Inter needed a late back-heeled goal by Rodrigo Palacio to secure a 1-0 win over a ten-man Milan side and the bragging rights of the city with their victory at the San Siro on Sunday evening
Milan’s goalkeeper Christian Abbiati had made two great saves to deny Palacio just minutes before, but he couldn’t do anything with the Argentine’s strike just five minutes from time.
There were two surprises introduced into Milan’s line-up with Riccardo Saponara given his first start of the Serie A season, while Kevin Constant was preferred at right-back ahead of Urby Emanuelson.
The young midfielder was involved in play from the first whistle and he did well to supply a promising ball to Mario Balotelli, who sent his shot just narrowly wide.
Milan nearly went 1-0 up after 11 minutes when Samir Handanovic fumbled the Brazilian’s shot. In a scramble to get the ball, Balotelli had a foul awarded against him for getting tangled with the Inter’s ‘keeper.
Fredy Guarin tried an audacious lob just minutes later towards goal but it narrowly went off target, causing Christian Abbiati to go at full-stretch. Would’ve have been a world-class goal if it hit the target.
In the 20th minute Sulley Muntari fired a shot that glanced past the near post, while Saphir Taider crossed in a great ball which Yuto Nagatomo failed to direct on target at the near post with his header.
Andrea Poli should have handed Milan the lead just before the half hour, when Handanovic’s humbled save off a Rossonero corner fell to his feet, but he point blankly fired it straight over the goals.
Six minutes before the break Inter should have been handed a penalty after Rodrigo Palacio was brought down in the box by Christian Zapata, but the referee waved play on.
Constant couldn’t continue after picking up a knock and he was replaced by Emanuelson at the start of the second half.
Just after the hour mark Hugo Campagnaro nearly turned the ball into the back of his own net after a cross ricocheted off Muntari and struck the Argentine. He didn’t know much about it.
In the 80th minute, Abbiati excellently denied Inter from snatching a later win with two saves in quick saves in succession from Palacio’s shot in the six-yard area.
The Rossoneri seemed happy to settle for the point but it didn’t quite work out that way as they were broken by Palacio’s late strike just five minutes from time.
Milan were then reduced to ten men in stoppage time after Muntari was given an instant red card for a challenge on an Inter player.