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February 24, 2013
• Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano
Referee: P. Mazzoleni
• Attendance: 79341
E. Schelotto 71'
S. El Shaarawy 21'
That result means that Milan remain one point above their city rivals in third place but they are now 13 points off table-topping Juventus. Allegri's side face another Scudetto rival next weekend when they host Vladimir Petkovic's Lazio whilst Inter travel to Catania. Thanks for joining me on what was an absorbing derby contest. Make sure to check out Goal.com's match report, player ratings and reactions. Until next time, goodbye.
FULL TIME: INTER 1 - 1 MILAN. Honours even between the city rivals as Ezequiel Schelotto comes off the bench to make a famous impression, cancelling out Stephan El Shaarawy's stylish opener with a brilliant header. Milan will feel they could have won the contest in the first half and Mario Balotelli will certainly be rueing his earlier misses although credit is due to Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic. Ranocchia's half-time tactical switch in exchanging the full-backs proved crucial but Milan's unbeaten start to 2013 continues.
90' + 3'
Fredy Guarin chips an inviting cross into the Milan box but Mexes is there to produce a crucial header to prevent Palacio from nodding in from close range. One minute remaining.
90' + 1'
GOOD SAVE FROM ABBIATI! Cassano whips in a teasing cross from the left which Schelotto meets but his header is excellently foiled by the Milan shotstopper. Will we get a late winner here?
Yellow Card Cristian Zapata
Zapata is the next man in Mazzoleni's notebook after a late challenge on Palacio. It seems the spoils could be shared here.
Milan are looking the more likely to snatch a winner here and Handanovic is once again called upon, this time to parry Niang's stinging low drive.
Stephan El Shaarawy
Milan win the first corner of the second half and Inter manage to clear the ball to the edge of the box before El Shaarawy's volley is excellently closed down by Schelotto. It seems the 20-year-old is about to be replaced by Bojan.
Schelotto's equaliser has really changed this game. Milan looked comfortable before the goal but they have not tested Handanovic since that strike 13 minutes ago. Will Balotelli get another chance to score his derby goal?
Zapata has hardly put a foot wrong tonight and he once again produces a firm challenge to prevent Guarin from advancing on goal.
That half-time switch with Zanetti and Nagatomo exchanging full-back roles has really helped Inter in this second half. De Sciglio has struggled to get forward and Milan have not tested their opponents in the wide positions. Into the final ten minutes, will we have late drama?
Milan look to restore their lead when Boateng crosses for Balotelli, but the striker is denied a strike on goal by a fine interception from Juan Jesus.
Sulley Muntari has not featured too regularly for Milan this season but he nearly scores a screamer when he unleashes a left-footed piledriver from distance which whistles narrowly past the post with Handanovic scrambling. Which side will claim the three points from here?
Alvarez succeeds in picking out Palacio with a lofted cross to the back post but the Argentine's header across goal does not trouble Abbiati.
The Rossoneri last shared the spoils with Inter 20 games ago, a record which stretches back to October 2004.
Assist Yuto Nagatomo
Goal E. Schelotto
INTER EQUALISE!! He's only been on the field three minutes but Ezequiel Schelotto becomes an instant hero as he powers Nagatomo's cross past the hapless Abbiati. Stunning header from the Argentine. All square in the Milan Derby!
Inter have a sight of goal when Alvarez looks to seize on a loose ball in the area but just as the Argentine is about to pull the trigger, Mexes produces a crucial clearance.
Milan attack down the right flank once again, looking to expose Nagatomo, but Nocerino cannot make good contact with Boateng's cutback and he miskicks over the crossbar.
Milan are probing for a two-goal cushion and Inter have Nagatomo to thank as the Japanese international produces a crucial interception to prevent El Shaarawy's through ball from finding Boateng in the box. Inter are living dangerously.
Moments after Juan Jesus produces a good block to deny El Shaarawy, Handanovic once again comes to his side's rescue to bravely palm Nocerino's dangerous low cross away from the onrushing Balotelli. The Slovenian seems to have taken a knock however and is down for treatment.
Walter Gargano looks to score a goal of the season contender when he unleashes a strike from distance but the Uruguayan watches his ambitious effort fly high over the crossbar.
Balotelli is proving a nuisance from set-pieces tonight and the striker manages to rise highest to meet Montolivo's cross, but his glancing header flashes well wide of Handanovic's goal.
El Shaarawy does well to look up and pick out Montolivo on the edge of the box, but the Italian's shot is brilliantly blocked by Cambiasso. The next goal here is crucial.
Inter look to launch a counterattack with Palacio, Cassano and Guarin but their progress is halted after a strong challenge from Mexes. Inter are just lacking that cutting edge at the moment.
WHAT A SAVE FROM ABBIATI! He hasn't had to do much this evening but the Milan goalkeeper produces a strong hand to prevent Guarin from volleying in Palacio's super cross from the right. Antonio Cassano tries to bundle in the rebound but he can only find the outside of the post.
Milan threaten down the right with Abate and he manages to pick out Muntari with his cross but the Ghanaian does not connect properly with his acrobatic attempt and Inter clear upfield.
