Stadio Giuseppe Meazza (San Siro), Milan, Italy
AC Milan’s first game in front of their new Chinese chairman Yonghong Li, who was unveiled as Silvio Burlusconi’s successor on Thursday, got off to a thrilling start as they came back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with neighbouring rivals Inter Milan in the league’s Milan Derby, dubbed as the Derby della Madonnina, at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza (San Siro) in Milan.
First-half goals from Antonio Candreva and skipper Mauro Icardi had given the Nerazzuri a 2-0 lead at the break against the run of play, before Cristián Zapata’s 97th minute strike levelled the scores after Alessio Romagnoli’s poked-finish in the 83rd minute, gave the Rossoneri a glimmer of hope.
The reverse fixture between the two sides saw Ivan Perišić score a late equaliser right at the death to deny Milan but, with their new owners: Sino-Europe Sports in the stands, it was Zapata’s finish that earned redemption for the Rossoneri.
Milan started well and had a good chance to take the lead in the opening minute when Roberto Gagliardini lost possession allowing Milan to break with Gerard Deulofeu played through on-goal, but the Spaniard delayed his strike, which was eventually palmed away by Samir Handanović, before a succession of efforts were charged-down into the path of Carlos Bacca, who fired the ball over the bar from close-range.
In the fifth minute the Nerazzurri had a good chance to open the scoring when João Mário did very well to beat two Milan players and send a teasing delivery across the face of goal to Icardi, but the Argentine fired the ball over the bar on the volley, under-pressure.
In the 13th minute Milan went close when Suso cut-inside to fire a powerful effort that Handanović was forced to tip behind. The Rossoneri very nearly took the lead following the resulting-corner from which, Deulofeu drove to the byline to fire an effort from a tight-angle, against the outside of the post with Handanović beaten.
In the 32nd minute the Rossoneri went close when Sosa dispossessed Gary Medel and surged forward before cutting the ball back inside to see his lobbed effort loop onto the roof of the net.
Four minutes later the Nerazzurri took the lead against the run of play. Candreva did well to first, latch onto Gagliardini’s fantastic cross-field pass ahead of Mattia De Sciglio before firing the ball through the gloves of Gianluigi Donnarumma.
A minute before the break Inter doubled their lead when Perišić exchanged passes with Icardi before surging down the flank to send a teasing delivery across the face of goal to the waiting Argentine, who tapped home.
Four minutes into the restart Inter went close when Geoffrey Kondogbia won possession on the edge of the Milan penalty-area to find Candreva, who fired an effort that flew just wide of the post.
Two minutes later Milan went close when Suso’s delivery, following a corner, fell to Juraj Kucka, but his acrobatic volley was saved well by Handanović.
Three minutes later Inter should have made it three when Icardi did well to keep possession and find Perišić with a fine pass, but the Croat’s effort was straight at Donnarummma, when he should have scored.
In the 60th minute Bacca had a sight of goal but Medel made a fine challenge to block the striker’s effort. Five minutes later Deulofeu went close, following a corner, when his curling effort from-range, forced Handanović into action with the keeper palming the strike wide.
In the 83rd minute Milan pulled a goal back when a short-corner led to Suso sending a dangerous delivery into the path of Romagnoli, who poked home via a deflection off Miranda.
There were an initial five additional minutes to be played for stoppages and in the 95th minute, Inter should have sealed the victory. Two substitutes combined as Éder found Jonathan Biabiany, who did well to beat his man before firing over the bar.
Inter were made to rue that missed opportunity as two minutes later the Nerazzurri failed to deal with a Milan corner that was flicked-on by Bacca towards Zapata, who fired the loose ball home off the underside of the bar, despite Medel’s best effort to clear the ball away, as the referee awarded the goal via the goal-line-technology system.
The result meant that Inter remained in seventh on 56 points while AC Milan remained in sixth on 58 points.