At Juventus Stadium in Turin on Saturday, Inter Milan broke the old lady’s 49-game unbeaten record with a brace from the impeccable Diego Milito. The derby of Italy ended 3–1 for visiting Inter (9–0–2), which tightened the gap behind the Serie A leader Juventus (9–1–1) to just one point.
“In the end, it happened. We played our game, but we lost,” said Angelo Alessio, Juventus assistant coach speaking on Sky Sports. “We’re sorry, but despite this, we have to congratulate our guys, we’re proud of them for the long unbeaten streak that they have been able to build.”
Juventus failed to hang on to the lead given by Arturo Vidal’s opener after only 18 seconds of play.
Tactically, Inter was always tidy and recovered quickly from the initial shock, catching up in the second half.
“It has been a harsh and tough game against the champions,” Argentine striker Milito said. “We began a little slowly, but then we grew up, and in the end we deserved to win.”
Inter coach Andrea Stramaccioni’s formation was an ambitious three-pronged Milito–Rodrigo Palacio–Antonio Cassano attack from the beginning, but they had a hard time getting going.
It was Juventus who controlled the game in early stages, acquiring the midfield and putting pressure on the opponent with high pressing and precise and constant ball possession. Andrea Pirlo wasn’t missing a step. In the eighth minute, he set up Claudio Marchisio who unleashed a strong shot that Inter keeper Samir Handanovic saved well.
Marchisio had another chance a minute later, but his feeble shot drifted a few feet away from the goal.
In the tenth minute, Stramaccioni’s team began responding. Inter’s answer to Pirlo in the middle of the park, Esteban Cambiasso, fired two shots over the bar from outside the box within a two-minute span.
Juventus striker Sebastian Giovinco threatened the Inter goal, but Javier Zanetti was there to prevent any damage. The Inter captain, impermeable throughout the game, was one of the best on this night, repeatedly blocking attacks from Juventus.
The game developed into a stalemate with neither team managing to break through the opponent’s defense. Often interrupted by fouls from both sides, the game became disjointed and less appealing.
Inter hadn’t established a grip on the midfield and Juve tested Handanovic with attempts from Vidal and a dangerous cross from Kwadwo Asamoah before the end of the first half.
The first half ended with the advantage to the Italian champions, but they seemed to return to the field visibly tired. Inter began the second half much livelier.
On the left wing, the speedy Japanese Yuto Nagatomo was beginning to put Juventus defenders in difficulty, and in the 57th minute, he forced a good save from Gianluigi Buffon.
Soon after, Inter’s efforts would be rewarded. Cassano placed a free kick into the box and Milito was held by Marchisio.
The Argentine who scored a brace in the Champions League final win over Bayern Munich in 2010 placed the spot kick to the right of Buffon and the game was tied 1–1.
But after Inter scored, the game struggled to keep up the temp. The technical level remained low and the fouls continued breaking up the flow.
Inter took the lead in the 75th minute. Juve lost a bad ball in midfield. Fredy Guarin, who came on in place of Cassano, accelerated the counterattack and let loose with a shot that Buffon parried. Milito was the fastest to get on the ball and he sealed his seventh goal of the season.
Juventus’ response was disappointing. Their replacements in attack did not lead to greater energy. Denmark’s Nicklas Bendtner was ineffective and Fabio Quagliarella has just one chance in the 87th minute with a fine shot from outside the box past the post to the left of the Inter’s net.
Palacio made the final 3–1 in the 89th with help from the tireless Nagamoto.
Juventus took the lead but never seemed to expect the Inter fightback. The day turned bitter for the 27,400 fans who had come to see the old lady go unbeaten for the 50th time in a row.
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