Football is a funny old game. What was looking like a rather difficult Derby was turned on its head in the best way possible for the Rossoneri, who celebrated a monumental comeback victory after full-time thanks to a brace from Olivier Giroud. It ended 2-1 to AC Milan after going into the break a goal down - Perišić with the opener for the Nerazzurri. It could have been more for Inter, though, if it wasn't for a splendid performance from Maignan. AC Milan looked like a totally different team after the break and turned it around with two goals in five minutes from our number 9. After a game such as that, the lesson is clear: never stop believing, even if the task seems impossible. And to do it in that fashion, with such humility and sacrifice... There were plenty of positives tonight, starting with an imperious display between the sticks from Mike Maignan. He was the catalyst for what became a huge second-half fightback as the Rossoneri gave it their absolute all in order to topple their local rivals, converting two chances in the final quarter of an hour. The fixture list isn't letting up as the Rossoneri face a tricky task when they host Sampdoria on Sunday at 12:30 CET, a game in which AC Milan will need to make do without Theo, who was sent off in injury time. This evening, however, we can enjoy this victory thanks to a team that never says die: Forza Milan!
CHECK OUT THE GALLERY FROM INTER v AC MILAN
With the two teams trying to figure each other out early on, Inter thought they’d taken the lead through Dumfries after ten minutes, but the Dutchman’s header was chalked off due to Perišić being offside in the build-up. Shortly afterwards, Maignan made a brilliant mid-air adjustment to keep out a Brozović strike. The Rossoneri were struggling in the face of Nerazzurri pressure: in the 26th minute, Martínez, with his back to goal, laid a ball off for Barella, who blasted wide with his right foot. Two minutes later, Maignan was called into action again, winning the one-on-one battle with Dumfries with a fantastic stop. AC Milan finally threatened as an attacking force with 35 minutes on the clock, when Handanović scrambled to claw away a wicked effort from Tonali. Seconds later, Perišić did enough to stop Leão from getting a shot away. Inter then surprised AC Milan on the counter, with Maignan turning behind an attempt from Martínez. From the resulting corner, Perišić volleyed home to give the Nerazzurri the lead. With the half almost at an end, Maignan came out of his box to put a halt to an Inter attack led by Lautaro.
Coach Pioli opted for a half-time change, bringing on Messias for Saelemaekers. AC Milan started to play with more conviction, even if they were sometimes lacking precision with their passing. In the 65th minute, the newly introduced Díaz found space between the lines and picked out Leão, who fired over from a good position. With strength and determination, the Rossoneri levelled matters in the 74th minute. Having received the ball from Tonali, Díaz saw his shot deflect off Skriniar and into the path of Giroud, who slid in at the back post and poked home. AC Milan had the wind in their sails and, four minutes later, Giroud struck again, turning on a sixpence to elude de Vrij and, in one swift movement, guiding the ball into the far corner. The final few minutes were hard-fought and hectic, although Inter failed to create any clear-cut chances. With seconds left, Hernández was sent off for a poor challenge on Dumfries. However, the scoreline stayed the same: a win for AC Milan, who have closed the gap at the top!
INTER 1-2 AC MILAN
INTER (3-5-2): Handanović; Skriniar, de Vrij, Bastoni (82' Darmian); Dumfries, Barella, Brozović (82' Vecino), Çalhanoğlu (73' Vidal), Perišić (70' Dimarco); Martínez (69' Sánchez), Džeko. Subs: Cordaz, Radu; D'Ambrosio, Darmian, Kolarov, Ranocchia; Gagliardini; Curatolo. Coach: Inzaghi.
AC MILAN (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Calabria, Kalulu, Romagnoli, Hernández; Tonali, Bennacer (80' Krunić); Saelemaekers (46' Messias), Kessie (58' Díaz), Leão; Giroud. Subs: Mirante, Tătăruşanu; Florenzi, Gabbia, Tomori; Bakayoko, Castillejo; Lazetić, Maldini. Coach: Pioli.
Referee: Guida di Torre Annunziata.
Goal: 38' Perišić (I), 74' Giroud (M), 78' Giroud (M)
Booked: 21' Romagnoli (M), 60' Çalhanoğlu (I), 72' Díaz (M), 84' Skriniar (I), 91' Krunić (M).
Sent off: 95' Hernández (M).
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