Italian champions recover from going behind to an early Wesley Sneijder strike to secure victory and seal the first silverware of the season
The match opened in frantic fashion as seconds after Wesley Sneijder’s ambitious effort flew wide, Milan counter-attacked and almost took the lead. Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s exquisite touch was met by Robinho but the Brazilian forward wasted a glorious chance by curling it past Julio Cesar’s post.
Massimiliano Allegri’s men would go on to regret that missed opportunity as Inter began to dominate proceedings. Their pressure culminated in Sneijder curling home a free-kick into Christian Abbiati’s top left corner to give the Coppa Italia winners a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute.
Inter looked to make the most of their control of the game as Samuel Eto’o and Ricky Alvarez saw efforts but neither of their efforts troubled Abbiati significantly. Ibrahimovic gave the opposition a reminder of his quality as he saw his header rebound off the post just before half-time as Inter held a deserved 1-0 lead after 45 minutes.
Milan emerged from the dressing room in a much more determined mood and they began the second period as the better team. Robinho’s skill helped tee up Clarence Seedorf but the Dutchman could only put the ball wide. However they did not have to wait long more to get back onto level terms. Robinho lofted a super ball over the Inter defence and Seedorf squared the ball for Ibrahimovic to equalise on the hour.
The comeback was complete just nine minutes later as Boateng pounced on a parry from Julio Cesar. Alexandre Pato, just on as a sub, saw his shot cannon off the post via Cesar’s hand but the Ghanaian international was on hand to follow up and make the score 2-1.
Inter looked to have snatched an equalier through Eto'o late on as they relentlessly searched for a lifeline. However the ex-Barcelona striker was judged to have been offside as he put the ball in the net.
Allegri's charges held on for the first Milan derby win of the season over their rivals in a win which is sure to fill with them confidence as they set out to retain their Serie A title this season. The champions open their Scudetto defence away to Cagliari on August 27th. Meanwhile Gasperini's men will begin their quest to reclaim the Serie A title at home to Lecce on August 28th.