Inter overcame a controversial goal after 18 seconds and potential red card to end Juventus’ 49-match unbeaten record with a shock 3-1 result in Turin!
This was a contentious clash that saw a Bianconeri goal that should’ve been disallowed and Stephan Lichtsteiner spared a second yellow card, but Diego Milito’s brace completed a remarkable comeback for Juve’s first ever defeat at the Juventus Stadium.
This Derby d’Italia was also a top of the table showdown between first and second with neither side pulling punches. Andrea Stramaccioni was without Wesley Sneijder, Philippe Coutinho, Dejan Stankovic, Cristian Chivu, Jonathan and Joel Obi, but went for it with a 3-4-3 system led by the all-star trident. Juve welcomed back Arturo Vidal and Claudio Marchisio from suspension and injury respectively.
Something had to give, as Juve had won all their Serie A home games while Inter had a 100 per cent record on their travels and were coming off eight consecutive victories in all competition.
It could not have possibly been a better start for Juventus, as Kwadwo Asamoah ran on to a Mirko Vucinic pass – when offside – and rolled across for Vidal to prod into an empty net at the back post. Only 18 seconds had elapsed in Turin.
It was so nearly 2-0 at the fourth minute, as Vucinic just failed to make contact with the Sebastian Giovinco ball across the face of goal. Andrea Pirlo’s inspired ball over the top found Marchisio clear on goal and his volley was beaten away from point-blank range by Samir Handanovic.
Inter emerged from their shells and Esteban Cambiasso fired over, then Rodrigo Palacio had the ball in the net but was marginally offside when going to get the header off a quickly-taken Cambiasso free kick.
Antonio Cassano curled inches wide of the far post from a poorly-cleared corner as the visitors began to see much more of the ball.
More controversy on 34 minutes when Stephan Lichtsteiner, who had already been booked, avoided a second yellow card for a completely mistimed tackle on Palacio. Despite the Inter protests, the Swiss winger was allowed to stay on the field.
Moments later Vidal gathered just inside the box and was cleanly challenged by Juan Jesus. Aware of the risk Lichtsteiner was running, Angelo Alessio wisely replaced him with Martin Caceres.
Giovinco got to the by-line but pulled back into Handanovic’s arms, then the goalkeeper had to palm a looping Asamoah deflected cross over the bar. In first half stoppages Vidal went clear when intercepting a pass that Yuto Nagatomo left, but Handanovic beat away the powerful finish.
Vucinic needed treatment for a calf problem in the first half and didn’t come out for the second, making way for Nicklas Bendtner. Leonardo Bonucci had a rare shot on goal, as he was allowed to progress through the middle without being pressured and unleashed a strike that Handanovic beat away.
Palacio got to the by-line and Gigi Buffon came for it, but the angle was too narrow and he hit the side-netting. Milito sparked a counter-attack with three against two, but Palacio fired over the bar.
Play was halted for a few moments as goal line referee Orsato was hit in the back of the neck by an object thrown from the stands, but it resumed after a few seconds. It looked to be a rolled up piece of card with sellotape to make it into a ball.
Nagatomo burst in-between two defenders to latch on to a Cassano pass down the left and stung Buffon’s palms at the near post.
From a Cassano free kick moments later, Marchisio dragged back Milito’s shirt as he was about to pull the trigger and the goal line official awarded the penalty. Il Principe got back up to successfully convert, lifting it powerfully above Buffon at the near post for his first goal in an Inter jersey against Juventus.
Handanovic punched away a Pirlo free kick and Giovinco had penalty appeals when he sprinted past one defender and fell under pressure from Walter Gargano, but the referee did not consider it to be a powerful enough contact on his shoulder.
The Inter goalkeeper plucked a cross off the head of Bendtner, then Juan Jesus made a crucial intervention in midfield to stop Vidal completing a dangerous Juve counter-attack.
The Nerazzurri could’ve taken the lead on 74 minutes when Palacio got away from Giorgio Chiellini and rolled across for Milito, who only got a touch under pressure from Andrea Barzagli, then it kept going for Cambiasso and a decisive last-ditch Caceres tackle managed to block his shot.
Inter’s tails were up and they completed the comeback with a second from Milito. Substitute Fredy Guarin surged forward through the middle and forced Buffon into a save with his angled drive, but Milito was first to the rebound and fired him at the back post.
Juve were on the verge of losing their 49-match unbeaten Serie A run and replaced substitute Caceres with striker Fabio Quagliarella. Milito made way for Gaby Mudingayi, as Inter shored up the midfield.
Handanovic fingertipped a Pirlo screamer round the upright, but Gargano’s poor backpass was intercepted by Bendtner who tried to curl it in from the by-line, but could not get it on target from the tightest of angles.
Quagliarella hit a fierce snapshot wide, but as Juve poured forward they allowed Nagatomo to go on the counter and he smartly put a through ball in for Palacio. Buffon got an elbow to it, but not enough to keep it out of the empty net.