Roberto Mancini’s first game back in charge of Inter ended in a 1-1 draw with city rivals AC Milan in front of a sellout crowd at the San Siro on Sunday.
A stunning Jeremy Menez volley gave Milan the half-time lead, but Joel Obi leveled shortly after the hour mark. Both sides also hit the crossbar through Stephan El Shaarawy and Mauro Icardi.
“It’s not the easiest thing starting with a derby match, we only had five days to work together,” Mancini said. “But we had great spirit, so it’s a positive night for me, apart from we didn’t win.”
In previous seasons, a Milan derby has often been vital in determining the title, but not this time.
The result left the Rossoneri in seventh spot, 13 points behind Serie A leaders Juventus, with Inter a point further back.
“I think my players were really good in trying to get the win, others would have sat back and played for the draw,” Milan boss Filippo Inzaghi said. “The two great chances we had at the end leave a really bitter taste, they would have given us the three points which would have changed people’s opinions.”
The game was Inzaghi’s first derby in charge, while Mancini — who replaced Walter Mazzarri last week — won four derbies in his first stint as Inter coach, losing five and drawing one.
Milan soaked up the early pressure before taking the lead with their first shot on target. El Shaarawy raced down the left flank and crossed for an exquisite volley from Menez into the far corner.
They went close to doubling their advantage shortly after halftime, but Giacamo Bonaventura’s effort took a slight deflection off Andrea Ranocchia and flashed across the goal.
Moments later at the other end, Lopez denied Zdravko Kuzmanovic and the ball pinged around the box before coming out to Icardi, who blazed it over the bar.
Milan could have snatched the win deep into stoppage-time, but Andrea Poli’s effort was deflected just past the post with Samir Handanovic stranded.
In Naples, SSC Napoli squandered a two-goal lead to draw 3-3 at home to Cagliari and lose ground in the title race.
Gonzalo Higuain put the home side in front in the 11th minute and Gokhan Inler doubled the lead, only for Victor Ibarbo and Diego Farias to score on either side of halftime to pull Cagliari level.
Although Jonathan de Guzman then headed Napoli back in front, Farias equalized again.
The Azzurri were back in front on the hour mark when De Guzman was left unmarked to head Christian Maggio’s cross into the far corner, but Farias leveled again, sidefooting in Ibarbo’s low cross.
Earlier, Udinese’s Antonio di Natale scored his 200th Serie A goal in a 1-1 draw against AC Chievo Verona and UC Sampdoria remained fourth after Constantin Nica’s own-goal salvaged a 1-1 draw at AC Cesena.
Napoli slipped nine points behind Juventus and six behind AS Roma, after both sides won on Saturday.
Elsewhere in Serie A on Sunday, AFC Fiorentina beat Hellas Verona 2-1, Empoli won 2-0 at bottom club Parma to put more pressure on former Italy manager Roberto Donadoni and US Sassuolo overcame Torino 1-0.
MEDIA RUMORS? With no pay agreement secured and players’ representatives calling for more financial information ahead of talks, the sport had another week of bad press Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle could be sacked in a matter of days, media reported yesterday, as the embattled governing body struggles to deal with a financial crisis compounded by a shutdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Castle this week took a 50 percent pay cut and laid off 75 percent of Rugby Australia (RA) staff members, saying that the body would face losses of up to A$120 million (US$71.95 million) if no more rugby was played this year. With no pay agreement secured with the players and their representatives calling on RA to provide more financial information ahead of negotiations, the
GLOBAL REACH: Taiwan Cricket said that up to five sides could play in a broadcast competition and that upgrading local infrastructure would be beneficial to a deal Broadcasting companies are turning to Taiwan for cricket content amid the shutdown of the sport in India due to the COVID-19 pandemic. An Internet streaming platform based in Mumbai, India, yesterday contacted Taiwan Cricket asking for rights to stream games in Taipei to its cricket-starved audience, which it put at 75 million people. Yesterday, another India-based live sports streaming platform was seeking a “Taiwan cricket partnership.” The firms were promising global reach through their platforms with live content for users. They also said that they were looking at basketball and soccer in Taiwan. Taiwan Cricket — which is not recognized by the government — promotes
OLYMPICS Delay pushes rower to retire British rowing gold medalist Tom Ransley on Friday announced his retirement after deciding that the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games to next year was a step too far. The 34-year-old was part of the men’s eight who won gold in the 2016 Rio Olympics and also a bronze in the 2012 London Games. “I have used up everything I had and I know that to get myself in the necessary condition to compete for a seat in 2021 is a step too far,” he told the BBC. The years of early starts, of three training
US President Donald Trump talked to many US professional sports leaders about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that he was looking forward to the resumption of competitions “as soon as we can.” “I want fans back in the arenas,” Trump said later in a briefing at the White House. “I think it’s ... whenever we’re ready. As soon as we can, obviously. And the fans want to be back, too. They want to see basketball and baseball and football and [ice] hockey. They want to see their sports. They want to go out onto the golf courses and breathe