Serie A front-runners Inter Milan beat AC Milan 4-3 on Saturday in a pulsating city derby despite the dismissal of international Marco Materazzi halfway through the second half.
The defender scored Inter's fourth goal on 68 minutes, nodding home a Dejan Stankovic free kick, but was sent off through a second yellow card for taking off his jersey after the goal.
The title-holders closed the first half two goals up, as Stankovic curled a free kick for a downward header by Hernan Crespo and fired home from outside the area for 2-0.
Milan's single first-half chance went begging in the first minute as Kakha Kaladze squandered the easiest of chances from few meters off.
The Devils were close to throwing in the towel after the break when Zlatan Ibrahimovic made the score 3-0, topping a counterattack with a sweet touch past Brazilian keeper Dida, but Clarence Seedorf managed to pull one back on 50 minutes thanks to a deflection by Materazzi.
The game flared up after Materazzi's goal and dismissal, with Alberto Gilardino making the score 4-2 on the hour through a brilliant header that ended a six-month goal drought.
With Inter forced to defend with 10 men, keeper Julio Cesar made two great saves to deny Seedorf before being beaten by a sweet lob curled by Brazilian compatriot Kaka on 90 minutes.
Kaka's feat brought Milan one goal shy of a draw that they failed to clinch, despite five more minutes of furious pressing in injury time.
After nine games, Inter lead the standings on 21 points, although Palermo had a chance to draw level yesterday by winning at Fiorentina.
AC Milan are on seven points as a result of a penalty received in the summer for match-fixing. The club attempted unsuccessfully to have its sanction reduced by an arbitration court late on Friday.