelu Lukaku cel­e­brates af­ter scor­ing dur­ing their Ital­ian Serie A match against AC Mi­lan at the San Siro on Sun­day night.

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