A Cristián Zapata goal deep in injury time completed a second-half fight back for Milan and kept their noses in front of their city rivals in a thrilling derby
Related: Milan’s Cristián Zapata pounces late for dramatic derby draw with Inter
Inter players and fans can scarcely believe it. They’ve let a lead slip. Again. Icardi holds his head in his hands as Milan supporters celebrate wildly behind him. Milan are probably good value for the point. They played the slicker football despite looking toothless at times. Deulofeu and Suso were their most threatening players again and with such youthful talent there are promising times ahead – particularly if they add to the squad in the summer. Thanks for your emails. Oh, and my prediction was right. And what a game!
Wow! What a finish. Milan win a corner and everyone is up, keeper and all. The ball is swung in and Inter can’t clear, the ball skimming off a head and through to Zapata on the far post. He bends his knee round the ball and squirts it over the line. Just. Medel cleared but the referee’s watch says GOAL! Incredible. They’ve done it.
90+5 min: Inter almost make it 3-1 as Biabiany blazes over.
90+4 min: The noise is deafening as Inter try to play out the final few minutes. Locatelli is shown a yellow card after losing his head and taking a swipe at Nagatomo. He’d done well to win back possession before that but then gave it away and was furious with himself.
90+3 min: Gagliardini is booked after giving a free-kick away on the left flank. Suso whips it in but the attempted flick on by Bacca rolls harmlessly through to Handanovic.
90+1 min: There’ll be five twitchy minutes for Inter fans to endure. Suso tries to round Miranda on the right flank but the defender uses his superior muscles to lever him out of play and win a goal-kick.
90 min: Candreva is off and Biabiany is on as Inter look to waste a little time.
89 min: Inter break but Eder can’t find Icardi, who was free in the box. His attempted cross was weak and clattered into Zapata’s feet.
88 min: Suso whips in a beautiful free-kick towards the penalty spot only for Handanovic to fly out like Super Man and punch clear bravely. He did his team a solid one there.
86 min: Inter have been decidedly flaky in their last two games. Milan ought to put every bit of pressure on them given their delicate mental state after conceding in recent weeks. Milan come forward with Deulofeu and Suso combining before Gagliardini goes to ground and handballs. He wants a free-kick and holds his face as though he was struck. He isn’t getting one. Milan prepare to play the ball in from just inside the right touchline. The bodies mass just outside the Inter box.
85 min: My prediction was 2-2. I’m not taking sides but …
Well, this makes things interesting. It’s played short to Suso. He shifts his weight left and then right before whipping in a delicious near-post ball that Romagnoli deflects in with his studs Zlatan-karate-kick style. Game on.
83 min: Miranda clears. Corner for Milan.
81 min: Calabria, a defender, is off and Ocampus, an attacking threat, is on. They switch to three at the back and look primed to “give it a good go” as Tony Adams might say. Inter take Mario off and put Murillo on. Guess what, they switch to three centre-backs too. It’s Milan derby chess.
80 min: A moment later, Suso weights a lovely ball into the path of Bacca, who rounds Handanovic and stands a ball up to the back post but Locatelli would need a stepladder to get a head to it and the ball drifts over him.
“The only winners of a good Deulofeu performance are Barcelona. What are the odds on them exercising a buy back clause, thus getting him back from Everton for relatively little, then flogging him to a rich but desperate AC Milan for a nice profit?” asks Kevin Wilson.
78 min: Locatelli tries to slide a ball through to Bacca, but as he turns D’Ambrosio nicks it away from his toe and clears. Great defending. That followed some good work from Deulofeu, who is a one-man ball-hogging band. He wants to be on it all the time. He’s like a possessive dog.
76 min: The game is drifting away from Milan. Meanwhile, it seems Perisic had a knee injury. That explains his withdrawal. He has ice on it as he watches from the bench. Deulofeu, has another go at beating all and sundry on the left wing but overruns the ball. Milan need to find another way of getting behind Inter.
75 min: Lapadula is on for Sosa, who appears to have twanged some muscle or other. He looks crestfallen as he plods off.
72 min: Bacca backheels the ball out of Handanovic’s hands after Miranda had shepherded the ball into the keeper’s grasp. It should be a free-kick but it was impossible for the referee to see clearly what had happened. The upshot is that Miranda sees his keeper is in bother and nips in and wins the ball back before trotting out with the ball showing great authority.
70 min: Inter have dropped a little deeper and have become more compact since Perisic’s departure. Bacca is levered off the ball on the edge of the box by Medel, who has read the striker’s movements brilliantly so far.