Cambiasso whips a freekick towards the backpost, where Ranocchia is arriving, but the Italian defender cannot divert his shot on target and sees the ball slice wide of the goal.
Alvarez steps up to strike the freekick but his left-footed effort fails to beat the Milan wall. Abbiati is yet to make a meaningful save in this match.
Yellow Card Riccardo Montolivo
Montolivo picks up a booking for a tackle through the back of Palacio. Good freekick opportunity for the Nerazzurri here.
Alvarez is penalised for a foul on Abate and from Montolivo's resulting set-piece, Boateng goes within inches of extending Milan's lead after he sends a bullet header just past the post.
It does seem however that Zanetti has switched to right-back with Nagatomo going out to the left. I would have been astonished if Stramaccioni had not addressed that problem!
Unsurprisingly, there are also no changes for Milan. The second half is underway!
Inter are out early for the second half and there does not appear to be any half-time changes from Stramaccioni.
Inter have won six of the last seven derbies at home and are currently undefeated in their last ten home matches in Serie A. Can the Nerazzurri turn this tie around? Prepare for the second half...
What did you make of that first half? Let me know your thoughts and full-time predictions on the Milan derby via Twitter @MaxBentley1.
Stramaccioni surely needs to make a change as Milan are having far too much joy down the right. Nagatomo and Guarin have been run ragged by El Shaarawy and De Sciglio in that first half.
HALF TIME: INTER 0 - 1 MILAN. Stephan El Shaarawy's 16th Serie A goal of the season is the difference in a half which has seen Milan dominate their city rivals. Balotelli has looked bright on his return to the Derby della Madonnina but he will certainly feel that he should be on the scoresheet after he spurned two good opportunites and was denied by a wonderful reflex save from Handanovic. Inter have looked lacklustre and are fortunate to be only one goal behind, big team-talk ahead for Stramaccioni.
The first half is ticking to a close here and Inter are showing few signs of scoring an equaliser before the interval. It's been a solid 45 minutes from Allegri's side.
Yellow Card Juan Jesus
Tempers are beginning to flair now and after Montolivo and Cambiasso are involved in a spot of handbags, Juan Jesus picks up a booking for a nasty challenge on Boateng.
Antonio Cassano has not enjoyed the best of halves against his former side and the enigmatic striker takes too long to get his strike away on the edge of the box. It's been a relatively comfortable 41 minutes for Abbiati.
HANDANOVIC VS. BALOTELLI CONTINUES! Balotelli opts to strike a freekick once again, this time from 30 yards, but his dipping effort is excellently palmed away by Handanovic.
Inter just cannot find a way through this organised Milan setup and are forced to attack down the wings. Allegri's gameplan is certainly trumping Stramaccioni's at the moment.
Cambiasso concedes a freekick in a dangerous position on the edge of his own box, but Balotelli cannot replicate his goalscoring effort from last week and sees his freekick strike the wall.
Yellow Card Andrea Ranocchia
Ranocchia is the first Inter player in the book after a late challenge on Balotelli, his tenth caution of the season.
Inter launch a rare attack with Guarin down the right but Palacio cannot generate enough power behind his header and Abbiati comfortably claims.
Milan are looking the hungrier of the two sides at the moment and Muntari busts a gut to get a header on Abate's cross, but sees his effort well-saved by Handanovic. Can Stramaccioni's side restore parity before the break?
Yellow Card Sulley Muntari
Sulley Muntari is the second Milan player in the book after a rash tackle on Walter Gargano. The Ghanaian played over 100 times for the Nerazzurri.
BALOTELLI IS DENIED AGAIN! Muntari plays a fantastic sweeping pass over the Inter defence for De Sciglio who cushions his cross first-time across the box for Balotelli, but the former-Nerazzurri man is denied a goal against his arch-rivals after his shot is straight at Handanovic. Milan could be cruising here!
WHAT A SAVE FROM HANDANOVIC! The Slovenian shotstopper was in fine form in Florence last week and he produces a magnificent reflex save to prevent Balotelli from heading in El Shaarawy's corner. Inter are rocking here!
Inter's right flank is taking a peppering at the moment and De Sciglio latches onto a wonderful pass from Muntari but is just unable to pick out El Shaarawy with his cutback. Milan have their tails up at the moment.
Inter look to respond immediately with Cassano unleashing a snapshot from the edge of the box, but it flashes wide of Abbiati's right-hand post.
On reflection of that goal, it was Nagatomo who was once again out of position on the right. Clinical finish from El Shaarawy though, his 16th Serie A goal of the season.
Assist Kevin-Prince Boateng
Goal Stephan El Shaarawy
MILAN STRIKE FIRST! Cassano is dispossessed by Muntari, allowing Boateng to thread an inch-perfect pass into the path of Stephan El Shaarawy who finishes in style, flicking the ball with the outside of his foot into the roof of the net. First blood for Milan!
Inter need to find a way to stop De Sciglo down the left as he once more gets his cross in from the left, although it is comfortably claimed by Handanovic. El Shaarawy is dragging Nagatomo infield, allowing De Sciglio to join the attack time and time again. Rossoneri looking more comfortable in possession at the moment.
