Monday November 21st, 2016

As fan displays go, the effort from AC Milan’s tifosi to depict former owner Silvio Berlusconi surrounded by the trophies the club has won looked impressive. Milan’s sale to a Chinese consortium is set to be ratified next month, and so Sunday’s Derby della Madonnina against city rival Inter was to be Berlusconi’s last at the helm. It was also an opportunity to kick Inter when it’s down; with Frank de Boer sacked, this was new coach Stefano Pioli’s first game in charge, and a Milan win would have put 11 points between the two.

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It did not quite work out like that. Pioli made a few smart changes – restoring Geoffrey Kondogbia to the line-up, playing Joao Mario as number ten and picking Gary Medel at centre-back – and Inter was the better side in the first half, at least until Suso scored on the break for Milan. Inter hit back in the second half, but Suso doubled his tally, leaving Inter chasing an equaliser. It came in injury-time, Ivan Perisic leveling up from a corner to delirious celebrations. Milan coach Vincenzo Montella later said that Inter celebrating a last-minute draw like they had won the game was a sign of how well his side is doing. But there is more to be done: Milan may be joint-second with Roma but this is an open league and only two points separate the five sides behind leader Juventus. Inter is in the group behind that, and with Pioli in charge, has time to challenge them too. 

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