68 min: Milan’s gameplan has become this: give it to Deulofeu and see what happens. And as Plan B: give it to Suso and see what happens.
67 min: Perisic is given a rousing reception as he’s replaced by Eder. It’s a puzzling change. His work-rate and movement have been so crucial to Inter’s rapid counter-attacks.
65 min: It’s a looping outswinger, cleared as far as Deulofeu, lurking on the corner of the penalty area. He drops his shoulder and shifts the ball on to his right foot. His whipped effort looks to be heading for the far corner but as it skips up off the turf Handanovic scoops it out for another corner. A corner that comes to nought.
64 min: The pace has dropped after a frantic first 20 minutes in the second half. This happened in the first half too. It suited Inter. Milan win a corner while Eder prepares to come on.
62 min: Bacca has his first sight of goal, but it is quickly blocked by Medel’s backside, the stocky Chilean sliding in as the Colombian pulled the trigger following a fine pass from Romagnoli to set him free in the box.
60 min: Meanwhile, some housekeeping. Kucka is off and Locatelli is on.
@GreggBakowski not meaning to be petty, but when Inter are at home the stadium = Giuseppe Meazza. When Milan are at home: San Siro.
58 min: Deulofeu, scampers into the box on the left wing. He’s having a fine game. He tries to pick out Bacca with a low cross but Inter clear. Deulofeu looks like he has the beating of anyone he is up against. Medel hasn’t got near him when he’s been dragged out of position and over to the right.
55 min: Perisic should score. Medel drives a lovely ball out to Icardi on the left wing. The Inter captain drifts inside and waits for Perisic to begin his run in behind Zapata, before releasing it with perfect timing. Perisic has a free shot on goal from 14 yards. He should find a corner. Instead he hammers the ball straight at Donnarumma. That Inter threat is always there.
53 min: Perisic is set free by Icardi. He jinks into the box and lines up a right-footer but drags his effort well wide of the near post.
52 min: Milan break and Handanovic races out of his area to swipe the ball away from Sosa. The ball is worked back into the box and cleared as far as Kucka, who thinks he is Philippe Mexes. He isn’t. His acrobatic effort goes straight into Handanovic’s ample midriff. Entertaining start to the second half.
49 min: Inter, like a viper, attack while backed into a corner again. This time it is Nagatomo who races forwards on the left and works the ball into the centre, where Milan make a meal of clearing the ball after a Perisic swipe at goal. Kondogbia slides in to poke the ball to Candreva, who drives over.
48 min: Suso and Calabria play a few triangular passes between one another on the right. The latter whips the ball in looking for Bacca but there isn’t enough height on it and Inter clear through D’Ambrosio.
46 min: Suso is fouled by Kondogbia, who was showing the little playmaker a little too much attention and dragged him down. Not much else to report. A slow start with Inter sitting back and looking to play on the counter-attack. If it ain’t broke etc and so on …
45 min: No changes for Milan despite some substitutes warming up fiercely at half time.
Right, almost time for the second half. Milan need to get Bacca involved. Deulofeu and Suso have carried their threat but have done it alone, not linking up with their chief threat. Milan have paid for holding such a risky high line too.
Some news from England here.
Related: Everton join Liverpool in banning Sun journalists over coverage
I’ll be back shortly. In the meantime, here’s some half-time reading.
This is lovely. How relatives of Milan founder Herbert Kilpin set off on a journey to Italy in his honour to retrace his steps from 191 Mansfield Road, Nottingham to the Hotel Du Nord et des Anglais in Milan and beyond.
Related: Retracing the steps of Milan founder Herbert Kilpin with his long-lost relatives | Matt McGinn
Peep! And that’s your lot. Milan dominate possession, Inter carry the potent threat and a two-goal lead. A strange but highly entertaining game. Inter were Harrison Ford.
And the captain’s mini goal drought is over. Perisic dinks the ball on to Icardi’s chest. The Argentinian returns the ball to Perisic’s feet. He races down the left wing and crosses past Calabria and into the path of Icardi, who sweeps the ball home. He couldn’t miss. Absolutely ruthless stuff from Inter. Icardi cups his hands to his ears to listen to the San Siro’s chants of “Icardi, Icardi Icardi!” He’s loving that, shy lad that he isn’t.
41 min: Milan are still playing some neat football, working the ball patiently from defence to attack but their main goal threat, Bacca, has been pretty anonymous so far and Inter look more potent when they go forwards.
