AC Milan moved within one point of Inter in Serie A‘s title race, albeit having played a game more, after a smash-and-grab 2-1 victory in the Derby della Madonnina at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on Saturday night, as two goals from Olivier Giroud cancelled out an Ivan Perisic goal.
While it was an offside flag that denied the Nerazzurri taking the lead through a Denzel Dumfries header on 10 minutes, it was the performance of Rossoneri goalkeeper Mike Maignan that ensured that Inter were not out of sight by half time.
The Frenchman made a string of impressive saves as the Biscione dominated most of the first-half, but then played a role in the opening goal, when pushing a Lautaro Martinez strike out for a corner kick.
Former Diavolo attacker Hakan Calhanoglu swung over the set piece and Perisic found himself with the freedom of San Siro to let the ball drop to his feet and place a volley past Maignan just before the break.
Although Milan gave a significantly improved display when the two sides returned from the break, Inter seemingly felt no need to press home their advantage and, while trying to manage the second 45 minutes, threw away all three points.
With 15 minutes remaining though, the Rossoneri finally outnumbered Inter on the break and a deflected Brahim Diaz shot bobbled across the penalty box until Giroud slid in to poke the ball past Samir Handanovic.
Moments later, the Frenchman received the ball inside the Nerazzurri box and, after turning with a superb piece of skill, sent a low strike through the despairing one-handed attempt from the Inter captain to win the match.
? It’s here! In the latest of our Classic Calcio series, we’re getting #ACMilan fans warmed up for Saturday’s derby by remembering their 1994 Champions League win, hammering Barcelona in the final. ???
— ForzaItalianFootball (@SerieAFFC) February 3, 2022
In injury-time, as Milan fought to hold on, Theo Hernandez was then sent off for a wild and reckless challenge on Dumfries, that somewhat tarnished an enormous victory.
At a similar stage of the campaign last term, Stefano Pioli’s side lost to the Nerazzurri as the pair battled for the Scudetto and his team ultimately fell away. However, the veteran tactician will hope that this win can now act as a similar catalyst for their own title triumph.
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