MILAN - A frantic Milan derby ended all square at San Siro with both goals coming in a pulsating first half that had no shortage of action at both ends. Simone Inzaghi made two changes to the line-up that emerged victorious against Sheriff in midweek, with Hakan Calhanoglu and Ivan Perisic filling in for Arturo Vidal and Federico Dimarco.
The Turkish midfielder made an immediate impact against his former club by bursting into the box, earning a penalty as Franck Kessie brought him down and immediately picking himself up to smash it past Ciprian Tatarusanu with just 11 minutes on the clock. The Nerazzurri did not celebrate for long, however, as Milan soon equalised when a Sandro Tonali cross was diverted into his own net by Stefan de Vrij.
Matteo Darmian’s marauding run down the right wing provided the Nerazzurri with a golden chance to restore the lead when Fode Ballo-Toure brought the Italian down in the box, but Lautaro Martinez was denied from the spot by a fine save by Tatarusanu down to his right.
Inter missed a host of chances to claim all three points in the 175th Milan derby in Serie A, which enabled the Rossoneri to maintain their seven-point lead over their city rivals. Fresh from signing his contract extension this week, Nicolo Barella saw Ballo-Toure clear his goalbound shot off the line on the stroke of half time after brilliant play by Alessandro Bastoni down the left. Moments later, Edin Dzeko set up Lautaro just inside the box, only for the Argentine’s shot to veer narrowly wide.
Inzaghi’s side continued where they left off as the second half began, while Milan were more than happy to relinquish possession and soak up the pressure. Vidal was presented with a glorious pair of chances to restore Inter’s lead in the 72nd minute just moments after coming on, but Pierre Kalulu made not one, but two goal-saving blocks in the six-yard box.
Stefano Pioli’s side did dominate the final stages of the contest, with Ante Rebic causing havoc down the left and Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s influence on the game growing. The Swede unleashed a thunderbolt from a free kick that Samir Handanovic got down well to save before Ismael Bennacer shot over the bar from a promising position. There was still time for Alexis Saelemaekers to break forward and hit the post with a long-range effort, while Inter can count themselves lucky that Kessie fluffed the rebound.
Both teams had to settle for a point in the first draw in the Milan derby since 2018. Inter head into the international break in third place, seven points adrift of Napoli and Milan. Next up for Simone Inzaghi’s side is a home clash with Luciano Spalletti’s charges, who were also involved in a 1-1 draw on Sunday.
MILAN 1-1 INTER (HT: 1-1)
Scorers: Calhanoglu 11 (p), De Vrij 17 (og).
MILAN (4-2-3-1): 1 Tatarusanu; 2 Calabria, 24 Kjaer, 23 Tomori, 5 Ballo-Touré (20 Kalulu, 46); 8 Tonali (4 Bennacer, 72), 79 Kessie; 10 Diaz (56 Saelemaekers, 59), 33 Krunic (41 Bakayoko, 84), 17 Leao (12 Rebic, 59); 11 Ibrahimovic.
Subs not used: 83 Mirante, 9 Giroud, 14 Conti, 25 Florenzi, 27 Maldini, 46 Gabbia, 64 Pellegri.
Coach: Stefano Pioli.
INTER (3-5-2): 1 Handanovic; 37 Skriniar, 6 De Vrij, 95 Bastoni (32 Dimarco, 84); 36 Darmian (2 Dumfries, 76), 23 Barella (22 Vidal, 68), 77 Brozovic, 20 Calhanoglu, 14 Perisic; 9 Dzeko (19 Correa, 76), 10 Lautaro (7 Sanchez, 84).
Subs not used: 97 Radu, 5 Gagliardini, 8 Vecino, 11 Kolarov, 12 Sensi, 13 Ranocchia, 33 D'Ambrosio.
Coach: Simone Inzaghi.
Stoppage time: 1+3 minutes.
Assistants: Passeri, Costanzo.
Fourth official: Pezzuto.
Assistant VAR: Vivenzi.