39 min: Inter break after a Milan free-kick with Sosa being caught in possession by Mario. Candreva is released on the inside-right channel. He zips a low cross into the corridor of uncertainty, where Icardi throws himself at the ball only to see it evade his studs, ala Paul Gascoigne. A free-kick is given against him in any case.
38 min: Milan paid the price for their high line on that goal. It was the simplest of goals, albeit ruthlessly dispatched by Candreva.
Well, this is against the run of play. Candreva anticipates a long ball over the top by Gagliardini and races in front of De Sciglio before directing a right-footed shot, on the bounce, into the far corner. De Sciglio almost gets a foot to it but the ball goes under it and past Donnarumma. The San Siro erupts.
34 min: And then Deulofeu injects some fizz into Milan’s attacking play with a roasting of Medel on the left wing, leaving the little Chilean chasing him like an egg on legs. He jinks inside and is stopped by Handanovic before Kucka throws himself to the floor and concedes a free-kick and is booked for diving.
32 min: Sosa takes me up on the challenge and scampers up the left wing for Milan, perhaps too quick for any of his team-mates to get up in support. He looks inside and can’t see anyone, so tries an audacious chip from 12 yards that lands on the roof of the net.
30 min: The zippy play of the first 20 minutes has disappeared. The game needs something to lift it.
27 min: Scrappy stuff now. Deulofeu loses possession and wins it back before losing it again in a coming together of bodies on the left wing that only lacked a cloud of cartoon dust. A moment later Suso swings a left-footed cross in from the right after finding half a yard but Bacca is flagged offside.
25 min: Some filthy skill by Deulofeu helps to work the ball out from the back for Milan (a dragback and backheel) but Inter press intensely and win back possession. Kucka anticipates the danger as Inter work the ball to the edge of the area and he throws in a well-timed slide tackle to nullify the threat. Inter still in charge.
22 min: The pace has dropped somewhat now. It had to. It was helter-skelter stuff at the start. For the first time Inter are beginning to dominate possession. D’Ambrosio releases Candreva after a neat one-two but his near-post cross is plucked from the air by the towering figure that is Donnarumma.
20 min: Suso plays a delightful reverse pass to release Bacca on the right. Inter concede a corner. A corner that comes to nothing. The question has just been asked whether Suso was released too early by Liverpool. I was disappointed when he left Anfield because I could see his passing ability was very good – and very clever. But Coutinho came in and was an upgrade. Mind you, if he is no longer about next season, Suso would have been more than handy to still have on the books.
18 min: Inter are targeting the left wing as often as they can. They clearly fancy Mario today. On this occasion, Miranda brings him to a halt.
17 min: Donnarumma’s touch is heavier and about as deft as a drunk elephant as he tries to control a backpass, almost gifting Icardi a clear run on goal. His second, however, gets him out of bother as he stabs the ball out of play.
15 min: Handanovic tips a 25-yarder from Suso around his left post. It was probably going wide but he didn’t know that. The corner is played short and worked out to Deulofeu. He drops his shoulder and bursts into the box before clattering a cross-cum-shot off the near-post. And then Inter break with electric pace. Mario scampers up the left wing and tries to find Icardi in the centre with a low cross but it is well read by Zapata, who cuts it out. And breathe.
11 min: Deulofeu’s twinkle-toes take him through a gap between Candreva and D’Ambrosio that is quickly closed, squashing the winger in the process. Free-kick. A free-kick that is cleared at the near-post.
10 min: A Liverpool reject and an Everton reject look to be the two most dangerous players on the pitch in the Milan derby. Read into that what you will.
8 min: Milan break with Suso, who has looked a pesky menace in the opening exchanges. He tries to weight a low pass through to Deulofeu, but it’s just a tad too heavy and Handanovic steams out and gathers the ball before spilling it and taking it into his chest again. Cracking start to the game.
6 min: Mario, who has been brought back into the starting XI today, uses an insouciant bit of skill – a little outside of the foot flick – over Kucka’s outstretched foot to leave him for dead on the left wing before curling in a lovely cross towards Icardi, who can’t get his foot over the ball as he attempts a volley from 10 yards out. Lovely stuff from Mario, though.
4 min: Milan have settled into a spell of controlled possession, with Inter sitting deep. Suso drifts in from the right, looking for an opportunity to shoot but Inter have done their homework and don’t let him. The ball is worked backwards and Milan continue to look the more composed side early on.
