Cassano launches half-time rant at referee Tagliavento

The Nerazzurri striker remonstrated with the match official during the interval following a controversial first period, while Javier Zanetti labelled the 3-1 win as "historic"

Inter forward Antonio Cassano launched a furious half-time rant at referee Paolo Tagliavento in the tunnel at half-time of the Derby d'Italia against Juventus on Saturday.

The 30-year-old was angry with the match official after allowing Arturo Vidal's 19-second opener to stand, despite Kwadwo Asamoah being offside in the build-up, and failing to send off Stephan Lichtsteiner, who was substituted as a precaution soon after by Angelo Alessio.

Cassano was less than impressed by the performance of Tagliavento and proceeded to remonstrate at the break, with the Nerazzurri 1-0 down.

"Tagliave [Tagliavento], why are you leaving? We are talking to you politely! You pretend to hear nothing," the striker was reportedly quoted as saying.

The Nerazzurri were stunned after the Chilean's early goal, but soon took control of the encounter as two goals from Diego Milito and one from Rodrigo Palacio allowed them to close the gap at the top of the table to a single point.

Meanwhile, Javier Zanetti expressed his delight as Inter went onto cancel out the controversial opener and inflict a first defeat on the Old Lady at Juventus Stadium.

"Yes, it is a historic victory, above all for the strength of our opponents," said Zanetti after the win.

"We knew Juventus were unbeaten for a long time and deserved to be top of the table. We are aiming to become a great team and I believe the path we are on is the right one.

"We are a new squad who want to be fighting for the Scudetto come the end of the season."

Inter's ninth consecutive win in all competitions underlined their title credentials as they ended the 49-game unbeaten run of last season's champions.

Zanetti added: "We knew that we had to face this game with great character, even when things do not go your way. The victory was deserved."