Inter look to counter down the other end with Palacio using his pace to elude Mexes, but the Argentine cannot add to his 16-goal season tally as he drags a left-footed shot well wide.
WHAT A CHANCE FOR BALOTELLI! De Sciglio is having a lot of joy down the left and he whips in a teasing low cross which finds Balotelli six yards out, but his touch lets him down and Handanovic is allowed to claim. That really should have been 1-0!
Milan enjoy some neat passing around the Inter box but Boateng's slide pass for De Sciglio is overhit and the ball runs out for a goalkick. Neither goalkeeper has been tested so far.
Yellow Card Philippe Mexes
Not such great defending as Mexes picks up his twelfth caution of the season for a mistimed tackle on Cassano.
Philippe Mexes has made a bright start to the match and he produces a crucial block to deny Fredy Guarin before making a last-ditch interception moments later to prevent Rodrigo Palacio from getting his shot away. Good defending from the Frenchman.
Milan look to launch a quick counterattack with Balotelli streaking clear of his marker, but Nocerino's lofted through ball is excellently cut out by Ranocchia and Inter survive. Balotelli vents his fury - he feels that Nocerino should have picked him out.
Rodrigo Palacio breaks the offside trap with a clever curved run down the right wing but his low cross into the middle is too heavy for Cassano and the move breaks down.
MILAN GO CLOSE! Mattia De Scigilio embarks on a marauding run down the left before cutting inside and firing an effort marginally past Handanovic's right-hand post. The Slovenian goalkeeper was certainly scrambling there.
Inter attack down the other end with Esteban Cambiasso picking out Antonio Cassano on the edge of the box, but the former-Milan man cannot pick out an Inter shirt with his cross.
Fredy Guarin runs into trouble and is dispossessed by Sulley Muntari but the Ghanaian midfielder drags a left-footed effort wide of Handanovic's goal.
Couple of big challenges early on this match with Juan Jesus clattering into Kevin Prince Boateng on the half-way line. No chances just yet!
Ricky Alvarez looks to impress early on with some skills down the left touchline but his run is eventually halted by a good challenge from Ignazio Abate. Big game for the Argentine to stake a claim in the starting eleven tonight.
Paolo Mazzzoleni blows his whistle and Milan finally get this Derby della Madonnina underway!
Fantastic but chilly atmosphere at the Giuseppe Meazza as the players take to the field. Lots of smiles and handshakes before kick-off but expect all niceties to go out the window at the first whistle. There have been 20 goals, 35 yellow cards and 5 red cards in the last 6 Milan derbies.
A fourth-minute goal from Walter Samuel handed the Nerazzurri all the points in the reverse fixture earlier this season. Can Milan claim revenge tonight? Kick-off is only moments away.
Javier Zanetti starts for the 40th consecutive Derby della Madonnina tonight - that is some record from the Argentine!
Mario Balotelli has made a blistering start to his Milan career, with four goals in his first three matches and he can certainly expect a hostile reaction from his former employers tonight. The 22-year-old scored 28 goals in 86 games during his four-year stint for Inter.
Massimiliano Allegri makes three changes to the side which secured an emphatic 2-0 victory over Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday night. Kevin Constant has not recovered from a knock and he is replaced by Mattia De Sciglio. Massimo Ambrosini makes way for Antonio Nocerino and Mario Balotelli returns to replace Giampaolo Pazzini after being ineligible for the Champions League.
Andrea Stramaccioni makes two changes to the team which triumphed 3-0 against Cluj in Romania on Thursday, with Yuto Nagatomo and Walter Gargano being recalled in place of the suspended Alvaro Pereira and Mateo Kovacic.
Milan (4-3-1-2): Abbiati; Abate, Zapata, Mexes, De Sciglio; Muntari, Montolivo, Nocerino; Boateng; Balotelli, El Shaarawy. Subs: Gabriel, Amelia, Salamon, Zaccardo, Yepes, Ambrosini, Antonini, Bojan, Niang Traoré, Pazzini.
Inter (4-3-1-2): Handanovic; Zanetti, Ranocchia, Juan, Nagatomo; Gargano, Cambiasso, Alvarez; Guarin; Cassano, Palacio. Subs: Belec, Carrizo, Mbaye, Jonathan, Chivu, Stankovic, Kovacic, Schelotto, Pasa, Benassi, Kuzmanovic, Rocchi.
Without further ado, here are tonight's lineups...
The time for the 221st Derby della Madonnina has finally arrived and not even the snow was going to stop this one! It's Balotelli vs Cassano, Allegri vs Stramaccioni and the bragging rights of Milan are up for grabs! Will the Nerazzurri win their fourth consecutive derby or will Allegri's side continue their unbeaten start to 2013? Bringing you all the action from the Giuseppe Meazza, Inter's home stadium and Milan's away venue for the night, my name is Max Bentley. Feel free to let me know your thoughts on the big derby clash via Twitter @MaxBentley1. Prepare for a classic!
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