2 min: Bacca blazes over from six yards after Gagliardini was robbed of possession in midfield. Deulofeu races away into the box and cuts inside before shaping to shoot. He dawdles somewhat before clattering a shot at a defender. Another shot, another block before Bacca’s big, early moment – a half-volley – which he fluffs. A raucous start though.
1 min: And off we go. Inter, in blue and black, are shooting from left to right on my screen and have two men stood over the ball for kick-off. Milan, in white are going the other way. There’s a huge bang as a smokebomb is set off. A haze drifts across the pitch and now it feels like a Milan derby.
The players trot out on to the San Siro turf in glorious spring sunshine. The volume lifts to greet them too. Inter captain Maurio Icardi has his gameface on. Here we go.
“Trent Sainsbury was recently at Eredivisie minnows Zwolle, so the fact he’s ended up at Inter is quite incredible,” writes Kevin Wilson. “I still find it odd that Inter have underperformed with the players they’ve had in the last few years. Juventus may be out of sight but they should be competing with Roma and Napoli.” I agree Kevin. Their current squad is very strong and should be closer to the Champions League places. It would have been had they not suffered those two dreadful defeats against Sampdoria and Crotone.
The San Siro is filling up nicely although it still seems a little light on atmosphere, understandably, given the early start. Anyway, the teams are almost ready to come out. Almost time for some football – and brunch.
I raise you Philippe Mexes, Simon. I wasn’t aware his body was capable of doing what it did to make this absurd goal possible.
“Best ever derby goal? asks Simon Cereda, building up to something. “I nominate Seedorf’s goal to complete 0-2 to 3-2 comeback.” Here it is. Thwack!
Let’s look back on a classic Milan derby. Here’s Milan 3-4 Inter from just over 10 years ago. Seven goals with defenders such as Cafu, Materazzi, Zanetti, Cordoba and Nesta on the pitch. Inter went on to win the league that season. Milan? Well, they finished fourth but had the little matter of being crowned champions of Europe to cushion the blow of a below-par finish in the league.
Kevin Fingleton is all for the Milan derby kicking off in the morning. “Ridiculously perfect time for someone stuck at home and unable to leave the house after a car accident.” Get well soon Kevin.
I’ve been asked who the hell Sainsbury is? What, you don’t know? The 25-year-old Australia centre-back is, funnily enough, on loan from Jiangsu Suning. You connect the dots. Or let this link to it for you.
Gary Medel, 5ft 7in, at centre-back for Inter, discuss …
OK, I’ll get the ball rolling. I understand it was a move born out of necessity due to injuries but he’s been at it since January and although people will point at his obvious weakness in the air, Inter also miss his energy and aggression in midfield. Couldn’t an alternative solution have been found by now?
Internazionale: Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, Medel, Miranda, Nagatomo; Gagliardini, Kondogbia; Candreva, J Mario, Perisic; Icardi. Subs: Carrizo, Andreolli, Palacio, Biabiany, Ansaldi, Banega, Sainsbury, Santon, Eder, Murillo, Brozovic, Barbosa.
Milan: Donnarumma; Calabria, Zapata, Romagnoli, De Sciglio; Kucka, Sosa, Mati Fernandez; Suso, Bacca, Deulofeu. Subs: Panchina: Plizzari, Storari, Antonelli, Gomez, Paletta, Vangioni, Honda, Locatelli, Poli, Lapadula, Ocampos.
Hello. It’s a bit early for this isn’t it? The Derby della Madonnina has never been played at lunchtime before. Fans aren’t happy about it but you know what? This could be the future, whether you like it or not. With the sale of Milan to a Chinese-led consortium on Thursday following Suning Commerce Group’s purchase of Inter in the summer the Milan clubs are now the property of Asian investors. So while the kick-off time is unappealing in Italy it is perfectly suited to those watching on TV in China and it is estimated that a record figure of 862 million viewers will tune in.
Inter, who are the home team at San Siro today, go into the match two points behind Milan, who are two points outside the Europa League places, held by Atalanta and Lazio. So European football is still very much attainable if either side can string some wins together in the run-in. But this isn’t where either of these grand clubs should be really. And with the prospect of vast amounts of money being thrown into the pot for transfers this summer both will hope the Champions League is a more tangible target next season. But for now, it is what it is and there is pride to play for. Inter’s has taken a dent in recent weeks. Defeat to lowly Crotone last time out was embarrassing and a spineless home loss to Sampdoria the week before was not at all expected given they’d walloped high-flying Atalanta 7-1 just over a week before that to rekindle hopes of Champions League qualification. Those hopes would now seem to be dead.