MILAN - Tonight was one of those nights. One of those crazy Inter nights when dreams become reality, while also overcoming certain nightmares along the way. Tonight was a comeback for the ages and one sure to live long in Nerazzurri memory. At the interval, Inter were 2-0 down after one of our worst 45-minute performances of the season, yet as we know, this team never relents and never gives up - consistently pushed on by our incredible support. A 4-2 victory on a dramatic Sunday evening ensures that Milano is still ours. This was thanks to an unforgettable second-half display, with goals from Brozovic, Vecino, de Vrij and Lukaku all contributing to a win that takes Inter level on points with Juventus. However, numbers and statistics do not matter tonight and rather it’s another unforgettable page for the San Siro history books.
However, it could’ve all been so different, with the Nerazzurri initially enduring a dreadful first half. Right from the opening whistle, Inter failed to get going, lacking any intensity compared to Milan’s attacking clarity and high pressing. With Pioli setting his side out in a 4-4-1-1, Calhanoglu was suffocating Brozovic, while Rebic and Castillejo were both proving a threat down the flanks. Countless chances fell to the Rossoneri, with the Nerazzurri defence forced into numerous last-ditch clearances. The first real scare occurred in the ninth minute when Calhanoglu struck the upright, while Conte’s men finally managed to respond three minutes later when Skriniar forced a close-range save from Donnarumma. This was then followed by a good headed chance for Godin in the 19th minute, while Lukaku nearly set up a Vecino opener five minutes later.
This fleeting Nerazzurri response was soon disrupted by further Milan chances, with both de Vrij and Skriniar forced into desperate clearances. Finally, Inter were punished in the 40th minute, as Rebic tapped into an empty net following a towering back-post header from Ibrahimovic. Their lead was then doubled just before the break, as the Swedish striker nodded home from a corner in the 46th minute.
After what was sure to be a tense half-time team-talk, the Nerazzurri were a completely different side come the second half. Fully encapsulating Conte’s demands, they showed grit, passion and desire. Their energy lit up the Curva Nord, as Candreva swung in cross after cross while captain Brozovic pulled our first goal back in the 52nd minute. The equaliser was scored in impressive fashion, as the Croatian fired in a left-footed volley to bag his second goal of the season, both coming in the Derby. The initial comeback was then completed two minutes later, as the San Siro crowd sucked in Vecino’s precise finish. In just a heartbeat, Milan’s lead had been extinguished and the Nerazzurri were flying with all to play for. It was then in the 70th minute that de Vrij flew across his marker to angle a fantastic header past Donnarumma. 3-2. With Milan well and truly on the ropes and Eriksen and Barella threatening on the counter, the former nearly stole the headlines with a ferocious free-kick although he was denied by the crossbar.
This could’ve proved costly had the woodwork not saved Inter in the 89th minute, as a header from Ibrahimovic rebounded off the post. It was then soon after that Lukaku calmed Inter nerves by sealing the win with a fourth, heading home from a lovely Moses cross.
And as the final whistle went, Inter could celebrate their 4-2 win - the first time the Nerazzurri has won a derby from a two-goal deficit since 1949. Milano is ours!
INTER 4-2 MILAN
INTER (3-5-2): 27 Padelli; 2 Godin, 6 de Vrij, 37 Skriniar; 87 Candreva (11 Moses 80'), 8 Vecino, 77 Brozovic, 23 Barella, 15 Young (34 Biraghi 94'); 9 Lukaku, 7 Sanchez (24 Eriksen 72').
Subs: 1 Handanovic, 35 Stankovic, 12 Sensi, 13 Ranocchia, 18 Asamoah, 20 Borja Valero, 30 Esposito, 32 Agoumé, 33 D'Ambrosio.
Coach: Antonio Conte.
MILAN (4-4-1-1): 99 G. Donnarumma; 12 Conti, 24 Kjaer, 13 Romagnoli, 19 Hernandez; 7 Castillejo (17 Leao 80'), 79 Kessie (39 Paquetà 81'), 4 Bennacer, 18 Rebic (5 Bonaventura 84'); 10 Calhanoglu; 21 Ibrahimovic.
Subs: 1 Begovic, 90 A. Donnarumma, 2 Calabria, 20 Biglia, 22 Musacchio, 46 Gabbia, 56 Saelemaekers, 93 Laxalt, 94 Brescianini.
Coach: Stefano Pioli.
Goalscorers: 40' Rebic (M), 46' Ibrahimovic (M), 51' Brozovic (I), 53' Vecino (I), 70' de Vrij (I), 93' Lukaku (I)
Bookings: Vecino (I), Barella (I), Skriniar (I), Conti (M), Lukaku (I), Kessie (M)
Added time: 1', 4'
Assistants: Peretti, Paganessi.
Fourth official: La Penna.
VAR and VAR assistant: Mazzoleni, Schenone.