Milan back down to earth as they are held to draw by Inter
Sunday 24 February 2013
After beating Barcelona in the Champions League last Wednesday, Milan's mood was tempered following a 1-1 draw with city neighbours Internazionale in a derby that was a tale of two sharply different halves.
Milan dominated the first half and took the lead through Stephan El Shaarawy in the 21st minute, but Inter responded after the break and substitute Ezequiel Schelotto equalized in the 71st minute.
The draw left Milan third in the table, six points behind second-placed Napoli, who visit Udinese tonight, and 13 points behind the Serie A leaders Juventus, who beat Siena 3-0 earlier yesterday.
Inter are one point behind Milan and level with Lazio, who host struggling Pescara tonight.
The 20-year-old El Shaarawy put the Rossoneri ahead by deftly controlling a pass from Kevin-Prince Boateng before firing home his 16th goal of the season.
Six minutes later, the Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic prevented Milan from taking a two-goal lead with an acrobatic save to stop a powerful header from Mario Balotelli, who missed two other chances during the first half.
Balotelli, playing against his old club for the first time since his move from Manchester City, was also the subject of apparent racist abuse from Inter fans, who waved inflated bananas and whistled at him.
Schelotto equalized by heading in a cross from Yuto Nagatomo after being left unmarked in the area.
Meanwhile bottom-placed Palermo fired coach Alberto Malesani after only three games yesterday and, in an extraordinary move, immediately brought back the man he replaced - Gian Piero Gasperini.
"We regret the decision considering that Alberto Malesani is an excellent person and an excellent coach," said a club statement after their third coaching change of the season.
"We thank him for trying. The decision seems to be the only viable one at this difficult time."
The Sicilian club are currently six points adrift of safety having won only three of their 26 league games this season.
Latest in Sport
Neil Warnock sacked: Crystal Palace confirm manager Warnock has been axed following the Boxing Day defeat to Southampton
Manchester United vs Newcastle match report: Brilliant Wayne Rooney scores twice to fire up United's unlikely title challenge
Manchester United injury news: Angel Di Maria unlikely to face Spurs as Marouane Fellaini's 'mystery illness' turns out to be rib injury
Arsenal vs QPR player ratings: Could anyone outshine new Gunners hero Alexis Sanchez and who was worse than villain Olivier Giroud?
Manchester United 3 Newcastle 1: 'I'm playing like Paul Scholes,' says Wayne Rooney
- 1 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 2 Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
- 3 Sussex couple die in suspected Christmas Day 'suicide pact'
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 The Unluckiest People of the Year 2014 (and one very unlucky giraffe)
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'