Tue, Nov 25, 2014 - Page 19 News List

Lackluster Milan, Inter play out 1-1 derby draw

SAN SIRO SNORE:An all-Milan clash usually has a big impact on the Serie A tables, but with both sides more than 10 points off the top, the game had little gravitas

AP, MILAN, Italy

Inter midfielder Joel Obi, left, celebrates after scoring the equalizer in their Serie A match against AC Milan at the San Siro in Milan, Italy, on Sunday.

Photo: EPA

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.

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