AC Milan’s winning run in Serie A was halted on Sunday night as they lost a thrilling Derby della Madonnina 3-2 against Inter.
Matias Vecino’s close-range opener gave the Nerazzurri a perfect start to the game, and they struck early in the second-half as well to seemingly put them in control.
Tiemoue Bakayoko’s header halved the deficit, but Lautaro Martinez converted a spot kick not long after under controversial circumstances.
Mateo Mussachio responded to make it 3-2, and though Samu Castillejo and Patrick Cutrone came close late on, Inter held on for a crucial win that sees them leapfrog the Rossoneri in the table into third.
Inter took the lead just three minutes into the game after a period of intense early pressure. A cross from Ivan Perisic was nodded back across goal by Lautaro Martinez, and Vecino was on hand to stab into an empty net.
Lucas Paqueta forced a good save from Samir Handanovic five minutes later; the Brazilian hitting a fierce dipping half-volley from distance that was parried to safety.
The ‘away’ side continued to cause panic down their right flank, and Danilo D’Ambrosio did will to get free inside the box, but his pull-back escaped the run of Martinez and was scrambled clear.
A frantic opening 20 minutes continued when Paqueta rose at the back post to head Davide Calabria’s cross wide.
Hakan Calhanoglu forced Handanovic into a smart low save minutes later; the Turkey international hitting a sweet drive that almost caught the Slovenian off balance.
Vecino should have double his tally as Inter enjoyed another spell on top, but he couldn’t find the target from Perisic’s ball across goal – a huge let off for the Rossoneri.
It should have been 2-0 to the Nerazzurri four minutes from the break as a corner from Marcelo Brozovic found Milan Skriniar, who somehow headed wide unmarked from six yards out.
Inter had the first shot on goal of the second-half three minutes in as Roberto Gagliardini fired one from 20 yards, but Donnarumma somewhat dramatically flapped it to safety.
They did double their lead not long after though through a well-worked corner routine. A one-two saw Matteo Politano with space to cross, and his ball was met well by De Vrij, who placed his header perfectly to beat Donnarumma.
In the 57th minute Milan gave themselves some hope by halving the deficit. A free-kick was guided into the box, where Bakayoko arrived near the penalty spot to power a pinpoint header into the top corner.
GOOOOOAAAALLLLL! BAKAYOKO HEADS IT HOME! pic.twitter.com/eoSddlczfw
— MilanGifs (@MilanGifs) March 17, 2019
Donnarumma was forced into a wonderful save when Piatek directed a header towards his own goal; the 20-year-old at full stretch to claw the ball away.
Inter restored their two-goal advantage moments later though under controversial circumstances. Referee Marco Guida pointed to the spot when Politano went down under a challenge from Samu Castillejo, however the contact looked minimal if not non-existent. Martinez did his bit though, confidently despatching the penalty to make it 1-3.
The rollercoaster continued just two minutes later though as the Rossoneri responded almost instantly. A short corner saw Suso whip in a teasing ball and Handanovic did well to save from the initial ricochet, but Musacchio was on hand to power home the rebound and make it a one-goal game once again.
GOOOOAAAAALLLL! MUSACCHIO GETS US BACK IN IT! pic.twitter.com/HqFpYGoz6m
— MilanGifs (@MilanGifs) March 17, 2019
Milan probed for an equaliser into the late stages of the game but their opponents held firm. Krzysztof Piatek had a chance when he tried a flick at the near post from a deflected cross – but the effort went over.
Any hopes of a comeback looked set to be dashed when substitute Andrea Conti saw red inside the final few minutes for a firm challenge on Lautaro. The decision was checked by VAR, and the call was overturned.
Castillejo had a great chance to equalise early in stoppage time as he was found at the back post by a Suso cross, though Handanovic was equal to his header.
D’Ambrosio was the hero for Inter right at the death, putting his body on the line to block a Patrick Cutrone shot destined for the bottom corner in what proved to be the last chance of the game.